Labor senator Jenny McAllister has hit out at the government for failing to close the gender pay gap over a dismissed Fair Work Commission case.
The government has failed Australian women fighting for equal pay in the early education sector, Labor says.
The Fair Work Commission dismissed an application by early educators union United Voice for equal remuneration on Tuesday.
"These women do important work that is undervalued simply because it is women's work," Labor senator Jenny McAllister told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.
"This is one of the key causes of the gender pay gap."
Australia's national gender pay gap is 15.3 per cent, calculated as the difference between women's and men's average weekly full-time base salary earnings.
More than seven in 10 employees in the national preschool and school education sector are female.
Senator McAllister said the decision indicated serious limitations in Australia's industrial relations system to address the gender pay gap.
"The government's been worse than useless in this process. They have not lifted a finger to assist these women," she said.
"They are willing to fight up hill and down dale for a $65 billion (corporate) tax cut, but they will not move one inch to assist women doing important work seeking equal pay for their efforts."
In a statement on Tuesday, assistant national secretary of United Voice Helen Gibbons said the case was made more difficult with the government refusing to support the application.
"We have jumped through every legal hoop required and we briefed one of the best legal teams in the country," Ms Gibbons said.
"This will only ramp up the campaign and the resolve of educators to get the government to prioritise fairness and equality for early educators."