Another legislative change to watch is the introduction of the Workplace Gender Equality Amendment (Closing the Gender Pay Gap) Bill 2023 (the Bill) by the Federal Government. The Bill is currently before the Senate for inquiry and report by 16 March 2023.
The Bill follows on from the 2021 review of the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Cth) (the Act) and progresses the implementation either in part, or in full, almost all of the review’s recommendations.
The proposed reforms include:
publication of employer level pay gaps by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA);
a requirement for employers to provide their WGEA gender equality reports to their governing bodies;
refining what employers are required to report to WGEA, including matters relating to sexual harassment and discrimination.
Currently, the Act requires “relevant employers” to lodge reports each year containing information relating to various gender equality indicators (for example, equal remuneration between women and men). These reports are publicly available, but under the proposed changes WGEA will have the ability to publish aggregate information about employer level pay gaps.
A “relevant employer” is:
a registered higher education provider that is an employer;
a person, body or association (whether incorporated or not) that is an employer of 100 or more employees in Australia;
a Commonwealth company that has 100 or more employees; or
a Commonwealth entity that is an employer of 100 or more employees.
We will keep you updated on the progress of the Bill.