The inclusion of men brings with it a new era for equal
In keeping with an election campaign commitment, the Equal
Opportunity For Women In The Workplace Amendment Bill 2012 was
introduced into the House of Representatives on 1 March 2012. Its
focus is to improve workplace participation and flexibility,
recognising that equal remuneration, and family and carer
responsibilities are central to the achievement of gender equality.
Importantly, it highlights that these issues are not only for
women, but men also.
The new principal objects of the Act are:
to promote and improve gender equality (including equal
remuneration between women and men) in employment and in the
to support the employers to remove barriers to the full and
equal participation of women in the workplace, in recognition of
the disadvantaged position of women in relation to employment
to promote, amongst employers, the elimination of
discrimination on the basis of gender in relation to employment
matters (including in relation to family and caring
to foster workplace consultation between employers and
employees and issues concerning gender equality in employment and
in the workplace; and
to improve the productivity and competitiveness of Australian
business through the advancement of gender equality in employment
and in the workplace.
In light of the amended Act, the Equal Opportunity For Women In
The Workplace Agency will be renamed the Workplace Gender Equality
Agency, with its primary function being to advise and assist
employers in promoting gender equality in the workplace.
The Bill also introduces a new reporting framework including
where relevant employers will be required to report against matters
specific to gender equality:
gender composition of the workforce;
gender composition of governing bodies of relevant
equal remuneration between women and men;
availability and utility of employment terms, conditions and
practices relating to flexible working arrangements for employees
and to working arrangements supporting employees with family or
consultation with employees on issues concerning gender
equality in the workplace; and
any other matters specified in any instrument made by the
Organisations with fewer than 100 employees are not required to
report, although they will be able to access the assistance of the
Workplace Gender Equality Agency.
The inclusion of men in the amended legislation brings with it a
new era for equal employment opportunity, recognising that equal
remuneration, family and carer responsibilities are issues for both
women and men alike.
Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide
commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon
as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular
transactions or on matters of interest arising from this bulletin.
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