The Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Cth) imposes
obligations on relevant employers to publicly report gender-related
employment information annually.
This information must be provided to the Commonwealth Workplace
Gender Equality Agency between 1 April 2016 and 31 May
The legal framework
Through the relevant reporting framework, resulting data and
associated initiatives, the Act aims to:
promote and improve gender equality (including equal
remuneration between women and men) in employment and in the
support employers to remove barriers to the full and equal
participation of women in the workforce
promote amongst employers the elimination of gender
discrimination in employment matters (including family and caring
foster workplace consultation between employers and employees
on issues concerning gender equality in employment and the
improve the productivity and competitiveness of Australian
business through the advancement of gender equality in employment
and the workplace.
The Workplace Gender Equality (Minimum Standards) Instrument
2014 (Minimum Standards) is a mechanism that was created by,
and supplements, the Act. The Minimum Standards requires employers
to have policies and procedures in place that support and seek to
gender equality in the workplace
equal remuneration between men and women
flexible working arrangements for employees with caring
the prevention of sex-based harassment and discrimination in
Who needs to report?
Employers that are required to submit a report include higher
education providers that are employers or any employer of 100 or
more employees within Australia.
What needs to be reported?
The report takes the form of a structured, template
questionnaire prepared by the Agency. The questionnaire requests
information about the employer's workforce, including details
the number of male and female employees (generally and in
comparison of remuneration paid to males and females
the availability/use of employment terms, conditions and
practices relating to flexible working arrangements and any
arrangements that support family or caring responsibilities,
evidence of compliance with the prescribed Minimum
How to report
Reporting is to be completed online through the Agency's
In doing so, employers will need to login and submit information
via a secure portal. If an employer does not have access to the
online portal or experiences any difficulties, they should contact
AUSkey on 1300 287 539.
What are the consequences of non-compliance?
In the event that an employer fails to comply with their
obligations under the Act, they may be named in the public report
compiled by the Agency. Details of their non-compliance may also be
published online or in print media by the Agency. There is
currently a report listed online by the Agency that identifies
employers that have failed to comply with their obligations in the
previous reporting period.
Non-compliance may also render employers ineligible to tender
and gain approval to work on government contracts, and also to
obtain government grants and/or financial assistance.
Is reporting useful?
The data collected from employers as part of the reporting
process helps the Agency in compiling statistics and information on
gender equality in the workplace. It notes trends, gains and
ongoing areas of improvement in workplaces generally. It also
informs broader governmental policy and initiatives aimed at
promoting gender equality and parity.
If required by the Act, employers should complete and submit a
report to the Agency on or before 31 May 2016. Employers should
also implement or review any existing policies and procedures
directed toward gender equality and eliminating potential
discriminatory conduct to ensure these are suitable and tailored
for their workplace.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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