Are you up to speed with new gender reporting rules?

by Iain Hopkins21 Mar 2013

From April 1 the requirements of the new Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 Act will be fully operational, and there are a number of changes employers must be aware of and ready to implement.

Employers with 100 or more employees will be required to report on more than 50 topics under six critical areas of workplace gender equality, called gender equality indicators (GEIs):

  1. The gender composition of the workforce

  2. The gender composition of governing bodies of relevant employers – the term ‘governing body’ is broad, and means a board of directors, trustees, committee of management, council or other governing authority of the employer.

  3. Equal remuneration between women and men

  4. The 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 caring responsibilities

  5. Consultation with employees on issues concerning gender equality in the workplace

  6. Any other matters specified by the Minister in a legislative instrument

    Under this indicator, the Minister has the flexibility through a legislative instrument to specify other gender equality matters. These may relate to the updated employment matters, which reflect areas of historical disadvantage experienced by women in the workplace and are defined as:
     
  • the recruitment procedure and selection criteria, for appointment or engagement of persons as employees

  • the promotion, transfer and termination of employment of employees

  • training and development for employees

  • work organisation including flexible working arrangements

  • conditions of service of employees including equal remuneration between women and men

  • arrangements for dealing with sex-based harassment of employees in the workplace arrangements for dealing with pregnant, or potentially pregnant employees and employees who are breastfeeding their children

  • arrangements relating to employees with family or caring responsibilities.

According to the parliamentary announcement by federal status of women minister Julie Collins late last month, the new reporting obligations aim to provide employers with the information to better understand the gender equality characteristics of their workplaces and at an aggregate level “inform policy development and provide an improved understanding of the experiences of women and men in Australian workplaces”, Collins said. She added that for the first time, the reports will contain actual data including the number of women and men in a workplace, what roles they fill and how much they are paid. “These are the things that really count in terms of measuring the experiences of women and men in Australian workplaces,” Collins said.

Key HR Takeaway

The consequences of failing to meet the new obligations are serious for some employers - in addition to being “named and shamed” by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, those who fail to report are barred from tendering for federal government work and some state government projects, and will not be eligible for some Commonwealth government grants.

COMMENTS

  • by Scott 21/03/2013 4:30:51 PM

    I thought they changed this?
    Taken from the Public Report Form 2012-2013.
    "For the 2012-13 reporting period, as part of the transition to the new WGE Act, reporting requirements have been reduced. Accordingly, in 2013 relevant employers are not required to complete the report form containing questions on the six steps of a workplace program as required under the previous EOWW Act.

    In summary, it comprises:
    1) a workplace profile (set out in the same format as under the EOWW Act, but with no salary data required)
    2) confirmation by employers that they will comply with the new notification and access requirements (refer below)."

    Can anyone confirm which reporting method? I'm going by what their form is implying.

  • by Ann 22/03/2013 9:40:27 AM

    The 2012-13 is as Scott says above as a "transition" to the new system _ one easy year.
    Next year there will be full reporting (plus salary data) with a new online form and the GEIs will apply.It is suppose to be easier than the previous format.
    2014-15 will be as above plus the minimum standards (yet to be legislated) will also apply.
    The WGEA are holding workshops about the new system. Not sure if there are any more but are worth going to get your head around the changes.Check out their website for more compliance information

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