Get ready: Govt plans to publish gender pay gaps

New reforms push for transparency from employers to accelerate gender equality

Get ready: Govt plans to publish gender pay gaps

The Australian government is introducing new legislation that will publish data on employers' gender pay gaps to boost transparency and gender equality in the workplace.

Under the proposed law, which was introduced in Parliament on Wednesday, employers with over 100 employees will have their gender pay gaps published on the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) website.

The bill will also make it easier for employers to report gender pay gaps to governing bodies.

Minister for Women Katy Gallagher said this level of transparency will encourage organisations to take action and close the existing gender pay gaps in their workplaces.

Australia's gender pay gap stalled at 22.8% in 2022, with women earning an average of $26,600 less than men, according to WGEA.

26 years to close gap

This pay gap is holding the economy back with $51.8 billion annually lost when it comes to women's pay, said Gallagher.

"On current projections it will take another 26 years to close the gender pay gap," she said in a statement. "Women have waited long enough for the pay gap to close – let's not wait another quarter of a century."

The new bill builds on the recommendations made by WGEA on its review of the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012.

"This bill progresses the implementation, either in part or in full, of almost all of the recommendations in the WGEA Review requiring legislative amendment," the agency said in a statement.

WGEA director Mary Wooldridge said the legislation is a "significant step forward for gender equality and ensuring workplaces are fair and equal."

"These amendments will boost transparency, accountability and spur action to accelerate progress on gender equality in workplaces," Wooldridge said. "WGEA is committed to working with the government to ensure the remaining recommendations from the WGEA Review are progressed and that key stakeholders are heard along on this journey of change."

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