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In Australia, employers have to report gender pay differences.
This article explains.
In Australia, the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Cth) (Act)
requires non-public sector employers with 100 or more employees (or
corporate structures that employ 100 or more people across all
entities within the structure) to submit a report to the Workplace
Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) each year. Compliance reporting is
completed through an online portal.
Employers are required to complete a questionnaire addressing
four gender equality indicators, one of which is action on gender
equality and contains questions relating to gender pay gaps.
Employers with 500 or more employees must meet the minimum standard
of having a policy or strategy in respect of at least one of four
of the gender equality indicators specified in the Workplace Gender
Equality (Minimum Standards) Instrument 2014 (Cth), one of which is
action on gender equality and requires the inclusion of gender pay
equity objectives within a formal remuneration policy or
Employers are also required to submit a workplace profile
reporting headcount as at an identified date within the reporting
period, along with the gender, employment status, occupational
category (including identification of graduates or apprentices),
manager category, and annualised full-time equivalent base salary
and total remuneration in respect of each (non-identified)
Finally, employers must also submit workplace management
statistics on employee movement within the reporting period, which
includes data relating to employee appointments, promotions,
resignations and parental leave.
A version of the report containing the responses to the
questionnaire and the aggregated data (excluding remuneration data)
is made publicly available.
If relevant employers do not submit the report on time and meet
the approval, notification and access requirements they are
considered non-compliant. Employers with 500 or more employers who
do not meet the minimum standards and do not improve within the
following two reporting periods are also non-compliant.
Non-compliant employers may be named in a report to the relevant
Minister of Parliament or named publically by electronic or other
means, may not be eligible to tender for contracts under
Commonwealth and some state procurement frameworks and may not be
eligible for some Commonwealth grants or other financial help.
WGEA has also recently introduced a trial voluntary reporting
scheme for public sector employers, which is modelled off the
compliance reporting scheme.
The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) provides that the Fair Work
Commission may make an equal remuneration order requiring certain
employees be provided with equal remuneration for work of equal or
comparable value. An application for such an order may be made by
an affected employee, a registered union entitled to represent an
affected employee or the Sex Discrimination Commissioner. An
employer that contravenes an equal remuneration order may be liable
for penalties, compensation or other remedies.
Federal and State anti-discrimination laws make it unlawful for
an employer to discriminate on the grounds of sex in regards to the
terms and conditions of employment provided to employees (which
includes pay and other benefits).
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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