If your organisation has 100 or more employees in Australia, it is required to lodge its annual Gender Equality Report by 31 May 2016 with the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (Agency) to cover the reporting period from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016.
It’s time for your organisation to get its data in order to report on:
- gender composition of the workforce;
- equal remuneration between women and men;
- working arrangements for employees and working arrangements supporting employees with family or caring responsibilities;
- number of appointments made during the reporting period by gender and manager/non-manager;
- number of promotions awarded during the reporting period by gender, employment status and manager/non-manager;
- number of resignations during the reporting period by gender, employment status and manager/non-manager; and
- number of employees who, during the reporting period, ceased employment during, or at the end of, a period of parental leave (including where the parental leave is taken continuously with any other leave type, for example a person may utilise paid parental leave, annual leave and unpaid leave during a single block of 'parental leave').
Businesses reporting for the first time
If your organisation is reporting for the first time and commencing a journey towards gender equality in the workplace, there are a number of matters that you may wish to consider:
- What does the organisation already have in place in terms of recruitment, retention, remuneration, benefits, training, promotion and succession planning. Does it have a gender gap in these areas? If so, consider steps to take so that the business is in a stronger position in 12 months time.
- What policies are in place that support gender equality?
- What policies are in place to support employees with family and caring responsibilities?
Compliance with the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Act)
An organisation will be compliant with the Act if it takes the following steps:
- lodges a complete report on time;
- meets notification and access requirements (eg advising employees and shareholders that the report is lodged and where it can be accessed);
- has met minimum standards, if an employer of 500 or more employees;
- the report is signed by the CEO;
- the organisation complies with requests from the Agency for information; and
- the organisation does not provide misleading information.
Consequences of non-compliance
Organisations that do not comply may be named in a report to the Minister and are named on the Agency site. Non-compliant organisations can be excluded from Commonwealth funding and tenders.
Businesses with fewer than 100 employees
These “small businesses” are not required to report to the Agency. However these businesses can take the above steps to see whether there is gender inequality in the business and take steps to address it.
If you need any advice in this area, please contact THE WORKPLACE.
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