Important News

Workplace gender equality reporting underway

4 April 2016


Workplace gender equality reporting underway

Michael Starkey, Associate

With the beginning of April comes reporting season under the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Cth). Relevant employers have until 31 May 2016 to submit their reports, and this year brings a number of changes to reporting requirements.

Do I have to report?

All private sector employers who have employed 100 or more employees in Australia for any six months during the reporting period 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016 are required to submit a report to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (the “WGEA”).

All full-time, part-time and casual employees must be included in an organisation’s count of its employees, but from this year, independent contractors do not.

Changes to reporting requirements

From this year, relevant employers are no longer required to report remuneration data for their:

  • CEO;
  • managers more senior than the CEO and who report to a person overseas; and
  • managers employed on a casual basis.

However, there are new requirements for relevant employers to report on:

  • the number of appointments made, by gender and manager/non-manager status;
  • the number of promotions and resignations, by gender, employment status and manager/non-manager status; and
  • the number of employees who ceased employment at the end of a period of parental leave, by manager/non-manager status.

The WGEA hopes that this new data will “shine a light on drivers of workplace discrimination that ultimately lead to unbalanced outcomes for women such as gender pay gaps and a lack of women in management”.

Strategies for increasing women’s workplace participation

While data reporting and analysis is undoubtedly important, organisations should also consider more practical strategies they might implement to help improve gender diversity in the workplace. Such strategies might include:

  • leading from the top: senior leaders should articulate a clear vision for gender diversity, and organisations should adopt that vision in formal policies;
  • implementing flexible work practices: if feasible, allowing employees to work reduced or altered spread hours, or to work from home, can help increase the workplace participation of individuals with family or caring responsibilities; or
  • establishing recruitment targets for women: while strict quotas have the potential to be arbitrary, organisations may consider establishing recruitment targets (and analysing why they are not met if that turns out to be the case) to help overcome structural discrimination.

For help implementing strategies like these in your workplace, or for assistance meeting your reporting obligations, contact one of the PCS Team today.

Posted in Strategic HR Consulting.
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