Data Quality Declaration

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (Agency) is committed to the highest possible data quality to ensure the appropriate use for its intended purpose under the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Act).

Data Governance is a key driver of the Agency’s approach to data management. The Data Governance Committee (DGC) oversees the people, processes and information technology required to create consistent and appropriate handling of data and understanding of information across the Agency.

Institutional environment

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (Agency) is an Australian Government statutory authority that promotes gender equality in the workplace through research, analysis, and educational programs. The Agency was established by the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Act). The Agency is responsible for collecting data related to the gender equality indicators as specified by the Act and the Minister through a legislative instrument, Workplace Gender Equality (Matters in relation to Gender Equality Indicators) Instrument 2013 (No. 1).  

Remuneration data

Under the Act, the Agency must ensure that all remuneration data provided to the WGEA is kept strictly confidential. The Agency has employed several methods to ensure that no remuneration data for any individual or organisation is identifiable. These include:

  • Remuneration data are excluded from public reports
  • The results of gender pay gap calculations are presented only as percentages for benchmarking purposes
  • The number of organisations in the comparison group is always at least five for benchmarking purposes
  • CEO remuneration data is not presented in any of the data products
  • The security of the Agency’s Information Communication and Technology (ICT) systems is managed in accordance with the Australian Government Protective Security Framework and the Information Security Manual
  • Data submitted to the Agency is managed in accordance with the Agency’s Data Quality Framework
  • Only authorised Agency personnel have access to any of the remuneration data and section 14 of the Act provides strict controls over the dissemination of this information.

Relevance

The data collected from relevant employers measures their outcomes against the gender equality indicators. The gender equality indicators are:

  • GEI 1: Gender composition of workforce
  • GEI 2: Gender composition of governing bodies of relevant employers
  • GEI 3: Equal remuneration against women
  • GEI 4: 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
  • GEI 5: Consultation with employees on issues concerning gender equality in the workplace
  • GEI 6: Sex based harassment and discrimination

Relevant employers are employers with 100 or more employees (including employees in subsidiaries) in Australia and registered higher education providers that is an employer. Public sector employers are not relevant employers. Employers that had a relevant employer status for less than six months of a reporting period are not required to submit their data.

The data covers full-time, part-time, casual, and temporary employees of relevant employers. Independent contractors are not included in the submissions.

Relevant employers are classified by industry as per the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) framework. If a relevant employer operates in multiple industries, the ANZSIC classification would reflect their main business activity.

Employee data is categorised into non-managers and managers groups. Non-managers are classified according to the major group of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) framework. An additional category ‘others’ refers to roles that are highly specialised and unable to be classified under the ANZSCO nomenclature. Managers are classified into Agency specific categories, which are not covered by the ANZSCO nomenclature.

Timeliness

The data collection period commences on 1 April and ends on 31 May for each reporting year.
The reporting period for each collection is the preceding 12-month period (1 April of the previous year up to 31 March of the reporting year).

The workforce profile is a snapshot of the relevant employer’s workforce. The snapshot date is any date during the reporting period.

The remuneration data covers the consecutive 12 months before the snapshot date or the financial year that ends during the reporting period.

Responses to the questionnaire must all relate to the reporting period.

The Agency implements an operational data cut-off date. Relevant employers that have not submitted a report or have unresolved data anomalies by the cut-off date are excluded from the dataset. The operational cut-off date occurs in early September of the reporting year.

Refer to the Data Quality Report for the cut-off and release dates implemented for a specific reporting year.

Accuracy

Data is submitted through an online portal. All submissions undergo a series of data quality checks. The main type of errors detected are:  

  • Respondent error – this occurs when the respondent for the relevant employer does not understand the requirements of the profile and questionnaire. The respondent might also unintentionally provide incorrect answers to the questionnaire or workplace profile.
  • Processing error – technical or system issues could occur at the data collection stage, particularly at peak submission periods.
  • Partial response – not all items in the questionnaire are mandatory. This carries the risk of involuntary non-responses.
  • Undercount – this occurs when a relevant employer has not been identified by the Agency as a relevant employer for the reporting year.

To minimise errors, the Agency provides support and online resources to assist relevant employers in completing their profile and questionnaire. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of each relevant employer is required to sign the completed submission.

WGEA’s automated data quality checks test the submission of each employer for consistency. Supplementary data quality checks test the dataset for reliability over time and against other data sources, such as the ABS workforce statistics.

The Agency will notify the relevant employer if data anomalies are detected in their submission. The relevant employer has 28 days to review and amend the anomalies. Relevant employers that have not resolved their anomalies by the operational cut-off date are excluded from the dataset.

Refer to the Data Quality Report for information regarding the data collection process, data coverage and limitations for a specific reporting year.

The workforce profile and questionnaire may be amended to comply with legislative instruments or to capture gender equity matters that are of significance to the wider community.

Coherence

The Agency has collected data in a standardised workforce profile and questionnaire format since the 2013–14 reporting period.

Previous amendments to the workforce profile and questionnaire have included changes to data item definitions and classifications. The metadata registry documents the historical changes to the Agency's data items and definitions and classifications. The Agency notes amendments and its impact on trend statistics in its publications. Changes are further detailed in the Knowledge Hub.

The Agency may use the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) full-time adult average weekly ordinary time earnings trend series from the Australian Weekly Earnings (AWE) survey to calculate the gender pay gap on a biannual basis.

The main difference between the ABS and the Agency data are:

  • The ABS data reflects weekly ordinary time earnings before tax.
  • The ABS data does not include overtime, bonuses, superannuation, junior and part-time employees, and has historically excluded salary sacrificed amounts.
  • The reference period for the ABS data is the last pay period ending on or before the third Friday of the middle month of the reference quarter. For fortnightly and monthly pay periods, the employer reports only one week’s proportion.
  • The ABS data is a sample survey of employers selected from the ABS Business Register (ABSBR) which is primarily based on registrations to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Pay As You Go Withholding (PAYGW) scheme.
  • The Agency’s own data collection is a census rather than a survey. A census collects data about every member of the working population.

Refer to the Data Quality Report for information regarding longitudinal consistency.

Interpretability

The metadata registry, Knowledge Hub and the definitions section below describes the concepts and terminology used by the Agency in its publications. 

Accessibility

The data is available on the Data Explorer. The Data Explorer provides an interactive, online visualisation of key statistics and trends. Users can download the data in excel format on the site.

Relevant employers that are included in the dataset receive a competitor analysis benchmark report for the reporting year. The relevant employer can access the PDF report in a secure online portal.

Datasets are available in excel format on data.gov.au.

All reports submitted by relevant employers, including those that completed their submissions or resolved their data anomalies after the operational cut-off date, are available on the Public Reports page.

Users can request customised versions of the dataset by sending a request form.

 

Definitions of key terms in the workplace profile 

Employment status

Employment status refers to the nature of employment: full-time, part-time, permanent, contract, or casual.

The table below provides definitions for each of these terms.

Employment status

     Definition

Full-time

  • Employees who are engaged to work a minimum number of hours per week defined as full-time by your specific organisation. Hours are reasonably predictable with a guaranteed number of hours of work per week.

Part-time

  • Employees who are engaged to work an average number of hours per week, that is, less than what constitutes full-time hours in your specific organisation. These are reasonably predictable hours with a guaranteed number of hours of work.

Permanent

  • These are employees engaged on a permanent basis either in a full-time or part-time capacity with access to permanent employment benefits and entitlements.

Contract

  • An individual employed on a fixed-term contract of service in either a full-time or part-time capacity for the purposes of paragraph (a) of the definition of ‘employer’ under the Act.
  • This also includes an individual employed as an independent contractor (contracted for services) where she or he is doing the work normally undertaken by the employer and where the organisation has the capacity to give direction regarding what work is to be done and, if required, how it should be done.

Casual

  • An employee that works on an irregular and unsystematic basis, and has little or no expectation of the continuation of work or guaranteed income and has the ability to accept and reject work as they see fit.

 

Standardised occupational categories of managers and non-managers

To facilitate the standardisation of data, relevant employers are required to classify and report on managers and non-managers against standardised occupational categories. These definitions are provided below for each category of manager and non-manager.

Managers

Category

     Definition

CEO (or equivalent)

  • The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) (or equivalent, however named) is the highest ranking corporate officer (executive) or an administrator in charge of management of an organisation. The CEO (or equivalent) is reported on separately to other key management personnel. Examples of the CEO could (depending upon the nature of the organisation) also be the managing director, general manager, managing partner, principal or vice chancellor.

Key management personnel (KMP)

  • Have authority and responsibility for planning, directing and controlling the activities of the entity, directly or indirectly, including any director (whether executive or otherwise) of that entity, in accordance with Australian Accounting Standards Board AASB124.
  • The KMP is a manager who represents at least one of the major functions of the organisation and participates in organisation-wide decisions with the CEO.

Other executives/general managers

  • An ‘other executive/general manager’ holds primary responsibility for the equivalent of a department or a business unit. In a large organisation, this manager might not participate in organisation-wide decisions with the CEO.

Senior managers

  • ‘Senior managers’ are charged with one or more defined function, department or outcome. They are more likely to be involved in a balance of strategic and operational aspects of management. Some decision making at this level would require approval from the management levels above it.  
  • ‘Senior managers’ are responsible for resourcing, a budget and assets (capital expenditure).

Other managers

  • ‘Other managers’ plan, organise, direct, control and coordinate an operational function. They usually oversee day to day operations, working within and enforcing defined company parameters.
  • An ‘other manager’ is accountable for a defined business outcome which usually involves the management of resources that also includes time management, coordination of different functions or people, financial resources, and other assets (for example facilities or IT infrastructure).
  • Line managers would be included in this category.

Non-managers

Category

     Definition

Professionals

 

  • Perform analytical, conceptual and creative tasks through the application of theoretical knowledge and experience in the fields of the arts, media, business, design, engineering, the physical and life sciences, transport, education, health, information and communication technology, the law, social sciences and social welfare.

Technicians and trades employees

 

  • Perform a variety of skilled tasks, applying broad or in-depth technical, trade or industry specific knowledge, often in support of scientific, engineering, building and manufacturing activities.

Community and personal service employees

 

  • Assist health professionals in the provision of patient care, provide information and support on a range of social welfare matters, and provide other services in the areas of aged care and childcare, education support, hospitality, defence, policing and emergency services, security, travel and tourism, fitness, sports and personal services.

Clerical and administrative employees

  • Provide support to managers, professionals and organisations by organising, storing, manipulating and retrieving information.

Sales employees

  • Sell goods, services and property, and provide sales support in areas such as operating cash registers and displaying and demonstrating goods.

Machinery operators and drivers

  • Operate machines, plant, vehicles and other equipment to perform a range of agricultural, manufacturing and construction functions, and move materials.

Labourers

  • Perform a variety of routine and repetitive physical tasks using hand and power tools, and machines either as an individual or as part of a team assisting more skilled workers such as Trades Workers, and Machinery Operators and Drivers.

Other

  • Employees whose work is not defined by above categories.

Graduate

  • Any person employed/recruited by an employer as a graduate (for example a graduate lawyer, graduate accountant etcetera). This does not refer to employees who may have a degree but who are not employed specifically as a graduate.

Apprentice

  • Any person employed by an employer as an apprentice. A trainee is not considered an apprentice so should not be included in this category.

Organisations

Concept

     Definition

Relevant employers

  • Employers with 100 or more employees in Australia

Reporting organisations

  • Relevant employers that submit reports to the Agency, sometimes on behalf of other subsidiary entities within their corporate structure