From 2024, the gender pay gap for organisations with a workforce of 100 or more employees is going to be on the public record.
The change is the result of amendments to the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 passed by Federal Parliament in March 2023. Employers are encouraged to read about these changes in our extensive guide to the understanding the WGEA reforms as they include additional requirements for employers starting from late 2023.
The process of publishing employer gender pay gaps will happen in stages, due to the way the legislation was designed. This website page contains all the details about how and when WGEA will publish employer gender pay gaps.
You can use the content menu on the left-hand side of this page to skip ahead to any specific questions you may have.
When will WGEA publish employer gender pay gaps?
WGEA will publish the first set of private sector employer gender pay gaps in early 2024. This will cover 1 April 2022 - 31 March 2023 reporting.
As private and public sector organisations follow different reporting timelines, the first release of Commonwealth public sector organisation’s gender pay gaps will be published in late 2024 or early 2025. Data for Commonwealth public sector organisations will be based on 1 January 2023 – 31 December 2023 reporting.
How will WGEA calculate employer gender pay gaps?
The method of calculating gender pay gaps will not change. The reforms implement changes to the way these pay gaps are presented and require WEGA to publish them.
WGEA will continue to calculate both the base salary and total remuneration gender pay gaps for employers. To ensure comparability, part-time and casual salaries are converted to full-time equivalent earnings. The total remuneration pay gap calculations include superannuation, bonuses, and other additional payments.
How will WGEA publish employer gender pay gaps?
The majority of companies reporting to WGEA are single businesses. However, a proportion are corporate groups with multiple businesses. If some or all of their businesses have similar gender equality policies and strategies these businesses can report to WGEA as a 'Submission Group'.
In early 2024 WGEA will publish the median gender pay gap for base salary and total remuneration and gender composition and average remuneration per pay quartile by submission group.
This information will all be detailed in the Executive Summary.
What will be published in the first release?
For the first release of private sector employer gender pay gaps in early 2024, WGEA will publish employer gender pay gaps by median as well as the gender composition and average remuneration per pay quartile.
Employers, please note - the gender pay gap you received in your Reporting Overview was your average total remuneration gender pay gap. This gender pay gap will not be published in early 2024. See below for what will be published.
Median gender pay gap
The individual employer’s median gender pay gap will be expressed as the percentage difference between women’s and men’s earnings at an organisation.
The median describes the figure in the middle of the dataset. Identifying the middle of the dataset assists in accounting for outliers, which can occur with CEO remuneration, for example.
Gender composition and average remuneration per pay quartile
WGEA will publish the proportion of women and men and the average total remuneration for each pay quartile as shown below.
Why won't employer gender pay gaps by average be part of the first release in early 2024?
These reforms make it mandatory for employers to report CEO, head of business and casual manager remuneration. However, this change requires employers to be given a one-year notice period.
This means WGEA will not be able to include this data in the calculations for the first release of private sector employer gender pay gaps.
CEO remuneration has a meaningful impact on the average gender pay gap calculation but is insignificant for median calculations. Therefore, to ensure future comparability, WGEA will publish the first set of employer gender pay gaps only by median.
When will WGEA publish average employer gender pay gaps?
In the second release of gender pay gaps, after CEO, head of business and casual manager remuneration data can be included in the dataset – WGEA will publish employer gender pay gaps by average as well as median.
Average gender pay gap
The individual employer’s average gender pay gap will be expressed as the percentage difference between women’s and men’s earnings at an organisation.
Check your knowledge
Do I need to supply more data to WGEA to calculate my gender pay gap?
Publishing employer gender pay gaps will draw on existing reporting data, so employers will not need to provide additional information to WGEA.
What time period will the WGEA employer gender pay gaps cover?
WGEA’s employer gender pay gaps will be based on data supplied by employers in their Gender Equality Reporting. The Gender Equality Reporting period covers 1 April to 31 March.
For the first release of employer gender pay gaps in early 2024, the Gender Equality Report will cover the period from April 1, 2022, to March 31, 2023.
For this reason, an employer’s self-calculated, and sometimes published, gender pay gap may differ from the gender pay gap published by WGEA. The employer may be using different data timeframes or different calculation methodologies.
Will employers be given advanced notice of their gender pay gap?
Employers will be informed of their organisational gender pay gap well in advance of it being made public. To ensure the release of this information is a carefully managed process, WGEA will continue to work with employers throughout 2023 and beyond as they prepare for the changes.
I pay my workers the same pay for the same role, so why do I have a gender pay gap?
The gender pay gap is the difference in average earnings between women and men in the workforce. It is not to be confused with women and men being paid the same for the same, or comparable, job - this is equal pay.
Across all industries in Australia, women are earning on average less than men.
On average, for every $1 men earn in Australia, women make 77 cents.
Currently at 22.8%, the gender pay gap in Australia is a persistent and pervasive issue that undermines women’s earnings.
Can I explain my gender pay gap or provide context?
We understand that external or internal factors influence the results of an employer’s gender pay gap. So, while the gender pay gap is a proxy for gender equality, it may not provide a complete picture of an organisation’s commitment to it.
For this reason, employers will have the opportunity to provide a statement that gives context to their gender pay gap results and outlines their plans for action.
This could be a Gender Equality Strategy or action plan. WGEA will also provide a template to help guide employers in what could be included in their statement. Instructions for how and when employer's statements can be uploaded to the WGEA website will also be provided shortly.
In the UK, employers are required to calculate their hourly gender pay gap, percentage of women in each pay quarter and bonus pay gap, which the government publishes online. Each employer can also provide an explanatory statement.
Employers can look at the UK’s gender pay publishing to see how reporting can look and what employers say in their statements. Search for a company on this website, click “view report” then “what this employer says about their gender pay gap” to read the employer statements.
Why is WGEA publishing gender pay gaps now?
Publishing employer gender pay gaps is a legal requirement under the Workplace Gender Equality Amendment (Closing the Gender Pay Gap) Act 2023.
The reforms included in this Act were designed to encourage employers to deploy and drive workplace policies, practices and environments that support gender equality, creating meaningful shifts in Australian working life.
International experience has shown that publishing employer gender pay gaps can lead companies to prioritise gender equality and to a lowering of employer gender pay gaps. In the UK, research indicates it motivated some employers to narrow the wage gap between men and women.
What can my organisation do?
All organisations need to be actively working to understand and address their gender pay gaps.
We know that diversity makes for high-performing workplaces. When organisations champion inclusion, including for women, they see improved productivity, increased employee retention and heightened creativity.
The first step in improving your gender pay gap is to conduct your own gender pay gap analysis and understand the drivers of the gender pay gap.
With this information, you will be armed to make the changes that are right for your organisation. Organisations are well placed to rethink and reform traditional norms and are usually rewarded for showing leadership and innovation within their industries.
Get future ready. Be proactive about what your organisation is doing to create equal opportunities for all employees and authorise a work environment that prioritises gender quality as a core part of your business strategy and approach.
Use the resources below to help you improve gender equality in your workplace.
WGEA Gender Pay Gap Resources
This guide will help you understand what the gender pay gap is, and what it isn't.
Find out how to design, implement and review changes to your workplace that will improve gender equality.