WGEA statement on passage of Respect At Work Bill

Passage of Respect at Work Bill legislates federal public sector gender equality reporting

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) welcomes the passage of the Anti-Discrimination and Human Rights Legislation Amendment (Respect at Work) Bill 2022 today. 

The Respect@Work Report from Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins was a call to action for governments, businesses and the community to more effectively prevent and address workplace sexual harassment. 

The passage of the Respect at Work Bill implements seven recommendations from the Report, including to amend the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 to require federal public sector agencies to report to WGEA.

WGEA Director Mary Wooldridge said the new legislation will enhance the Agency’s world-leading dataset.

“These reforms will expand the Agency’s remit to include more than 200,000 Australians who are employed by the Commonwealth government,” Ms Wooldridge said.

“The new legislation will provide gender equality workplace insights for federal agencies and enable detailed comparisons for the first time, within the federal public sector and between public and private sector employers.

“As a result of the passage of the Bill, mandatory reporting by the federal public sector will be required in 2023. 

“In preparation, WGEA has worked with the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) to firstly pilot, and then undertake, a program of voluntary public sector reporting to the Agency. More than 50 federal agencies participated in the voluntary reporting program this year.

“We look forward to working with the APSC, Australian Public Service agencies and Corporate Commonwealth Entities and Companies, to implement this important reform to the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012.”

Media Contact: 

Emma Manser

Media & Communications Manager

M 0437 225 386 | E emma.manser@wgea.gov.au 

 WGEA is federal government agency created by legislation to promote and improve gender equality in Australian workplaces.

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