WGEA welcomes legislative reforms to strengthen workplace gender equality

Media Release: 8 February 2023

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) welcomes the introduction of the Workplace Gender Equality Amendment (Closing the Gender Pay Gap) Bill 2023 into Federal Parliament today.

The Minister for Women and the Government have committed to implementing all ten recommendations from the 2021 Review of the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012.

Together with the remade Legislative Instruments – Workplace Gender Equality (Matters in relation to Gender Equality Indicators) Instrument 2023 and Workplace Gender Equality (Gender Equality Standards) Instrument 2023 – this Bill progresses the implementation, either in part or in full, of almost all of the recommendations in the WGEA Review requiring legislative amendment.

The reforms include WGEA publishing employer level gender pay gaps for the first time, as well as requiring employers to provide their WGEA gender equality reports to their governing bodies. It also includes setting a new requirement for policies or strategies across gender equality drivers and refining what employers report to WGEA, including a broader range of matters relating to sexual harassment and discrimination as a result of the Respect@Work report.

Agency Director Mary Wooldridge said these reforms are a significant step forward for gender equality and ensuring workplaces are fair and equal for all Australians.

“It’s more than 10 years since the Workplace Gender Equality Act was first passed. In that time we’ve seen meaningful progress, but the rate of change is slow. These amendments will boost transparency, accountability and spur action to accelerate progress on gender equality in workplaces,” Ms Wooldridge said.

“WGEA is committed to working with the Government to ensure the remaining recommendations from the WGEA Review are progressed and that key stakeholders are heard along on this journey of change.

“The Review’s recommendations provided a roadmap to accelerating employer action on gender equality and driving meaningful improvements in experiences at work for many Australians.

“We look forward to working with the government, employers and others to implement these important reforms.”

Media contact

Media contact

Emma Manser, Media & Communications ManagerM 0437 225 386│E emma.manser@wgea.gov.au

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