Commenting on a relevant employer’s public report
Under the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Act), relevant employers are required to report to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) annually on a set of standardised reporting matters under six gender equality indicators. The Act provides for comments to be made to the employer or to WGEA on an employer’s report, as described below.
The Agency suggests that, in the first instance, comments on an employer’s report be made to the employer. This will enable the employer to deal with any errors or inaccuracies.
Who can make a comment to WGEA?
The Act provides for employees and employee organisations with members in an employer’s workplace to be able to comment to the employer, or to WGEA, on the employer’s report. Your employer can provide advice to you about the best way to provide comments at the workplace level. If, however, you wish to make comments to WGEA directly, you will need to complete the comments submission form.
What must comments relate to?
The Agency can only deal with matters that relate directly to an employer’s report. If you have a complaint relating to an individual case of discrimination or a similar matter, there are agencies that can help you, for example the Fair Work Ombudsman and the Australian Human Rights Commission.
On what basis will the Agency deal with comments?
Two criteria will be considered by the Agency when determining if a comment should be actioned:
1. relevance of the comment to the employer’s report
2. the degree or likelihood that the Agency dealing with the comment will result in improved accuracy or completeness of the report.
When can comments be made?
There is no time restriction on when comments can be provided. However:
- comments made to an employer within 28 days after a report has been lodged, may be taken into account by the employer in deciding if the report needs amending
- comments made to the Agency within 28 days after a report has been lodged, may be taken into account in deciding whether to request additional information from the employer as part of assessing compliance with the Act.
How to make a comment?
To enable the Agency to manage comments it receives, you will need to complete the comments submission form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Agency will not respond to comments individually other than to send an automatic reply when your email is received. Please think very carefully about whether your comment relates directly to your employer’s report or whether you have an issue that needs to be dealt with by one of the above-mentioned agencies. (If you do not have access to an email, download and complete the comments submission form and fax or post it to the Agency as detailed in the form).
What will happen to comments sent to the Agency?
The Agency will deal with comments in one or more of the following ways:
1. as part of assessing compliance with the Act, take comments into account when requesting additional information from the employer
2. take comments into account when determining if a review is to be conducted of the relevant employer’s compliance with the Act
3. decide to take no further action.
Will my details be kept confidential?
All personal information submitted on the comments submission form will be kept strictly confidential.