Gender Equality Standards

The Workplace Gender Equality (Gender Equality Standards) Instrument 2023 sets the minimum gender equality standard for employers of 500 or more employees.

The Gender Equality (GE) Standard is:

  • an extra compliance requirement for relevant employers with 500 or more employees reported in the submission, and
  • the least an employer must do to show commitment to workplace gender equality and diversity.

Please note:

The requirement is for an employer to have a policy or strategy in each of the Gender Equality Indicators (GEI's) outlined in the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012:

Item

Gender equality indicator (GEI)

Objective

1

Gender composition of the workforce

Supporting gender equality in the designated relevant employer’s workplace

2

Gender composition of governing bodies of relevant employers

Supporting and achieving gender equality in the designated relevant employer’s governing body

3

Equal remuneration between women and men

In relation to employees of the designated relevant employer, ensuring equal remuneration between women and men

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

Providing effective flexible working arrangements for employees of the designated relevant employer with family or caring responsibilities

5

Consultation with employees on issues concerning gender equality in the workplace

Ensuring employees are consulted and have input on issues concerning gender equality in the designated relevant employer’s workplace

6

Sexual harassment, harassment on the ground of sex or discrimination

Prevention of, and appropriate response to, sexual harassment, harassment on the ground of sex or discrimination in the designated relevant employer’s workplace

 

    Meeting the GE Standard

    If you are a relevant employer with 500 or more employees, you must have a formal policy or strategy in each of the following areas of the Questionnaire.

    GEI

     Questions

     GE Standard to meet

    1

    Workplace Overview section

    Question 1 & 2

    You must have a formal policy or strategy to support gender equality in at least one of the nine different areas:

    • recruitment
    • retention
    • performance management
    • promotions
    • identification of talent and high potential employees
    • succession planning
    • training and development
    • gender equality KPIs for managers
    • gender equality overall.
    2

    Governing Bodies section

    Question 2

    You must have a formal policy or strategy to support gender equality in the composition of your governing body.

    There may be circumstances where employers have no control over their governing body composition. The employer may:

    • have their board positions elected by vote,
    • have a board overseas,
    • have a board with a membership-based requirement or other type of special appointment rules,
    • be an owner-operator or family business, or
    • have another acceptable reason for having no control over their board composition.

    In these cases, employers can select "No - do not have control over governing body/appointment" in response to the relevant item in the Questionnaire. This will constitute meeting GEI2 for that employer. Upon submission, this will be flagged and manually checked by a member of the WGEA team.

    3

    Action on Gender Equality section 

    Question 1

    You must have a formal policy or strategy on equal remuneration and pay equity between women and men

    • Gender pay equity is when women and men receive equal pay for work of the same or similar value
    4

    Support for Carers section 

    Question 1 

     

    You must have a formal policy and/or strategy to support employees with family and caring responsibilities. This relates to an employee’s role as the parent (biological, step, adoptive or foster), guardian or carer of:

    • a child
    • a parent
    • a spouse or domestic partner
    • a close relative
    • anyone else dependent on them for care.
    5

    Employee consultation section

    Question 2

    You must have a formal policy or formal strategy in place on consulting employees about gender equality.

    Employee consultation is a formalised way to collect information about your employees’ views on the workplace, what is working well and what could be improved.

    6

    Sexual harassment section

    Question 1

    You must have a formal policy or formal strategy on the prevention of and/or appropriate response to sexual harassment and harassment on the ground of sex or discrimination.

    The provisions in a policy and/or strategy for prevention and management of sexual harassment is important for setting workplace culture and achieving a safe, respectful and inclusive workplace.

    Guidance on developing policies and strategies for each GEI area for employers has been published.

    What if you do not meet the GE Standard?

    If you do not meet the minimum GE Standard by having a policy or strategy in place in each of these areas, you will:

    • Be notified that you did not meet the standard, and
    • have two reporting periods to meet the standard before you risk becoming non-compliant.

    If an employer fails to meet the standard after two additional reporting cycles, the employer may be deemed non-compliant.