1. Program overview

The Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Cth) (the Act) requires non-public sector employers that employ 100 or more employees in total to register for the Gender Equality Reporting program and submit data to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA, The Agency) annually.

The annual submission consists of:

  • an online questionnaire related to your organisation’s policies, strategies, and actions on gender equality
  • two excel worksheets designed to collect information about workforce composition; salaries and remuneration; and employee appointments, promotions, resignations, and parental leave.

Submissions are made in the WGEA Portal during the two-month submission period: 1 April to 31 May

Complying with the Act

An employer will comply with the Workplace Gender Equality Act if they:

  • Submit an annual report with all mandatory data before the submission deadline
  • Have your CEO or Agency/Department head (or equivalent) review and approve the submission
  • Provide information to review an employer compliance if we ask
  • Do not include anything false or misleading in the report or in the extra compliance information we request.
  • Comply with notification and access requirements
  • If your organisation or corporate group employs 500 or more employees, your organisation’s compliance is also subject to the Minimum Standards.

We can review your organisation’s compliance with the Act:

  • By asking for more information
  • Reviewing randomly selected reports
  • After assessing comments their organisation’s employees or employee organisations have made.

Note on legislative changes:

The Workplace Gender Equality (Matters in relation to Gender Equality Indicators) Instrument 2013 (No.1) and Workplace Gender Equality (Minimum Standards) Instrument 2014 have been remade.

  • The new Legislative Instruments are the Workplace Gender Equality (Gender Equality Standards) Instrument 2023 and the Workplace Gender Equality (Matters in relation to Gender Equality Indicators) Instrument 2023.
  • Whilst the remade Legislative Instruments took effect on 6 February 2023, these changes require employers have a 12-month notice period.
  • This means changes implemented by amendments to the Legislative Instruments will not be mandatory in 2023 reporting.
  • The terms of the 2013 and 2014 instruments will continue to apply to the current reporting period (for reports submitted in 2023).

The information below relates to data and information to be submitted for reporting in 2023. Full detail of the legislative changes are available on the WGEA website ‘WGEA Reforms: A roadmap to closing the gender pay gap’.

Showing compliance

The Agency issues compliance certificates to confirm that an employer is compliant with its obligations under the Act for a particular reporting year.

  • Compliance certificates are available to download from the online portal once an employer has been assessed as compliant and are usually issued 28 days after the organisation has submitted a fully compliant report (there must be no outstanding data quality items to be addressed).
  • Employers will receive an email informing them when their compliance certificate is available to download from the online WGEA Portal.

Tendering for government contracts

Organisations tendering for government contracts may need to satisfy a requirement to be compliant with the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012.

For organisations that have reported 

  • Your compliance letter fulfils this requirement, a copy of your most recent letter can be downloaded from the 'Data and Insights' tab within the Portal.

For non-public sector organisations with 100 or more employees who are not registered with the Agency

  • You will need to register to be issued with a letter stating that you are compliant. Complete a registration form on the login page of the WGEA Portal to be issued with a letter that can be used for tender requests, this may take 1-2 business days to process.

For organisations that are not required to report as they have less than 100 employees across their entire structure

  • Please complete the registration form on the login page of the WGEA Portal. The Agency will use the details provided in the registration form to issue your organisation with a tender letter, this may take 1-2 business days to process.

What if an employer does not comply?

The Act outlines an employer’s obligations as well as consequences for non-compliance. If an employer does not demonstrate compliance:

  • We can name an employer in a report to the Minister that is tabled in both Houses of Parliament.
  • We can name an employer publicly by electronic or other means.
  • An employer may not be eligible to tender for contracts under Commonwealth and some state procurement frameworks and may not be eligible for some Commonwealth grants or other financial help.

If an employer is notified of non-compliance, they can submit a late compliant report via the employer Portal to be issued with a compliance certificate.

Visit this page to view step by step instructions on the reporting process. 

Visit this page for information on the Minimum Standards for employers with 500 or more employees.

Visit this page to learn more about how to register on the WGEA Portal.