1. Program overview

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

The reporting program for the public sector is mandatory from 2023 for eligible federal public sector employers. The program has been designed to enable benchmarking and comparisons between public and private sectors and their employers.

The annual submission consists of:

  • an online questionnaire related to 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 September to 31 October

1.1 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 (including where an extension has been granted).
  • Have their CEO or Agency/Department head (or equivalent) review and approve the submission
  • Provide information to review an employer’s compliance if we ask
  • Do not include anything false or misleading in the report or in the extra compliance information the Agency requests.
  • Comply with notification and access requirements
  • If an employer employs 500 or more employees, the compliance is also subject to meeting a minimum standard.

We can review an employer’s compliance with the Act:

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

1.2 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 portal.

1.3 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