Reporting

Changes to compliance reporting period in 2021

To ensure a smooth reporting process for all employers, the compliance reporting period will begin on Wednesday 14 April and end on 14 June 2021, commencing two weeks later than the usual start date of 1 April. This delay will ensure that all employers have adequate time to prepare for the changes to the reporting process and it will enable the Agency to take all the steps necessary to ensure you have a good first experience of the new WGEA Portal.

Whilst the reporting period has changed, you can still login to the WGEA Portal and prepare your data early (read: How do I login to the Portal? and How can I prepare early?).

Compliance Reporting

The compliance reporting program is one of three programs in the new WGEA Portal. It is a mandatory program for all ‘relevant employers’ under the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (the Act).

By submitting your report, you’re not only meeting your compliance obligations, but contributing to the Agency’s world-leading dataset on gender equality in Australian workplaces. The process can also help you identify gender equality issues and put action plans in place. If you are not a relevant employer, you may wish to see if you can participate in the new voluntary reporting program. 

When to report

In 2021, reporting has been delayed and will begin on 14 April and end on 14 June. 

Reports cover the preceding 12-month reporting period. The reporting period is the same each year, from 1 April (the previous year) to 31 March (the current year)

  • The Questionnaire and Workforce Management Statistics reflect the entire reporting period.
  • The Workplace Profile is completed by selecting a snapshot date within the reporting period.

Once submitted, organisations have a further 28 days to edit their report, in case corrections or changes are required 

     You can access the new WGEA Portal top right corner of the website, or below:

    Introduction to compliance reporting video

    Do you have any questions about the new reporting process? The Agency will be running live Reporting Q&A sessions to assist reporting organisations in preparing for the upcoming compliance report and to answer any questions you may have. These sessions will provide a brief overview of the reporting process, followed by a live Q&A with WGEA staff. It is recommended that you watch the video below prior to attending the event. You can also submit your questions prior to the Q&A session by emailing partnerships@wgea.gov.au.

    Click the links below to register for the Reporting Q&A Sessions:

    Wednesday 14 April 2- 3pm

    Wednesday 21 April 2- 3pm

    Watch our latest instructional video that covers the the key changes, concepts and components of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency’s annual Compliance Reporting Program. 

    Who needs to report

    The Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 requires non-public sector employers with 100 or more employees to submit a report to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency. This includes:

    • standalone organisations with 100 or more employees 
    • corporate structures with 100 or more employees across all entities.

    Organisations register for reporting if they:

    • are not a public sector (i.e. government) employer AND
    • have employed in total 100 or more employees for 6 months or more of a reporting period (these months do not need to be consecutive) OR
    • expect to have 100 or more employees and your organisation will stay at or above 100 employees for 6 months or more within a reporting period.

    For example, Organisation XY should select yes because they had a total employee count of:

    • 60 from April to June 2019 (3 months)
    • 110 from July to January 2019 (6 months)
    • 90 from January to March 2020 (3 months).

    There are also special considerations for organisations whose employee count dropped below 100 since last reporting to the Agency, and organisations who are in receivership or liquidation.

    Who is included in the 100 employee headcount?

    All the following employees must be counted when determining whether you meet the requirement to report:

    • full-time employees
    • part-time employees
    • casual employees
    • temporary (fixed-term) employees.

    Individual employees must be counted; do not use full-time equivalent calculations.

    The following employees should not be counted:

    • independent contractors (i.e. those not employed by the organisation or group)
    • employees of a labour hire or recruitment organisations who have been assigned to work in your organisation.

     If you are currently a relevant employer, but your employee total drops below 100, you must keep reporting until: 

    • The total falls below 80 employees for six months (these months do not have to be consecutive) during a given reporting period 
    • The entire group, if you are reporting on behalf of a corporate structure, falls below 80 employees.

    Once your employee numbers have fallen below 80 for six or more months, please advise the Agency by lodging a support request. Once this is confirmed by the Agency, you will be notified in writing.

    Complying with the Act

    You will comply with the Act if you:

    • submit an annual report with the required data on time
    • have your CEO sign the public report
    • comply with notification and access requirements
    • meet the minimum standards (for organisations with 500 or more employees)
    • give us information to review your compliance if we ask
    • do not include anything false or misleading in your report or in the extra compliance information we request.

    The Agency issues compliance letters to confirm that an organisation is compliant with its obligations under the Act. For reporting organisations, compliance letters are available to download from the online portal once an employer has been assessed as compliant. Compliance letters are 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 letter is available to download from the portal.

    If you do not demonstrate compliance you are named and may not be eligible to tender for contracts under Commonwealth and some state procurement frameworks. You may not be eligible for some Commonwealth grants or other financial help (read more). 

    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.
    • 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. Please visit the Do I need to report? article.
    • 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.

    Completing the registration form will register your organisation as a relevant organisation under the Act only when you report 100 or more employees in total.

    Steps for reporting

    1. Register your organisation

    Click on the 'Portal Login' button and then click on Register if you organisation is reporting for the first time

    2. Obtain a MyGovID

    If your organisation does not already have one, you will need to apply for a MyGovID. Visit www.abr.gov.au/mynewkey to set up your myGovID. 

    3. Login to the Portal and select 'Compliance Reporting'

    The compliance reporting program is one of three programs in the WGEA Portal. It is a mandatory program for all relevant employers under the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012. You can access your compliance report from the 'Programs' tab in the Portal. It will be listed in the 'active' menu. Click on 'Compliance Program', which should also be preceded by the current reporting period date, for example: "2021-22 Compliance Program"

    4. Create a Submission Group

    A submission group is a group of legal entities from the same corporate group that choose to or have been nominated to form a single submission group for the purpose of submitting the data to the Agency. Submission groups are a great way for corporate groups to organise their submissions however this option will not be applicable to all reporting organisations.

    5. Click on 'Go to Reporting Page'

    6. Confirm organisation details

    You will be required to confirm your organisation’s details annually as part of your organisation’s enrolment into a program. Once you click into an active program under the Programs tab, the first step is to confirm your organisation’s details. Your organisation’s details must be kept up-to-date to ensure accurate submissions, you can change your details at any time via the 'Organisation' tab in the portal. Some details are auto-generated from the Australian Business Register (ABR). Ensure your ABR records are up to date by April 1, as these are reflected in the WGEA Portal. 

    7. Complete the Reporting Questionnaire

    The Questionnaire is an online survey related to your organisation’s policies, strategies and actions on gender equality. Your answers to the Questionnaire will tell us how you meet each of the gender equality indicators (GEIs) outlined in the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012. The GEIs represent the most common areas where gender equality barriers may occur in the workplace. The Questionnaire forms one of three major components of the report that your organisation will be submitting to the Agency. 

    8. Complete the Workforce Management Statistics

    The Workforce Management Statistics is a new Excel worksheet designed to collect information about your employee movements, including appointments, promotions, resignations and parental leave. You will need to download the worksheet and complete it outside of the portal. There are two template options to complete the Workforce Management Statistics: one for Partnership organisations and one for all other types of organisations. You should choose the template that reflects your organisational structure.  When you have finished entering your data into the workforce management statistic spreadsheet/s, you will need to upload and submit in the portal.

    9. Complete the Workplace Profile

    The Workplace Profile is an Excel worksheet designed to collect information about workforce composition, salaries and remuneration. There are two types of Workplace Profile worksheets to choose between when completing your Reporting Program: Base unit level or Payroll aligned. You may choose whichever template better suits your needs. When you have finished entering your data into the workplace profile spreadsheet, you will need to upload and submit it in the portal.

    10. Fix any data anomalies

    Once you have uploaded your data and after system checks have been completed, under the 'Issues' column within the submission overview, you will see a status of ‘no issues’ or ‘issues found’ for each uploaded file. If your file has ‘issues found’ you will have a link to a page with details of the issue(s), as well as clear instructions about how to fix each issue. If you leave the portal you will be notified by email once the data checks are complete and a link will be provided to the appropriate page in the secure portal. To ensure your organisation is compliant or receives certification, once you have submitted, you have 14 days to resolve any outstanding data anomalies. 

    11. Confirm CEO sign-off and agree to all Declarations and Consents

    Once you have completed the core components of the compliance program, you will have the option to generate your CEO Summary Report. Your CEO/head of business must approve and sign the CEO Summary Report in order for you to finalise your submission. To submit the final report, your CEO/ head of business will also need to approve and confirm the final declarations

    12. Submit your report

    Once any data errors have been corrected, you can click on the 'submit' button to officially lodge your compliance report. Once the report has been submitted, employers can access any active submission from the 'Programs' tab in the portal.

    13. Download, share and analyse your report

    Once you have completed reporting, you will be able to access a number of reports in the ‘Data and Insights’ tab of the Portal. This includes public reports that you must share according to the Act’s notification and access requirements. You will also be able to benchmark your gender equality performance over time and against your competitors.

    Data quality checking

    In the new system, data checks are conducted across the Compliance and Voluntary Reporting programs and these checks may identify ‘data anomalies’. A data anomaly is where the data provided is either incorrect or is unusual/unexpected for the particular question.

    The Agency is committed to the highest possible data quality to ensure the appropriate use for its intended purpose under the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Act).

    Data checks are conducted to minimise data anomalies. Anomalies may occur when a respondent does not understand the requirements of their submission or unintentionally provides incorrect answers.

    In the new system there are three statuses for data anomalies:

    • ERROR - you must fix the data and re-upload the file.
    • WARNING - you must provide a reason for the data provided.
    • NOTIFICATION - you must confirm that the data entered is intentional. 

    Data validations now occur in ‘near’ real-time and are triggered before the report is submitted. The data validation checks are also more robust than ever before. Data validation checks are conducted as each section of the programs are submitted (section checks) and checks will also be completed after all sections are completed (cross-section checks).

    Resolving data anomalies

    After system checks have been completed you will see a status of ‘no issues’ or ‘issues found’ for each uploaded file. If your file has ‘issues found’ you will have a link to a page with details of the issue(s), as well as clear instructions about how to fix each issue.

    If you leave the portal you will be notified by email once the data checks are complete and a link will be provided to the appropriate page in the secure portal.

    To ensure your organisation is compliant or receives certification, once you have submitted, you have 14 days to resolve any outstanding data anomalies (Read: Can I make changes after submitting my report?).

    Data you will need to report

    In order to complete your report, you will need access to the following information and data points:

    Organisation details

    Questionnaire

    You will need details about your organisation’s policies and strategies covering:

    • Workforce composition: You will be asked to indicate whether your organisation has a ‘policy’ and/or a ‘strategy’ in place that supports  gender equality in each of eight key areas, and overall.
    • Governing bodies: You will be asked to specify the type of body, the gender of the Chair and other members, whether you have a formal selection policy and/or strategy, and whether you have set a target for the representation of women. (Read: What is a governing body? )
    • Gender pay gaps: You will be asked about the policies and strategies your organisation has in place related to remuneration, and whether these include specific objectives related to gender pay equity. (Read:What is gender pay equity?
    • Employer action on pay equity: You will be asked about the actions your organisation has taken in relation to gender pay equity, including whether you have conducted a pay gap analysis and took any actions as a result. (Read: What is a gender pay gap analysis?)
    • Employee consultation: You will be asked if and how you have consulted employees about gender equality issues in your workplace. (Read: What is good employee consultation?)
    • Flexible working: You will be asked about the flexible work arrangements in your organisation, including any formal policies and strategies as well as specific flexible working options that are available. (What is flexible work)
    • Paid parental leave: You will be asked about the employer-funded paid parental leave arrangements available to primary and secondary carers in your organisation. (Read: What is employer-funded paid parental leave? )
    • Support for carers: You will be asked how your organisation supports employees with family or caring responsibilities, including through formal policies and strategies as well as other specific support mechanisms. (Read: How can we support carers? )
    • Sex-based harassment and discrimination: You will be asked about the measures your organisation has in place related to sex-based harassment and discrimination, including formal policies/strategies, grievance processes, and training. (Read: What is sex-based harassment and discrimination?)
    • Family or domestic violence: You will be asked how your organisation supports employees experiencing family or domestic violence, including through formal policies and strategies as well as other specific support mechanisms. (Read: What is domestic and family violence?)

    Workforce Management Statistics

    You will need to report how many employees in this period: 

    Workplace Profile (base unit level)

    Workplace Profile (payroll aligned)

    Voluntary reporting

    The Voluntary Reporting Program is a new program that enables public sector organisations to report to the Agency on a voluntary basis.

    Previously, only non-public sector organisations reported to the Agency under the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012. This is known as the Compliance Reporting Program and is mandatory for all non-public sector organisations with 100 or more employees.

    Who is eligible for certification?

    Currently, the Voluntary Reporting Program is available to all public sector organisations that are employing entities.

    For public sector organisations with 500 or more employees, a set of minimum standards apply. (Read: What are the minimum standards for organisations with over 500 employees? )

    In future, this program may be extended to include other organisations that are not currently required to report under the Compliance Reporting Program, such as small and medium sizes enterprises (with less than the required threshold of 100 or more employees).

    Why voluntarily report?

    The Voluntary Reporting Program enables public sector organisations to better understand and track their progress against key metrics of workplace gender equality over time and benchmark their performance against other organisations in their industry. The process can also help you identify gender equality issues and put action plans in place.

    Research shows there are a range of benefits of addressing workplace gender equality, including:

    • improved national productivity and economic growth
    • increased organisational performance 
    • enhanced ability to attract talent and retain employees 
    • enhanced reputation.

    The Voluntary Reporting Program also contributes to the Agency’s world-leading dataset, helping us to build a clearer picture of the state of gender equality across Australian workplaces, beyond the private sector.

    What does it involve?

    The Voluntary Reporting Program is modelled off the Compliance Reporting Program. Its core data components are the:

    • Questionnaire: a simple, online survey related to your organisation’s specific policies, strategies and actions on gender equality; 
    • Workforce management statistics: an Excel worksheet designed to collect information about your employee movements, including appointments, promotions, resignations and parental leave; 
    • Workplace profile: an Excel worksheet designed to collect information about workforce composition, salaries and remuneration. 

    To submit the final report, the Secretary/ Director/ Commissioner (or equivalent) or your organisation or cluster will need to approve and sign the summary report generated and confirm the final declarations.

    The Agency will conduct data validation checks for any data anomalies before notifying organisations of their official certification.