The Federal Government has tabled legislation before Parliament detailing the gender equality reporting requirements of employers.

Federal Minister for the Status of Women, Julie Collins, said that the new requirements will provide clarity for employers and are the result of an extensive consultation period.

“The reporting requirements strike the right balance as we try to drive the cultural change necessary to achieve gender equality in the workplace,” Ms Collins said.

“They substantially reflect the views expressed to Ms Schwartz during her consultations with key stakeholders, including business groups, individual employers and unions. 

“The new reporting will be simpler for employers – they will no longer be required to provide lengthy descriptions of their workplace programs.

The reporting requirements are part of the Workplace Gender Equality Act passed by the Parliament last November and apply to employers with 100 or more employees.

The new simplified system comes into effect on April 1 and enables information to be gathered against six key gender equality indicators:

  1. Gender composition of the workforce
  2. Gender composition of governing bodies of employers
  3. Equal remuneration between women and men - information relating to base and total remuneration data by gender and workplace profile categories
  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
  5. Consultation with employees on issues concerning gender equality in the workplace
  6. Sex-based harassment and discrimination - information on whether sex-based harassment and discrimination prevention strategies or policies are in place.

Employers will be asked in a simple yes/no format a limited number of other questions around gender equality plans and strategies under each indicator.

“Employers will be able to see what is really happening in their workplaces, compare themselves to competitors in their industry and develop strategies in their own way,” Ms Collins said.