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New Gender Reporting Requirements Announced
The Senate has passed the Government’s workplace gender equality legislation, the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Amendment Bill 2001 (Cth). The Bill establishes a new reporting framework for employers and changes the name of the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act 1999 (Cth) to the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012.
If you employ over 100 people you will be required to comply with new reporting obligations which will be will be phased in over the next two years:
- For the 2012 to 2013 reporting period, employers are required submit a report comprising a workplace profile in the same format as under the EOWW Act. Employers must also comply with new notification and access requirements for workers, shareholders and unions.
- For the 2013 to 2014 reporting period, the requirements of the new legislation becomes fully operational. Employers must report on their compliance with "gender equity indicators" in a report signed off by their Chief Executive Officer and comply with the notification and access requirements.
- For the 2014 to 2015 reporting period, minimum standards for gender equity will apply. If an employer submits a report that does not meet a minimum standard, and does not improve against it by the end of two further reporting periods, it may be non-compliant.
Consequences for non-compliance with the reporting obligations for the new legislation remain similar to the EOWW Act. Non-compliant employers are to be named by the Agency through its annual report and other means. Non-compliant employers may be ineligible to compete for Commonwealth procurement contracts, Commonwealth grants or other financial assistance.
Although the reporting obligations are confined to employers with 100 or more workers, the new legislation applies to all employers and the Agency intends to strengthen its "information, assistance and education" services to all employers.
For details of the new gender equity legislation, see AFEI All Member Circular 122/2013.