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  • Writer's pictureMargherite Walsh

Workplace Gender Equality Act Reporting Requirements for Employers

The Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Cth) (WGEA) aims to promote and improve gender equality in Australian workplaces. Under the WGEA, certain employers, referred to under the WGEA as ‘relevant employers’, are required to submit reports to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (the Agency) annually. These reports are intended to assess and monitor gender equality within Australian workplaces.


WGEA Reporting Requirements

The WGEA Gender Equality Reporting Program (the WGEA Reporting Program) is a mandatory program for all private sector ‘relevant employers’ under the WGEA.


A ‘relevant employer’ is defined as including a private sector employer who has more than 100 employees in Australia.[1]


The WGEA Reporting Program requires each relevant employer to submit an annual report, which consists of:


  1. An online questionnaire regarding your policies, strategies and actions on gender equality.

  2. One (1) or more excel worksheets providing your workplace profile. These worksheets should include data outlining your workforce composition, salaries and remuneration of employees.

  3. One (1) or more excel worksheets providing your workforce management statistics. These worksheets should include data regarding employee appointments, promotions, resignations and parental leave.

The Agency provides specific guidelines and templates to help employers complete their reports accurately and recommends that a first-time reporting employer uses the unit level file for their initial submission. Templates can be accessed at https://wgea.gov.au/reporting-guide/ge.


The reporting requirements differ depending on whether a relevant employer is a single ABN employer with no parent entity and no subsidiaries, or whether it is a corporate group with multiple ABNs across the business.


A single ABN employer is required to complete:


  1. One (1) questionnaire,

  2. One (1) workforce management statistics sheet (WMS Worksheet), and

  3. One (1) workplace profile (WPP) (either unit level or STP/payroll file).


A corporate group employer with multiple ABNs has the option to form submission groups to elect how they report their data, provided they meet certain criteria.


Relevant Deadlines

Submissions are made by employers during the two (2) month submission period which runs from 1 April to 31 May each year. The submission must be finalised on or before 31 May to ensure compliance with the WGEA.


Potential Implications of Non-Compliance with the WGEA

The consequences of failing to submit the WGEA Report by the deadline or providing false or misleading information is dealt with under section 19D of the WGEA.


The Agency can request additional information at any time and/or review submitted WGEA Reports.


Additionally, failure to comply with the WGEA requirements can result in:


  1. Being named publicly in a report to the Minister that is tabled in Parliament;

  2. Being named publicly as non-compliant by electronic or other means (for example, on the Agency’s website);

  3. Being ineligible to tender for some Government contracts, Commonwealth grants or other financial assistance.[2]


Additional Considerations

Information that is provided in a WGEA report will be made publicly available by the Agency (with any private details redacted/omitted). It is important to ensure that the data submitted is accurate and aligns with the organisation's commitment to gender equality. This is an important reputational consideration.


If you have any questions regarding reporting requirements for employers, do not hesitate to contact our team of specialist commercial lawyers at Jenkins Legal & Advisory.


This article is not legal advice, and the views and comments are of a general nature only. This article is not to be relied upon in substitution for detailed legal advice.


 

[1] Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Cth) section 3. [2] Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Cth) section 19D.




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