Gender equality reporting requirements eased

Following last year’s consultation process with employers and interest groups in relation to current impediments and opportunities for streamlining the workplace gender equality reporting process, the Minister for Employment, Senator Eric Abetz, has announced a series of reporting amendments designed to ease the reporting obligations for employers.

No changes have been made to the gender equality framework under the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Act).

Which employers are affected?

Private sector employers who employ 100 or more employees are obliged to lodge an annual report with the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) in respect of workplace statistics.

The reporting period operates from 1 April to 31 March each year and employers must lodge their report with the WGEA for the preceding period by 31 May.  There are a number of penalties that may be imposed on employers who fail to comply with their reporting obligations, including being ‘named and shamed’ in a report to parliament or in a newspaper publication.

What reporting requirements have changed and when do they take effect?  

The changes to reporting requirements announced by the Minister yesterday will commence in the 2015/16 reporting period (with employers to lodge their reports with the WGEA by 31 May 2016).

Employers will no longer be obliged to report:

  • the remuneration of Chief Executive Officers (CEO) (or equivalent),  any executive employees above the CEO or any casual managers;
  • workers engaged as independent contractors;
  • annualised average full-time components of total remuneration;
  • statistics on the number of job applications received and interviews conducted; and
  • statistics on parental leave extension requests and approvals.

However, employers will be obliged to provide data on a range of new matters for the 2015/16 reporting period, including statistics on:

  • appointments, promotions and resignations of employees; and
  • employees who cease employment following parental leave.    

Current report period

As the 2014/15 reporting period draws to an end, employers will soon commence preparing their reports for lodgement prior to the 31 May 2015 deadline. The reporting requirements for this year remain unchanged from last year.

Download a PDF version of this article: Gender equality reporting requirements eased

Any employer seeking further guidance on the reporting amendments, coverage of the Act or with completion of this year’s report, can contact:

Rohan Kux
Senior Associate
03 9611 0107
rkux@sladen.com.au

or

Louise Houlihan
Principal
03 9611 0144
lhoulihan@sladen.com.au

Sladen Legal

Sladen Legal, 707 Collins Street, Docklands, VIC, 3008