Why do organisations focus on gender?
The benefit of having a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace has long been documented. The compulsory reporting on the Gender Pay Gap is just the first step in what is likely going to be a continuing trend globally. However most organisations are unaware of what their obligations will be, and how to stay ahead of what’s to come.
Organisations report on gender first in their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) initiatives for several reasons. Gender is relatively straightforward to measure and report compared to other diversity dimensions, such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic background, which may be more complex and considered sensitive to collect. Most organisations have easily accessible data on their employee's gender, as it is typically collected during the recruitment and onboarding process. In contrast, data on other diversity dimensions may not be consistently collected, or employees might be less inclined to disclose such information.
In many countries, there are laws and regulations that require organisations to report on gender equality, such as pay equity, representation in leadership positions, and hiring practices. Compliance with these regulations often necessitates prioritising gender-related reporting. Gender equality has been a prominent social issue for an extended period, with global movements and campaigns, such as women's suffrage and equal pay, bringing attention to the disparities between men and women. As a result, reporting on gender can help organisations demonstrate their commitment to addressing these historical inequalities. There is a growing public interest in gender-related issues and an expectation that organisations should promote gender equality in the workplace.
Since many organisations report on gender first, it is easier to compare and benchmark gender-related metrics across different organisations and industries. This can help identify best practices and drive improvements in gender equality.
What are the Gender Pay Gap legislations?
Starting from early 2024, over 4.5 million employees in Australia will be able to access information regarding their employer’s gender pay gaps due to the passage of the Workplace Gender Equality Amendment Bill 2023.
The new bill requires the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) to publish information regarding gender pay gaps in the workforce for both private and public sector employers, covering approximately 40% of the country’s workforce. This allows more information to be stored in WGEA’s records, such as employee age, workplace location, as well as CEO remuneration.
From 2024 and onwards, employees will be able to access information about how their organisation is performing when it comes to gender equality. This information is considered valuable for both employees and job-seekers who value gender-equal workplaces. It also encourages faster action on gender equality and makes workplaces safer by addressing larger issues such as sexual harassment and discrimination. Ultimately, the aim of the bill is to shape the future of workplace gender equality, allowing employees to gain a better understanding of their company's policies and priorities.
While the specific provisions of Gender Pay Gap bills may vary between countries, their common goal is to promote pay equity and reduce gender-based wage disparities. These bills often require organisations to report pay data, enforce equal pay for equal work, and implement measures to close the pay gap.
Countries such as the United Kingdom and Iceland have enacted gender pay gap legislation. For instance, the UK requires organisations with 250 or more employees to publish annual gender pay gap reports, while Iceland has implemented stringent equal pay certification processes.
To comply with the gender pay gap bill, organisations may need to adopt proactive measures to reduce pay disparities. This may include implementing unbiased recruitment and promotion practices, offering flexible work arrangements, and providing mentoring and development opportunities for female employees.
What does the Gender Pay Gap Bill mean for Australian employers?
The new bill aims to accelerate workplace gender equality in Australia, by closing current gender pay gaps and providing more transparency to employees and job-seekers. Mandatory reporting from all employers will allow WGEA to gain a better understanding of the factors influencing gender equality in Australian workplaces.
As a result, employers will be required to report on the following:
Starting in late 2023
The new legislation will require employers to mandatorily share their WGEA Executive Summary and Industry Benchmark reports to their Board.
From early 2024
Under the new legislation, WGEA will publish private sector employer gender pay gaps. The publishing of this information aims to motivate companies to prioritise gender equality and lower the overall gender pay gaps. Research has found that these amendments should encourage employers and companies to deploy and drive workplace policies, practices, and environments that support gender equality.
From April 2024
- Employers will be required to provide additional information on employees including age, primary workplace location, CEO and casual manager remuneration.
- Reporting on sexual harassment, harassment on the ground of sex or discrimination will be mandatory.
- Employers with 500 or more staff will be required to implement a policy or strategy for each of the six gender equality indicators:
- GE1 - Gender composition of the workforce
- GE2 - Gender composition of governing bodies of relevant employers
- GE3 - Equal remuneration between men and women
- GE4 - 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
- GE5 - Consultation with employees on issues concerning gender equality in the workplace
- GE6 - Sexual harassment, harassment on the ground of sex or discrimination
From late 2024 / Early 2025
WGEA will begin publishing Commonwealth public sector gender pay gaps. These reports will cover data obtained from 2022-2023, and the first publication will be made in late 2024 or early 2025. As publishing gender pay gap data will draw on current data that had been provided to WGEA confidentially, employers will not be required to provide additional information to WGEA.
How do employers report on the Gender Pay Gap Bill?
The WGEA Gender Equality Reporting program is a mandatory program for all non-public sector ‘relevant employers’ under the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012. Employers will be required to submit this report through the WGEA Portal during 1 April - 31 May 2023.
The annual submission will consist of:
- An online questionnaire related to your organisation’s policies, strategies, and actions on gender equality
- One or more excel worksheets (Workplace Profile) collecting workforce composition, and salaries and remuneration
- One or more excel worksheets (Workforce Management Statistics) collecting employee appointments, promotions, resignations, and parental leave
The offline files to prepare your data can be found below:
Single ABN (standalone) employers
Single ABN / standalone employers will be required to provide a slightly different submission. This will consist of:
- One questionnaire
- One Workforce Management Statistics sheet
- One Workplace Profile - either the unit level or STP/payroll file
Multiple ABN (corporate group) employers
Multiple ABN / corporate group employers may form submission groups to structure how they report their gender pay gap data to WGEA. The submission groups may only be formed if:
- They are part of one corporate structure
- They are enrolled to the program
- They have similar policies and strategies in each area
- The roles and responsibilities of managers of the organisations are similar
A maximum of three industry codes may be reported per submission, and each submission group must complete the same submission as single ABN / standalone employers.
Organisations with equity or non-equity partners
Organisations with equity or non-equity partners will be required to:
- Complete the partnership version of the Workforce Management Statistics sheet
- Check ‘is partnership’ on organisation record during the confirmation of the submission details in the Portal
How can Culturate help?
Culturate is a cutting-edge platform that can empower employers to effectively respond to the new legislation. By leveraging advanced analytics and data-driven insights, we provide a comprehensive solution for organisations looking to tackle gender pay gap issues and promote workplace equality.
One of Culturate’s key features is its ability to assess and analyse a company's existing pay structure, identifying any disparities between genders. By highlighting these discrepancies, employers can quickly pinpoint areas that require attention and take necessary steps to close the gaps. This level of transparency not only ensures compliance with the new legislation, but also demonstrates a commitment to fostering a fair and equitable work environment.
In addition to identifying pay disparities, Culturate offers a suite of tools designed to help employers develop and implement effective strategies for promoting gender equality. This includes tracking and monitoring the progress of various initiatives and providing actionable insights for improvement. By offering a clear roadmap for change, Culturate can guide organisations in their efforts to create a more inclusive and diverse workforce.
Culturate offers a comprehensive solution for employers seeking to respond to the Gender Pay Gap Bill effectively. With its advanced analytics, data-driven insights and suite of tools, the platform can help organisations identify pay disparities, develop and implement strategies for promoting gender equality, and communicate their progress to employees and stakeholders alike.