AGEC has made a comprehensive submission to the Review of the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012. 

The Government announced in the Women’s Budget Statement 2021-22 a review of the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012, including whether the Agency (WGEA) has appropriate powers to improve gender equality in Australian workplaces, to increase women’s workforce participation, and to eliminate gender discrimination at work. The Review is also considering what is needed for WGEA to implement the Respect@Work recommendations.

AGEC participated in multiple workshops conducted as part of the Review and has delivered a comprehensive submission to the Office of Women.  AGEC’s submission stressed that the WGE Act is a critical plank of the Government’s gender equality strategy and the role, powers and resources of WGEA should be enhanced to accelerate achievement of gender equality in Australian workplaces.

WGEA is widely recognised as providing one of the best datasets in the world with respect to gender equality in the workplace, providing transparency and comparability of performance over time. Amongst its recommendations AGEC urged the Government to enact enhanced enforcement powers for the WGEA, extension of employer reporting obligations to public sector organisations at all levels of government, and public reporting of employer’s gender pay gap to align with international best practice and increase competitive pressure on employers to eliminate their pay gap. 

AGEC supports initiatives to make reporting more streamlined for employers, but cautioned against the dilution of data quality or the extent of data collected until gender equality is achieved in Australia.

This consultation is the first stage of the WGEA Review. AGEC will monitor closely the Review Recommendations, the Government’s Response and the implementation of the proposed changes.

Read the full AGEC WGEA Review Submission here.