register

Human Resources

Transparency to spur action: New legislation to narrow the gender pay gap

Health Industry Hub | February 9, 2023 |

Human Resources: The Government is delivering on an election commitment to help close the gender pay gap at work. The Workplace Gender Equality Amendment (Closing the Gender Pay Gap) Bill 2023 was introduced into Parliament yesterday.

The Bill will publish gender pay gaps of employers with 100 or more workers – a key reform to drive transparency and action towards closing the gender pay gap.

Minister for Women, Senator Katy Gallagher, said global experience shows transparency encourages organisations to take action to close the gender pay gap in their workplace.

“On average, women working full-time can expect to earn 14.1% less than men per week in their pay packets,” Minister Gallagher said.

“The gender pay gap is also holding our economy back with $51.8 billion a year lost when it comes to women’s pay. On current projections it will take another 26 years to close the gender pay gap. Women have waited long enough for the pay gap to close – let’s not wait another quarter of a century. The Bill will also reduce red tape for businesses making it easier to report,” she added

Focus on gender diversity led to “replacing old white boys’ club with new white girls’ club”

The Government has committed to implementing all ten recommendations from the 2021 Review of the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012. Together with the remade Legislative Instruments – Workplace Gender Equality (Matters in relation to Gender Equality Indicators) Instrument 2023 and Workplace Gender Equality (Gender Equality Standards) Instrument 2023 – this Bill progresses the implementation of almost all of the recommendations in the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) Review requiring legislative amendment.

These new measures mean that WGEA will publish the first set of private sector employer gender pay gaps in early 2024, using data from this reporting period, which ends on 31 March 2023. This gives employers time to prepare and WGEA will work with employers to help ensure they are ready.

It also includes setting a new requirement for policies or strategies across gender equality drivers and refining what employers report to WGEA, including a broader range of matters relating to sexual harassment and discrimination as a result of the Respect@Work report.

Minister Gallagher said “On average, across all jurisdictions and occupations, Australian women earn $263.90 per week less than men. That is a lot of money to be short each week, and it entrenches women’s disadvantage and economic inequality. It’s not right that women are missing out just because of our gender. It’s not just bad for women; it’s bad for our economy as well.

“The consensus on women’s economic equality as a key economic priority was an important – and actually the first – outcome at last year’s Jobs and Skills Summit. One of the immediate outcomes of the Jobs and Skills Summit was for the government to require businesses with 100 employees or more to publicly report their gender pay gap data to WGEA, which is implemented through this legislation. I should say employers benefit too because gender equality makes good business sense.”

The United Kingdom has reported employer level gender pay gaps since 2017. There is clear evidence from the UK’s experience that publishing employer gender pay gaps led to companies prioritising gender equality and a lowering of the gender pay gap.

WGEA Director, Mary Wooldridge, said these reforms are a significant step forward for gender equality and ensuring workplaces are fair and equal for all Australians.

“It’s more than 10 years since the Workplace Gender Equality Act was first passed. In that time we’ve seen meaningful progress, but the rate of change is slow. These amendments will boost transparency, accountability and spur action to accelerate progress on gender equality in workplaces,” Ms Wooldridge said.

It will do this by, for the first time, allowing WGEA to report gender pay gaps at employer level, not just industry level. The current approach of publishing aggregate industry gender pay gaps is not creating the transparency, accountability and insights we need in order to close the gender pay gap fast enough.

Ms Wooldridge added “WGEA is committed to working with the Government to ensure the remaining recommendations from the WGEA Review are progressed and that key stakeholders are heard along on this journey of change.

“The Review’s recommendations provided a roadmap to accelerating employer action on gender equality and driving meaningful improvements in experiences at work for many Australians. We look forward to working with the government, employers and others to implement these important reforms.”

Minister Gallagher also confirmed that the Government has committed to reviewing these legislative amendments in five years “to ensure we are able to critically consider and robustly interrogate how effective these measures have been in achieving their objective of accelerating progress towards gender equality in Australian workplaces.”

Reporting will be published on the WGEA website.

In reimagining healthcare across the entire patient journey, Health Industry HubTM is the only one-stop-hub bringing the diversity of Pharma, MedTech, Diagnostics & Biotech sectors together to inspire meaningful change.

The content on Health Industry Hub is copyright protected and should only be accessed under individual user licenses. To subscribe, please click here and visit T&Cs here.


News & Trends - MedTech & Diagnostics

Medtronic partners with local researchers in stroke trial

Medtronic partners with local researchers in stroke trial

Health Industry Hub | March 1, 2024 |

MedTech & Diagnostics News: Endovascular thrombectomy has been shown to be more effective in reducing disability than medical therapy alone […]

More


News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Health Ministers reflect on the reforms and complexities facing the healthcare system

Health Ministers reflect on the reforms and complexities facing the healthcare system

Health Industry Hub | March 1, 2024 |

Pharma News: Mark Butler MP, Federal Minister for Health, and Senator Anne Ruston, Shadow Minister for Health, reflected on the […]

More


News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Gilead seeks funding of CAR T-cell therapy in follicular lymphoma

Gilead seeks funding of CAR T-cell therapy in follicular lymphoma

Health Industry Hub | March 1, 2024 |

Pharma News: Gilead has applied to the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) for funding of its cutting-edge CAR T-cell therapy, […]

More


News & Trends - MedTech & Diagnostics

Should private insurers face scrutiny for soaring profits while patients foot the bill? MTAA, Private Healthcare Australia

Should private health insurers face scrutiny for soaring profits while patients foot the bill?

Health Industry Hub | March 1, 2024 |

MedTech & Diagnostics News: In a clash of interests, the Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA) has once again urged […]

More


This content is copyright protected. Please subscribe to gain access.