Gender reporting must drive cultural change

Joint Media Release
  • Leader of the Government in the Senate
  • Minister for Employment
  • Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service
  • Senator for Tasmania
  • Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women
  • Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection
  • Senator for Western Australia

The Australian Government is committed to increasing women’s workforce participation and improving gender equality in the workplace.

The gender reporting framework under the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 was designed so that individual organisations can monitor, reflect upon and improve their own gender equality performance. To achieve this, reporting must be structured in a way that will provide the most value to employers in return for the effort of reporting.

The Government has conducted a thorough consultation process with reporting organisations, employer representatives and gender equality advocates to identify how the current gender equality reporting framework can be streamlined while still meeting the policy objectives.

“Employers expressed strong support for gender equality in the workplace and want to make a difference,” Minister Abetz said.

“However, many found the reporting regime overly complex and time consuming and are not confident it will help them to improve gender equality within their organisation.”

“This announcement will ensure that employers can see the value for their effort and that the community can benefit from the data – such prerequisites should be obvious for any such reporting.”

Minister Cash said the Government has taken on board valuable feedback and will streamline workplace gender equality reporting requirements.

“Employers with 100 or more employees will continue to report annually to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency every year,” Minister Cash said.

“The Government will remove the most onerous of Labor’s additional requirements that were due to be introduced on 1 April 2015. This includes the requirement to report on separate components of remuneration for each employee. Reporting on job applications and interviews will also be removed. Employers will not need to report on CEO salaries from the 2015-16 reporting period.”

These changes will ensure that the overall cost of reporting will be reduced by more than one third for each reporting organisation, based on the future reporting requirements.

Feedback from the consultation process indicates employers found it difficult to report against non‑manager categories and in particular, remuneration data against those categories. The consultation process also demonstrated that there is not a simple answer to improving non-manager categories.

Reporting requirements relating to the non-manager categories will continue. The Government will establish a working group with key stakeholders to identify ways to improve the non-manager occupational categories.

The working group will include Ms Helen Conway, Ms Elizabeth Broderick, Ms Kate Carnell, Ms Dianne Smith-Gander and Ms Claire Braund. This working group will develop options in the first half of 2015 which will be tested with employers and be supported by the Department of Employment, the Office for Women and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.

“This working group will help to ensure that genuine issues that are identified by both employers and the women’s sector can be addressed. The Government extends its genuine appreciation to Ms Conway, Ms Broderick, Ms Carnell, Ms Smith-Gander and Ms Braund for making themselves available for this important task,” Minister Cash said.

“I want to thank the hundreds of employers who participated in the survey as well as the employer groups, unions and the women’s sector who participated constructively in the consultation process,” Minister Abetz concluded.

Further information can be found Department of Employment website at

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