A new law will require gender pay gap transparency for employers with at least 100 workers. The employers will have to publish information about the gender pay gap via a Government website.
The bill to enact this law passed through the House of Reps today after passing through the Senate last week.
Here’s the background.
What is the gender pay gap?
According to the latest figures from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), men earn on average 22.8% more than women overall – or $26,600 more.
In part, this is because men are more likely to work full-time than women (67% of men compared to 42% of women). However, there is also a pay gap between the average man and woman who work full-time of 13.3%.
Men earn more than women in every industry and in seven out of every ten workplaces. Men are twice as likely to be in the top income bracket and more likely to hold managerial positions.
Current gender pay gap transparency laws
Employers with at least 100 employees already have to report on their gender pay gaps to WGEA, and also to provide a copy of this report to employees, but there is no requirement to make them public.
There are also tighter rules for companies with at least 500 employees, who are required to have a gender equality strategy.
Employees have a legal right to share or not share their pay and to ask other employees about pay.
New gender pay gap transparency laws
The bill would make public the information on gender pay gaps already provided by companies with over 100 employees. The information will be published in a way that ensures individual salaries cannot be identified.
The change was originally recommended in a review of Australia’s workplace gender laws, which began under the Morrison Government in 2021. It passed the Parliament with unanimous support.