It’s intended to help close the gender pay gap.
Katy Gallagher, Minister for Women.
The Government has introduced legislation to require employers with at least 100 workers to publish their gender pay gap.
The data would be published on the website of the government Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA).
Gender at work:
According to the latest figures from WGEA, men earn on average 22.8% more than women overall – or $26,600 more.
Men are more likely to work full-time, but there is also a 14.1% gap between men who work full-time and women who work full-time. 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.
Employers with at least 100 employees are already required 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.
What the bill does:
The Bill would make public the information on gender pay gaps already provided by companies with over 100 employees.
This change was recommended in a review of Australia’s workplace gender laws, which began under the Morrison Government in 2021.
The Government is still working through other recommendations from that review including specific gender pay targets for companies with at least 500 workers and mandatory collection of pay data for non-binary employees.
Several countries already publish company-by-company gender pay gaps, including Belgium, Denmark, France, and Britain.
The International Labour Organization argues pay transparency can be a “useful” tool to reduce the gender pay gap.
Minister for Women Katy Gallagher says on current projections “it will take another 26 years to close the gender pay gap… Women have waited long enough.”
The Coalition supports the changes. Shadow Minister for Women Sussan Ley told TDA the gender pay gap is “real, holds women back and we need to close it… I am glad to see the Minister for Women continuing this work”.