WGEA 10-year plan to be informed by review

By Melissa Coade

Friday October 22, 2021

Marise Payne
Women’s minister Marise Payne. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

The federal government is calling for feedback on how the nation’s workplace gender equality laws can be improved, with a view to guiding the focus of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) for the next 10 years. 

On Thursday it was announced that the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012, which establishes the statutory WGEA charged with promoting and improving gender equality in Australian workplaces, will be subject to a review led by a team from the department of the prime minister and cabinet.

In a statement, minister for women and foreign affairs Marise Payne said the review would consider gender indicators, including the gender pay gap and employment figures, and ongoing employer reporting obligations.

“Improving gender equality in the workplace benefits everyone – individuals, families, and business,” Payne said.

“The government would like to hear from the community, employers and employee organisations, women’s organisations and academics.”

According to the minister, the gender pay gap in Australia had shrunk to its lowest level on record, at 13.4% in November 2020. But with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Australian economy and workforce, the pay gap has worsened, and is now up to 14.2%.

The government is committed to ensuring WGEA has the best tools and resources to further drive down the gender pay gap,” Payne added.

Under the national Women’s Budget Statement 2021-22, the federal government committed to undertake a review of the Act, with the goal of also supporting the work of the [email protected] Council.

Submissions to the review will close on 24 November.


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