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Workplace Gender Equality Act

(Formerly the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act 1999 and prior to that the Affirmative Action Act)

The Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Act) replaced the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act 1999. The new legislation aims to improve and promote equality for both women and men in the workplace.

The principle objects of the Act are to:

  • promote and improve gender equality (including equal remuneration between women and men) in employment and in the workplace
  • support employers to remove barriers to the full and equal participation of women in the workforce, in recognition of the disadvantaged position of women in relation to employment matters
  • promote, amongst employers, the elimination of discrimination on the basis of gender in relation to employment matters (including in relation to family and caring responsibilities)
  • foster workplace consultation between employers and employees on issues concerning gender equality in employment and in the workplace
  • improve the productivity and competitiveness of Australian business through the advancement of gender equality in employment and in the workplace.

The Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 requires non-public sector employers with 100 or more staff (relevant employers) to submit a report to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency between 1 April and 31 May each year for the preceding 12 month period (1 April – 31 March reporting period).

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency’s website includes a video summary of the Act and reporting requirements and also e-Learning modules on the legislation, reporting and compliance.

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