Amendments to The Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act
8 May 2012
Earlier in May, the Federal Government introduced the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Amendment Bill 2012 (Cth). If and when passed, the Act, among other things, will provide more stringent obligations for employers with more than 100 employees to report on matters such as the gender composition of boards and the workplace, equal remuneration, employee consultation, and flexible working arrangements. As it stands, the Bill repeals the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency director's power to waive reporting requirements for businesses with more than 100 employees.
If the Bill is passed in its entirety, employers would need to make reports available to unions, employees and shareholders informing them that they have the opportunity to comment on the report.
A primary sanction for failure to comply with the reporting obligations will be an inability to access Federal Government contracts.
The Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency will be renamed the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.