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Australian companies will be forced to publish their gender pay gaps in groundbreaking legislation

Rachel Lang

| Last updated 

Australian companies will be forced to publish their gender pay gaps in groundbreaking legislation

Australian businesses with more than 100 employees may soon be forced to divulge their gender pay differences to the government thanks to new legislation put to parliament by Minister for Women Katy Gallagher.

Senator Gallagher said that global data indicated how transparency has pushed businesses to take action to close the gender pay gap abroad.

"On average, women working full-time can expect to earn 14.1 per cent less than men per week in their pay packets," Minister Gallagher said as per a press statement.

"The gender pay gap is also holding our economy back with $51.8 billion (£29.6 billion) a year lost when it comes to women’s pay.


"On current projections it will take another 26 years to close the gender pay gap."

Gallagher says Australian women deserve to have the same treatment as their male counterparts in the workplace.

"Women have waited long enough for the pay gap to close – let’s not wait another quarter of a century," she said.


"The bill will also reduce red tape for businesses making it easier to report."

Reporting will kick off in 2024, and will be based on data provided by employers to the government.

Gender pay gaps will then be published on the Workplace Gender Equality Agency website for increased public transparency.

The new bill, the Workplace Gender Equality Amendment (Closing the Gender Pay Gap) Bill 2023, was put to parliament on Wednesday (February 8).


Legislative reform for Australian women has been a long time coming, with recommendations made in the 2021 Review of the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012.

The new bill should be welcome news for women across the country, with the gender pay gap stagnating in 2019.

According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WEGA) website, women earned AUD$26,600 (£15,240) less than men between 2021 and 2022 on average.


In simpler terms, to every dollar earned by an Aussie bloke, women copped 77c on average for the same work.

Seven in 10 Aussie employers record pay gaps of more than five per cent in favour of male staffers.

More than 50 per cent of the 4.5 million employees covered in the last WEGA Employer Gender Equality Census work within industries was dominated by one gender, such as construction and other trades.

Pay gaps of more than 20 per cent were recorded by Aussie industries, with the building trade coming in at the highest level of disparity with a staggering 29 per cent gender difference.


The census also indicated that just a little more than 22 per cent of CEOs are women, and ladies in senior management take home nearly $100,000 (£57,200) less on average when compared with their male counterparts.

Featured Image Credit: Russotwins/ Ink Drop/Alamy. Phanie / Alamy.

Topics: Australia, News, Politics

Rachel Lang
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