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DiscriminationFebruary 28, 2014
In the wake of the Government’s promise to cut billions of dollars in red tape for businesses, there are reports of lobbying from employer groups to relax gender reporting requirements under the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (the Act).
Reporting requirements and minimum standards
As the end of the 2013-2014 reporting period approaches, those employers with 100 or more employees (Relevant Employers) will be required to submit their first report against an increased number of gender equality indicators (GEI’s) in the workplace. These include:
The collected data will be used to assist in setting and improving standards of gender equality in the workforce and minimum standards will be introduced for Relevant Employers for the 2014-2015 reporting period. However employers are already raising concerns that the reporting requirements are becoming too burdensome and creating significant and unnecessary costs.
The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (the Agency) and supporters of the reporting requirements, argue that the cost to business is far outweighed by the benefits of gender equality for employers.
Although the reporting requirements only apply to employers with more than 100 employees, the Agency recognises the importance of and encourages gender equality for small business, and has a series of tools and resources to assist businesses in this area.
So what are the benefits of gender equality?
The Agency argues that businesses, whether large and small, which can successfully attract both men and women and achieve gender equality in their workforce obtain considerable commercial benefits.
In light of some of the direct benefits of gender equality identified above, it may be an opportune time for all employers to reflect on their own business and whether their workforce supports gender diversity.
By Nathan Job – Senior Employment Relations Consultant
Contact Employsure for further information on gender diversity in the workplace, or assistance with new or existing policies in this area.