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Albanese government to force companies to publish gender pay gap in new legislation

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Aussie companies will be forced to publish gender pay gaps of employees under bold new legislation to be introduced to parliament by the Albanese government on Wednesday.

The bill will impact businesses with 100 or more workers.

Minister for Women, Senator Katy Gallagher, said trends seen around the world proved transparency was a key to getting organisations to take action to close the gender pay gap in their workplace.

“On average, women working full-time can expect to earn 14.1 per cent less than men per week in their pay packets,” Senator Gallagher said.

“The gender pay gap is also holding our economy back with $51.8 billion a year lost when it comes to women’s pay.”

Senator Gallagher said “women had waited long enough for equal pay”.

Reporting will commence in 2024, drawing on data already provided by employers published on the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) website.

Current predictions indicate it will take another 26 years to close the gender pay gap.

The reform is considered long overdue – recommended in a 2012 review of the Workplace Gender Equality Act.

The pay gap revealed

The gender pay gap has been stagnated at around 14 per cent since 2019.

Women on average earned $26,600 less than men between 2021 and 2022, according to the WGEA, meaning for every $1 earned by male employees, women earned on average 77c.

Seven-in-10 employers have pay gaps that favour men, recording a gender pay gap greater than 5 per cent, while more than half of the 4.5 million employees covered in the WGEA census work are in industries dominated by one gender.

Five industries also recorded pay gaps larger than 20 per cent with the highest difference in construction at 29 per cent.

WGEA’s Employer Gender Equality Census also found that although the number of female CEOs has risen slightly from last year, it’s still shockingly low with only 22 per cent of Australian CEOs being women.

On top of that, women in senior levels of management also took home nearly $100,000 less than their male counterparts.

– With Sarah Sharples

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