Australian employers will be forced to reveal their gender pay gaps when a major change to workplaces comes into effect next month.
In February, Australian companies with 100 or more workers will have their wage gaps published online.
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It comes after the federal government passed legislation in March last year in hopes of driving transparency and action towards closing the gap.
The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows the average weekly gap for full-time earnings is about 13 per cent, while calculations by Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) put the wage gap for total remuneration as $26,400 or 21.7 per cent over the course of a year.
Despite the wage gap being at its lowest level ever, it will take 26 years to reach pay parity, according to current projections.
Women Minister Katy Gallagher said the legislation was to ensure companies were aware of their gender pay gap and were taking steps to reduce it.
“It’s just not fair,” she told Weekend Sunrise.
“We want women to get a fair crack at jobs and opportunities.
“And at the moment, there’s a big gender pay gap.
“Even though it’s closing, it’s not closing fast enough.”
Gallagher said the introduction of similar legislation in the UK led to a reduction in the gender pay gap.
“Publishing gender pay gaps is an important step in raising awareness, and holding organisations to account where there is a gender pay gap across their organisation. And that’s a big change,” she said.
“Already, we are seeing some companies proactively reach out to the WGEA to share their analysis of their challenges and actions for closing the gender pay gap in their workforces.
“I think for those that have a significant gender pay gap, they’re going to have to change the way they do things.”
The WGEA will publish company pay gaps by median, as well as the gender composition and average remuneration per pay quartile.
Each employer will be able to provide a statement that explains its gender pay gap and the actions it is taking to reduce it.
Gender pay gaps will be published on February 27 at wgea.gov.au.