Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What key changes is the Government proposing to make to equal opportunity legislation?
The Commonwealth Government has announced that it will introduce changes to equal opportunity legislation in Parliament by the end of 2011. The Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act 1999 (Cth) will be renamed, as the Workplace Gender Equality Act. The main aim of the new Act is to increase equality within Australian places of employment.
Some of the key features of the proposed new legislation are:
- expansion of gender equity legislation, which applies equally to both men and women in the workplace;
- new reporting requirements on all organisations employing more than 100 employees;
- new investigative powers and compliance provisions via the Women in the Workplace Agency.
Starting from 2013, organisations which employ more than 100 workers will be required to provide reports detailing: the gender composition of their organisations and boards; as well as employment conditions, and flexible work practices within the organisation. These reports will have to be provided to the government, employees and shareholders.
Any employer or organisation who requires assistance in regards to the proposed Act, should seek advice from a legal practitioner.