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New compliance requirements with gender equality indicators

As of April 2023 the Workplace Gender Equality Amendment Bill 2023 mandates organisations with 500+ employees to address the WGEA’s six gender equality indicators.

Next month, employers with 500 or more employees are required to have policies or strategies that address each of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency’s six gender equality indicators (GEIs).

This change is a part of the new reforms bought in by the Workplace Gender Equality Amendment (Closing the Gender Pay Gap) Bill 2023. This bill aims to accelerate employer action to closing the gender pay gap by encouraging employers to deploy and drive workplace strategies, policies, and environments to work toward closing the gender pay gap.

In this post we unpack the key things you need to know about this new amendment.

Why is this new amendment important?

While most Australian employers have made progress against most of the six gender equality indicators since 2014, change isn’t happening fast enough.

It has been more than ten years since Federal Parliament first passed the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012. Recent data from the WGEA’s annual Employee Census suggests that in recent years progress on workplace gender equality has stalled. The new amendment aims to improve accountability, transparency, and motivation for organisations to accelerate gender equality progress in workplaces.

What does this mean for employees?

From 1 April 2024 organisations with 500 or more employees are required to have policies or strategies for each of the six gender equality indicators. This means that if an organisation’s corporate structure incorporates multiple entities that have 500 or more employees, each entity will need to have their own strategy/policy. These policies could be the same or adjusted for the specific circumstances of each individual entity.

Your organisation can be compliant by having separate polices or strategies for each of the six GEIs, or by implementing an organisation-wide gender equality strategy that explicitly covers each GEI.

What are WGEA’s six Gender Equality Indicators?

  1. Gender composition of the workforce: Tracks participation rates across genders, including full-time, part-time and causal roles, industry gender splits, leadership, representation and gender-based trends in promotion, appointments and resignations.
  2. Gender composition of governing bodies of relevant employers: Evaluates the gender makeup of boards and governing bodies, considers gender in board selection, and implements actions like targets, time limits and policies to drive gender diversity.
  3. Equal remuneration between women and men: Analyses the gender pay gap by comparing the average and median renumeration of women and men and assessing employer actions aimed at reducing disparities.
  4. Availability and utility of employment terms, conditions and practices relating to flexible working arrangements for employees and to working arrangements supporting employees with family or caring responsibilities: Assesses policies, strategies and actions concerning flexible working arrangements, parental, caring, and family violence leave and support for employees.
  5. Consultation with employees on issues concerning gender equality in the workplace: Measures employer engagement with employees on issues of workplace gender equality.
  6. Sexual harassment, harassment on the ground of sex or discrimination: measures employer policies, strategies and actions to prevent and respond to sexual harassment, sex-based harassment and discrimination in the workplace. These issues predominantly impact women and it is essential employers prioritise the protection and safety of all employees in the workplace environment.

Diversity Partners has been developing gender equality action plans and policies for more than a decade with organisations of all sizes and across all industry sectors.

We’ve worked closely with dozens of Victorian public sector entities since 2020 to develop their gender equality action plans and gender impact assessments to meet state-based legislative requirements.

If you’d like support with your strategies and policies, please call us on 1800 571 999 or email

About Dr Katie Spearritt

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