The two-month window for employers to report gender related employment data has commenced with a new requirement in 2016 to provide rates of promotion and resignation, broken down by gender.
Employers with more than 100 employees will be required to provide data on appointments, promotions and resignations by gender, seniority and employment status.
The Workplace Gender Equality Agency also aims to capture data about the impact of parenthood on employee retention requiring employers to submit data about employees leaving the workforce after taking parental leave.
The new obligations coincide with the cessation of reporting requirements for salaries of chief executives, managers above chief executives level, and casual managers.
WGEA director Libby Lyons says the new data will help to identify the causes of workplace discrimination that lead to gender pay gaps and fewer women in management roles. This information is viewed as a critical requirement in boosting female participation.
Consulting firm GHD is two years into its efforts towards fostering greater diversity in its workforce, and has also experimented with blind screening of CVs, with the name and age of candidates withheld to ensure selection is conducted solely on the basis of skills and experience.
Push to Include Domestic Violence Leave as part of the NES
The Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence has recommended expanding the NES to include family violence leave, to ensure that there is a minimum entitlement available for all employees, including unpaid family violence leave for casual workers.
In November last year the Federal Government said it was considering proposals to include family violence leave in the NES, noting the Productivity Commission was also considering the issue as part of its workplace relations review.
However the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry Report concluded that any decision should await the Fair Work Commission’s review of modern awards.
The Productivity Commission’s Report noted that paid family violence leave imposed additional costs on employees and that many employer groups are opposed to such an entitlement because employees have access to generic forms of leave, such as annual and personal leave. However it did accept that paid violence leave could offer productivity incentives and other benefits and that the best way to advance any proposals was to engage and educate employer groups about the need for such a scheme.
The Royal Commission’s recommendations highlight a need for greater access to support and referral services and to provide managers and HR specialists with training and resources to ensure the entitlement is accessible and implemented effectively.
The Royal Commission’s report found that family violence leave is necessary to support employees experiencing violence because they have no option but to exhaust their personal or annual leave entitlements so they can attend medical appointments, obtain legal advice, make court appearances or organise emergency accommodation for their family.
There has been a steady increase in the adoption of family violence leave clauses in enterprise agreements, with up to 840 agreements containing a family violence provision.
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