Labor Is Introducing Legislation to Close the Gender Pay Gap

The government is coming for organisations that don’t pay their employees equally depending on their gender in the most brutal way possible. They’re going to publicly name and shame gender pay gaps.

In a move that appears to take its lead from that incredible feminist Twitter bot, the government is opting for radical transparency.

If you’ve forgotten what I’m referencing, back in 2022, a bot’s bio was, “Employers, if you tweet about International Women’s Day, I’ll retweet your gender pay gap.”

The Workplace Gender Equality Amendment (Closing the Gender Pay Gap) Bill 2023 is one way the government says they’re delivering on a campaign promise to close the pay gap.

Introduced into Parliament on Wednesday, the bill will cut red tape and allow the Workplace Gender Equality Agency to publish the gender pay gaps of employers with more than 100 workers on their website.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said in a statement, “Women should be paid the same as men. It’s as simple as that. But right now, there’s not enough transparency around the gender pay gap in workplaces.”

“That’s why we’re introducing a bill to fix that. It will mean companies with more than 100 staff need to report their pay gap publicly. And it will bring us a step closer to pay equity for women,” he added.

Minister for Women, Senator Katy Gallagher, added in a seperate statement that global experience shows transparency encourages organisations to take action to close the gender pay gap in their workplace. Basically, public shaming works.

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

“On current projections, it will take another 26 years to close the gender pay gap. Women have waited long enough for the pay gap to close – let’s not wait another quarter of a century.”

When the legislation passes, reporting of gender pay gaps will begin next year using data submitted by employers.

It’s not too far off the mark to say the government may have actually learned from the Gender Pay Gap Bot. This is because the only way this bot was able to publish the gender pay gaps of some companies is because it was UK based, and the UK keeps a public record of this stuff.

Now that Australia will start doing the same, there’s nothing stopping some enterprising person out there from unleashing public embarrassment on companies talking the talk but not walking the walk. Bring on the bots.

Related: The Gender Gap for Superannuation Is Getting Worse and Nothing Is Being Done About It

Related: Hybrid Working Could Be An Incredible Tool for Gender Equality

Read more stories from The Latch and subscribe to our email newsletter.