EQUAL OPPORTUNITY FORWOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE AGENCY (EOWA) Overview of Reforms Lunch and Learn Presented by: Melanie Basista
WHAT IS IT? The Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace(EOWW) Act 1999 aims to : o Promote merit in employment o Promote equal employment opportunity and eliminate discrimination o Encourage consultation between employers and employees on these issues The Equal Opportunity for Women in the WorkplaceAgency (EOWA) is a statutory authority aimed to administerthe Act and through education, assist organisations achieveequal opportunity for women.
HOW DOES THE EOWA ADMINISTER THE ACT? The EOWA receives reports from approximately 3000 businesses covered by the Act each year. Consultants then work with the organisations to ensurecompliance to the Act and to assist in the development of workplace programs.
HOW DOES THE EOWA ASSIST? Provides guidelines to compliance and reporting Provides tools to assist in developing effective workplaceprograms Provides feedback on workplace programs Conducts workshops Initiates discussions with business to progress equalopportunity in the workplace Produces publications such as an online newsletter Participates in events and conferences
WHAT IS A WORKPLACE PROGRAM? A workplace program is a strategic approach toeliminating discrimination and contributing to equalopportunity for women in the workplace. Organisations covered by the Act need to develop aworkplace program and report annually on that programretrospectively.
WHATORGANISATIONSARE REQUIRED TOREPORT? All nongovernment andnot for profitorganisations withover 100 staff mustreport annually.
THE 7 MATTERS ORGANISATIONS NEED TOCONSIDER WHEN REPORTING...1. Recruitment and Selection2. Promotion, Transfer and Termination of employment3. Training and Development4. Work Organisation5. Conditions of Service6. Arrangements for dealing with sex based Harassment7. Arrangements for dealing with pregnant and potentially pregnant employees and employees who are breastfeeding
ANALYSIS NEEDS TO INCLUDE... Consultation Statistics, Policies and Procedures
EOWA REFORMMarch 2011 – reform package was announced
WHAT WILL CHANGE?1. A new name and focus2. Improved coverage3. Streamlined reporting4. Strengthened compliance5. Industry Assistance
REFORM IN MORE DETAIL….A new name and focus:• Workplace Gender Equality Act and Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA)• Focus strengthened on gender equality – pay equity, caring and unpaid responsibilitiesImproved Coverage:• Encompass both men and women• Employers must report on gender composition of their boards• <100 employees still do not need to report, however they will have access to the agency
REFORM IN MORE DETAIL….Streamlined Reporting• Focused on outcomes not processes and procedures• Businesses can report online• Remove the requirement for orgs to develop workplace programs• Employers will report against a set of gender equality indicators for men and women• CEO’s and employee reps will need to sign off on reports• Reports available to all employees and shareholders
REFORM IN MORE DETAIL….Strengthened compliance:• The Agency will have the power to conduct reviews of an org to make sure reports are accurate• Industry level benchmarks and being able to demonstrate progress will be important in compliance• Non-compliant orgs can be named and shamed publicly• Legislation will reflect that government only deals with compliant organisations
REFORM IN MORE DETAIL….Industry assistance:• The Agency will develop industry specific benchmarks and strategies for achieving equality• It will provide advice, resources and referrals also through mobile support teams• The Agency will play a role in developing, maintaining and reporting on the data it collects
WHEN DO THE CHANGES TAKE EFFECT? New Legislation – developed and introduced in 2011 First reports – 2013 New legislation will contain transitional arrangements to give organisations time to adaptFurther communication and education activities will be undertaken to provide employers with info and support – late 2011