Anthony Albanese announced exactly how he plans to close the gender pay gap for Australian women.

Australian businesses with unacceptable gender pay gaps are about to be exposed, as the Labor Government rolls out legislation passed last year. 

The Workplace Gender Equality Amendment (Closing the Gender Pay Gap) Bill, passed in early 2023, will require organisations with more than 100 employees to publish their gender pay gaps on the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) website.

According to the government, the legislation is designed to drive transparency and action towards closing the gender pay gap and improving economic outcomes for women.

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“Publishing gender pay gaps is an important step in raising awareness, and holding organisations to account where there is a gender pay gap across their organisation. And that's a big change,” said Minister for Women, Senator Katy Gallagher.

Based on current projections, closing the gender pay gap would take around 26 years. Publishing the gender pay gaps of specific organisations would not only give potential employees the opportunity to make informed choices about where they work, but would serve as an incentive for businesses to make positive changes. 


In 2017, similar legislation passed in the UK requiring organisations with more than 250 people to report gender pay gap figures, has successfully pushed the gender pay gap down. 

Each employer will have the opportunity to provide an Employer Statement that gives context to their gender pay gap results, and explains what they intend to do to reduce the gap. The link to the Employer Statement will be displayed alongside each employer’s gender pay gap on the WGEA Data Explorer.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data puts the gender pay gap at 13 per cent, based on average weekly ordinary full-time earnings. When total remuneration is considered though, the gap is 21.7 per cent according to WGEA calculations. That means women earn $26,393 less per year than men overall. 

WGEA data looks at employers with 100 or more employees, and includes annualised full-time equivalent salaries of casual and part-time workers, capturing base salary, overtime, bonuses and additional payments for employers with 100 or more employees.

That figure is 1.1 per cent lower than it was the year before — making it the lowest level ever, which the WGEA attributes to an increase in the proportion of women in management and higher income roles. The proportion of women managers is now at 42 per cent (up from 41 per cent last year). 

But there is still a long way to go, with women working and earning less overall as they continue to battle the motherhood penalty when they take time out of work for children, resulting in lower superannuation balances. For many women, domestic and family violence is a further complicating factor. 


“Women continue to experience a gender pay gap due to factors like highly gender segregated industries and work forces, because of the time women take out of the workforce for caring responsibilities, and because of the high rates of women working part time in Australia. 

"Not only do these factors contribute to the gender pay gap, but they compound over a lifetime, and this results in a massive lifetime gender earnings gap,” says Gallagher.

“Publishing gender pay gaps is an important step in raising awareness, and holding organisations to account where there is a gender pay gap across their organisation. And that's a big change.”

“Already, we are seeing some companies proactively reach out to WGEA to share their analysis of their challenges and actions for closing the gender pay gap in their workforces. It’s great to see employers stepping up and being real partners in this effort.”

Employer gender pay gaps will be published on February 27 at

“I think for those that have a significant gender pay gap, they're going to have to change the way they do things,” says Gallager. 

“But we are not just looking at pay gaps, but at all the areas that connect to women’s economic safety, security and equality.”

Feature image: Getty. 

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