The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (Agency) is committed to the highest possible data quality to ensure the appropriate use for its intended purpose under the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Act).
Data Governance is a key driver of the Agency’s approach to data management. The Data Governance Committee (DGC) oversees the people, processes and information technology required to create consistent and appropriate handling of data and understanding of information across the Agency.
The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (Agency) is an Australian Government statutory authority that promotes gender equality in the workplace through research, analysis, and educational programs. The Agency was established by the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Act). The Agency is responsible for collecting data related to the gender equality indicators as specified by the Act and the Minister through a legislative instrument, Workplace Gender Equality (Matters in relation to Gender Equality Indicators) Instrument 2013 (No. 1).
Under the Act, the Agency must ensure that all remuneration data provided to the WGEA is kept strictly confidential. The Agency has employed several methods to ensure that no remuneration data for any individual or organisation is identifiable. These include:
- Remuneration data are excluded from public reports
- The results of gender pay gap calculations are presented only as percentages for benchmarking purposes
- The number of organisations in the comparison group is always at least five for benchmarking purposes
- CEO remuneration data is not presented in any of the data products
- The security of the Agency’s Information Communication and Technology (ICT) systems is managed in accordance with the Australian Government Protective Security Framework and the Information Security Manual
- Data submitted to the Agency is managed in accordance with the Agency’s Data Quality Framework
- Only authorised Agency personnel have access to any of the remuneration data and section 14 of the Act provides strict controls over the dissemination of this information.
The data collected from relevant employers measures their outcomes against the gender equality indicators. The gender equality indicators are:
- GEI 1: Gender composition of workforce
- GEI 2: Gender composition of governing bodies of relevant employers
- GEI 3: Equal remuneration against women
- GEI 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
- GEI 5: Consultation with employees on issues concerning gender equality in the workplace
- GEI 6: Sex based harassment and discrimination
Relevant employers are employers with 100 or more employees (including employees in subsidiaries) in Australia and registered higher education providers that is an employer. Public sector employers are not relevant employers. Employers that had a relevant employer status for less than six months of a reporting period are not required to submit their data.
The data covers full-time, part-time, casual, and temporary employees of relevant employers. Independent contractors are not included in the submissions.
Relevant employers are classified by industry as per the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) framework. If a relevant employer operates in multiple industries, the ANZSIC classification would reflect their main business activity.
Employee data is categorised into non-managers and managers groups. Non-managers are classified according to the major group of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) framework. An additional category ‘others’ refers to roles that are highly specialised and unable to be classified under the ANZSCO nomenclature. Managers are classified into Agency specific categories, which are not covered by the ANZSCO nomenclature.
The data collection period commences on 1 April and ends on 31 May for each reporting year.
The reporting period for each collection is the preceding 12-month period (1 April of the previous year up to 31 March of the reporting year).
The workforce profile is a snapshot of the relevant employer’s workforce. The snapshot date is any date during the reporting period.
The remuneration data covers the consecutive 12 months before the snapshot date or the financial year that ends during the reporting period.
Responses to the questionnaire must all relate to the reporting period.
The Agency implements an operational data cut-off date. Relevant employers that have not submitted a report or have unresolved data anomalies by the cut-off date are excluded from the dataset. The operational cut-off date occurs in early September of the reporting year.
Refer to the Data Quality Report for the cut-off and release dates implemented for a specific reporting year.
Data is submitted through an online portal. All submissions undergo a series of data quality checks. The main type of errors detected are:
- Respondent error – this occurs when the respondent for the relevant employer does not understand the requirements of the profile and questionnaire. The respondent might also unintentionally provide incorrect answers to the questionnaire or workplace profile.
- Processing error – technical or system issues could occur at the data collection stage, particularly at peak submission periods.
- Partial response – not all items in the questionnaire are mandatory. This carries the risk of involuntary non-responses.
- Undercount – this occurs when a relevant employer has not been identified by the Agency as a relevant employer for the reporting year.
To minimise errors, the Agency provides support and online resources to assist relevant employers in completing their profile and questionnaire. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of each relevant employer is required to sign the completed submission.
WGEA’s automated data quality checks test the submission of each employer for consistency. Supplementary data quality checks test the dataset for reliability over time and against other data sources, such as the ABS workforce statistics.
The Agency will notify the relevant employer if data anomalies are detected in their submission. The relevant employer has 28 days to review and amend the anomalies. Relevant employers that have not resolved their anomalies by the operational cut-off date are excluded from the dataset.
Refer to the Data Quality Report for information regarding the data collection process, data coverage and limitations for a specific reporting year.
The workforce profile and questionnaire may be amended to comply with legislative instruments or to capture gender equity matters that are of significance to the wider community.
The Agency has collected data in a standardised workforce profile and questionnaire format since the 2013–14 reporting period.
Previous amendments to the workforce profile and questionnaire have included changes to data item definitions and classifications. The Agency notes amendments and its impact on trend statistics in its publications. Changes are further detailed in the reference guide.
The Agency may use the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) full-time adult average weekly ordinary time earnings trend series from the Australian Weekly Earnings (AWE) survey to calculate the gender pay gap on a biannual basis.
The main difference between the ABS and the Agency data are:
- The ABS data reflects weekly ordinary time earnings before tax.
- The ABS data does not include overtime, bonuses, superannuation, junior and part-time employees, and has historically excluded salary sacrificed amounts.
- The reference period for the ABS data is the last pay period ending on or before the third Friday of the middle month of the reference quarter. For fortnightly and monthly pay periods, the employer reports only one week’s proportion.
- The ABS data is a sample survey of employers selected from the ABS Business Register (ABSBR) which is primarily based on registrations to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Pay As You Go Withholding (PAYGW) scheme.
- The Agency’s own data collection is a census rather than a survey. A census collects data about every member of the working population.
Refer to the Data Quality Report for information regarding longitudinal consistency.
The reference guide describes the data requirements and definitions for the reporting year.
The definitions page and the competitor analysis benchmark report technical user manual describes the concepts and terminology used by the Agency in its publications.
The data is available on the Data Explorer. The Data Explorer provides an interactive, online visualisation of key statistics and trends. Users can download the data in excel format on the site.
Relevant employers that are included in the dataset receive a competitor analysis benchmark report for the reporting year. The relevant employer can access the PDF report in a secure online portal.
Datasets are available in excel format on data.gov.au.
All reports submitted by relevant employers, including those that completed their submissions or resolved their data anomalies after the operational cut-off date, are available on the Public Reports page.
Users can request customised versions of the dataset by sending a request form.