If mum’s the word at work, the gender equality agency wants to know

Australian companies with more than 100 employees will have to divulge how many female staff quit or are made redundant after maternity leave, putting the spotlight on discrimination against mums-to-be and new mothers.

The information will go to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency under new reporting requirements which come into force this year. The agency’s director, Libby Lyons, says the data will be used to provide an insight into corporate culture.

“Above industry turnover rates can spell trouble for companies,” Ms Lyons tells the Herald Sun. “Now employers will receive warning signs that they need to act to create more productive and equitable workplaces.”

The reporting requirements will also require companies to provide data on the rate at which businesses are attracting and promoting women and men, and the rate at which both genders are leaving jobs.

Last financial year the Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission received 136 complaints from women under the Sex Discrimination Act for pregnancy discrimination, with another 63 complaints lodged by parents who felt discriminated against because of their family responsibilities or breastfeeding needs.

In September that commission put out a blanket warning to businesses that pregnancy discrimination is against the law, finding that discrimination is rife and pregnant women are losing their jobs or being refused part-time hours when returning from maternity leave.

(via Herald Sun)

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