4 countries who have introduced pay transparency

4 countries who have introduced pay transparency

Pay transparency has been acknowledged around the world as an important way of reducing the gender pay gap.


The Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012[11] requires non-public sector employers with 100 or more staff to submit a report to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency between 1 April and 31 May each year for the preceding 12-month period. The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) is an Australian Government statutory agency created by the Act. WGEA issues compliance letters to confirm that an organisation is compliant with its reporting obligations. The consequences of non-compliance are that the WGEA may name a non-compliant employer in a report to the Minister or by electronic or other means. Non-compliant employers may not be eligible to tender for contracts under the Commonwealth and some state procurement frameworks and may not be eligible for some Commonwealth grants or other financial assistance. The Agency lists non-compliant organisations publicly on its website each year.[12] It also uses the reporting data to develop educational Competitor Analysis Benchmark Reports based on six gender equality indicators. In the 5 years since Australian businesses have been required to provide this data to WGEA the gender pay gap has decreased by 4%. in Australia.[13]

United Kingdom

In April 2017, the United Kingdom introduced the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017.[14] The Regulations require all employers with more than 250 employees to publish information relating to the gender pay gap in their organisation. This includes information on the difference between the average hourly rate of pay to male and female employees; the difference between the average bonus paid to male and female employees; the proportions of male and of female employees who receive bonuses; and the relative proportions of male and female employees in each quartile pay band of the workforce. The Equality and Human Rights Commission is responsible for ensuring employers publish their gender pay gap reports. It will initially informally approach employers who have not met the reporting deadline, but employers could ultimately face fines and convictions.


In January 2017, Germany passed the Act on the Transparency of Pay aimed at promoting gender equality in pay. The Act came into force in July 2017. It provides for the individual right to information about remuneration paid to peers for organisations with more than 200 employees. The right to information includes:  Disclosure of the remuneration that employees of the other gender receive for comparable work on a monthly average; Breakdown of this information for up to two specified wage components (e.g. base salary, bonus payments);  Information on the relevant criteria for the determination of their own remuneration as well as the remuneration for the same / comparable work. The Act also requires companies with more than 500 employees to conduct voluntary internal audits to review remuneration schemes and actual remuneration considering gender equality. Status reports are also required under the German Commercial Code to report on gender equality and equal pay.[15]

Ontario, Canada

In May 2018, the Canadian province of Ontario passed Bill 3, the Pay Transparency Act 2018, 22 the first piece of pay transparency legislation in Canada.[16] The Act comes into force in January 2019. It requires employers to report their pay practices to the Ministry of Labour, and authorises the appointment of compliance officers to investigate whether employers have complied with the Act. Key provisions include: - Employers are prevented from seeking compensation history about any applicant - Employers who advertise a publicly advertised job must include information about the expected compensation or the range - All employers with 100 or more employees must publish a pay transparency report that must include the composition of the workforce, differences in compensation with respect to gender and other prescribed characteristics and must be posted online and be published online by Minister. - Provides powers to compliance officers to investigate or inspect employers’ compliance with the Act - Employers can be penalised for contravening the Act in accordance with the regulations