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gender on the agenda in victoria

18 September 2020
adam foster erin mcLeod
Read Time 2 mins reading time

As part of its push to promote Gender Equality, the Victorian Government recently passed the Gender Equality Act 2020 (Vic) which aims to improve workplace gender equality across the Victorian public sector.

The Act, which will come into effect from 31 March 2021, applies to all Victorian public sector organisations, including universities, courts and local councils, with 50 employees or more (known as Defined Entities).

compliance

The Act requires Defined Entities to undertake self-assessments and audits in relation to the nature and state of gender inequality in the workplace. There are also additional measures which Defined Entities are required to comply with, including:

  • Preparing a Gender Equality Action Plan (GEAP) every four years. The Action Plan must include data on the current state of gender equality within the Defined Entity and set out its strategies for achieving workplace gender equality.
  • Reporting progress of the GEAP to the Public Sector Gender Equality Commissioner. Such progress will be assessed against a set of gender equality targets and quotas and each organisation must report publicly on its progress every two years.

The relevant gender equality targets and quotas will be contained in the accompanying Regulations, which are yet to be published.

enforcement

The Commissioner will be appointed to independently monitor progress and compliance under the Act. Failure to comply may result in the Commissioner issuing compliance notices or enforceable undertakings to remedy compliance. The Commissioner will also have jurisdiction to resolve disputes under enterprise agreements on systemic gender issues.

key points

The Act represents an important step towards realising gender equality in Victoria. Given the public sector is one of Victoria’s largest employers, the Act also has significant potential to influence real change throughout Victoria’s workforce.

In order to satisfy the Act’s requirements, applicable public sector organisations should now be looking to:

  • develop relevant policies to guide the organisation’s goals and strategies; and
  • prepare and implement a strategic plan that satisfies the requirements of a GEAP.

Private sector organisations wishing to engage in best practice might also choose to be guided by the Act’s associated targets and quotas.

If you require advice in relation to your specific obligations under the Act, or you would like practical and detailed assistance developing policies and a strategic plan, please contact our Employment, Safety and Migration team.

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gender on the agenda in victoria

18 September 2020
adam foster erin mcLeod

As part of its push to promote Gender Equality, the Victorian Government recently passed the Gender Equality Act 2020 (Vic) which aims to improve workplace gender equality across the Victorian public sector.

The Act, which will come into effect from 31 March 2021, applies to all Victorian public sector organisations, including universities, courts and local councils, with 50 employees or more (known as Defined Entities).

compliance

The Act requires Defined Entities to undertake self-assessments and audits in relation to the nature and state of gender inequality in the workplace. There are also additional measures which Defined Entities are required to comply with, including:

  • Preparing a Gender Equality Action Plan (GEAP) every four years. The Action Plan must include data on the current state of gender equality within the Defined Entity and set out its strategies for achieving workplace gender equality.
  • Reporting progress of the GEAP to the Public Sector Gender Equality Commissioner. Such progress will be assessed against a set of gender equality targets and quotas and each organisation must report publicly on its progress every two years.

The relevant gender equality targets and quotas will be contained in the accompanying Regulations, which are yet to be published.

enforcement

The Commissioner will be appointed to independently monitor progress and compliance under the Act. Failure to comply may result in the Commissioner issuing compliance notices or enforceable undertakings to remedy compliance. The Commissioner will also have jurisdiction to resolve disputes under enterprise agreements on systemic gender issues.

key points

The Act represents an important step towards realising gender equality in Victoria. Given the public sector is one of Victoria’s largest employers, the Act also has significant potential to influence real change throughout Victoria’s workforce.

In order to satisfy the Act’s requirements, applicable public sector organisations should now be looking to:

  • develop relevant policies to guide the organisation’s goals and strategies; and
  • prepare and implement a strategic plan that satisfies the requirements of a GEAP.

Private sector organisations wishing to engage in best practice might also choose to be guided by the Act’s associated targets and quotas.

If you require advice in relation to your specific obligations under the Act, or you would like practical and detailed assistance developing policies and a strategic plan, please contact our Employment, Safety and Migration team.