This page provides a glossary of key terms used throughout this baseline report.


Repeated unreasonable behaviour directed at an employee that creates a risk to their health and safety.

Career development training

Career development training opportunities assist staff to progress their careers by building on their capacity and skills through specific training. This may include training opportunities that are specifically designed for preparing staff for career progression or promotion within a defined entity.


A complainant is an employee, member of the governing body, or member of the public who made a formal complaint of sexual harassment in a workplace or work-related setting. The complaint may be made internally with an employer or with an external agency. The complaint must have arisen in the workplace or as part of external workplace activities.

Classification (level)

The classification is the grade or level of the employee within a defined entity. For the purposes of this reporting, classification was separated by reporting levels from the most senior level in a defined entity, for example CEO or equivalent.

Defined entities

The Act applies to defined entities that have 50 or more employees, including: public service bodies, public entities, special bodies, local councils, universities, Court Services Victoria and the Office of Public Prosecutions (s5(1)). A full list of defined entities is available at


When a person treats, or proposes to treat, a person unfavourably because of a personal characteristic or attribute.


Section 3 of the Act defines an employee as follows: an employee, of a defined entity, means a person employed by the defined entity on a full-time, part-time, casual or fixed term basis (including an apprentice or trainee) but does not include:

  1. a contractor or subcontractor; or
  2. an outworker; or
  3. a person on a vocational placement; or
  4. a student gaining work experience; or
  5. a volunteer.

Employment basis

Whether a person is employed on a full-time, part-time, casual, ongoing/permanent or fixed term/contract basis (including an apprentice or trainee).


People who ceased employment, including both voluntary and involuntary terminations.

Flexible working arrangements

Access to one or more of the following arrangements, as chosen by the employee:

  • Working more hours over fewer days
  • Flexible start and finish times
  • Working remotely (negotiated by the employee – i.e. not as a requirement under COVID-19 restrictions)
  • Working part-time (negotiated by the employee only)
  • Shift swap
  • Job sharing
  • Study leave
  • Purchased leave
  • Using leave to work flexible hours

Part-time or remote working arrangements that were mandated or instigated by the employer or by government requirements related to COVID-19 restrictions are not considered flexible work.

Governing body

A governing body is a group of people governing the operations of a defined entity, such as a board, council, or committee of management. If there are multiple boards or sub-committees of management, the most senior governing body was chosen for the purposes of this reporting. For local government, the governing body of a defined entity was the Councillors of a local government area. Not all defined entities have a governing body.

Higher duties

People who engaged in temporary internal arrangements where an employee moves into a higher classification for a period of more than two weeks.


Intersectional gender inequality is the recognition that gender inequality may be compounded by other forms of disadvantage or discrimination that a person may experience based on Aboriginality, age, disability, ethnicity, gender identity, race, religion, sexual orientation and other attributes. Consideration of intersectionality is an object of the Act under section 4(c).


People who were appointed to a role at a higher classification than their previous role. This includes promotions awarded through competitive recruitment processes as well as those awarded after a fixed period. It does not include lateral transfers (at the same classification) or temporary higher duties opportunities.

Parental leave

Both paid and unpaid leave, which may be classified as primary carer’s / maternity / birth parent leave or partner / secondary carer’s parental leave. This also includes adoption or surrogacy-related leave.


People who have been newly appointed to a role from both internal and external recruitment processes. It doesn’t include people who have been promoted.

Senior leadership

Defined using a combination of classification level data and occupation data (according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) classification codes). Those in the top two classification levels of an organisation with occupations classified as ‘Managers’ or ‘Professionals’ in accordance with the ANZSCO classification codes were considered to hold senior leadership positions.

Self-described gender

For the purposes of the 2021 workplace gender audit, the Commission collected data within three categories – women, men and self-described gender. Gender is part of how someone understands who they are and how they interact with other people. Many people identify their gender as being ‘woman’ or ‘man’. Some people understand their gender as a combination of these or neither. Gender can be expressed in different ways, such as through behaviour or physical appearance. A person’s gender does not necessarily mean they have particular sex characteristics or a particular sexuality, or vice versa. The Commission recommended allowing an option for self-described gender with a free text option, in addition to ‘woman’ and ‘man’ when collecting gender data. For those people who identify with a self-described gender, their gender should have been recorded in relevant systems using the term(s) provided by the employee.

This report refers to people of self-described gender as a group however, the Commission acknowledges that an individual with a self-described gender may identify as non-binary, trans, gender diverse, agender, qenderqueer, genderfluid or using any other term. For more information on gender-inclusive language, please refer to:

Sexual harassment

Non-consensual or unwelcome sexual behaviour that could be expected to make a person feel offended, humiliated or intimidated. Sexual harassment may be physical, spoken or written and can be directed at, and perpetrated by, persons of any sex or gender. A single incident can constitute sexual harassment, as can a broader pattern of behaviour.


People who engaged in temporary internal arrangements where an employee moves into another role at the same classification for a period of more than two weeks.