The primary focus of the strategies and measures in your GEAP should be on promoting gender equality in your workplace (s10(1)(b)), by focusing on the people who are part of your workforce as defined in section 3 of the Act.
Before developing your GEAP, you should undertake your workplace gender audit. Guidance for how to complete your workplace gender audit is available on our website.
About this guide
This document contains guidance for developing GEAPs under the Act. This guidance is issued under section 47 of the Act. This means defined entities must have regard to this guidance when complying with their obligations under the Act.
There are required and recommended items within each section of your defined entities’ GEAP. Required items must be included in your GEAP. Recommended items are optional, however the Commission for Gender Equality in the Public Sector (the Commission) recommends defined entities consider including these items in their GEAPs where possible.
If there are recommended items that you cannot include for your 2021-2025 GEAP, we suggest you note the actions you will take to build capacity to ensure these items can be included in future GEAPs.
The Act applies to certain organisations 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 on our website.
Obligations relating to Gender Equality Action Plans for defined entities
Obligations under the Act relating to GEAPs:
- The first GEAP is due on 31 October 2021. GEAPs must be submitted to the Public Sector Gender Equality Commissioner (the Commissioner) on or before 31 October of each Gender Equality Action Plan reporting year.
- A defined entity must include the results of a workplace gender audit in their GEAP.
- GEAPs must include strategies and measures for promoting gender equality in the workplace of the defined entity, based on workplace gender audit results.
- Defined entities must consider the gender equality principles in the Act when preparing their GEAP, including intersectional gender inequality.
- Defined entities must consult with the governing body of the entity, the employees, employee representatives and any other relevant person.
- A defined entity must publish their completed GEAP on its website and notify the governing body, employees and employee representatives of publication.
- Any personal information must be removed prior to publishing.
- A defined entity must ensure adequate resources are allocated to developing and implementing the GEAP.
- A defined entity must report on its progress relating to the strategies and measures set out in its GEAP through a progress report.
Other Victorian and Commonwealth laws
When developing a GEAP, defined entities must have regard to legal obligations they may have under Commonwealth and State legislation and industrial instruments, including but not limited to:
- the Fair Work Act (Cth) and other Commonwealth workplace relations legislation
- theEqual Opportunity Act (Vic) and the Charter of Human rights and Responsibilities Act (Vic)
- the Sex Discrimination Act (Cth) and the Workplace Gender Equality Act (Cth)
- enterprise agreements, workplace determinations and modern awards.
Compounded gender inequality
Section 6(8) of the Act outlines 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. For the purposes of this guidance, the Commission refers to this concept as “intersectional gender inequality”. For further information on intersectional gender inequality, please refer to the glossary.
Reviewed 24 March 2022