COVID-19 extension on Gender Equality Action Plans

Due to COVID-19, entities can submit Gender Equality Action Plans in two stages.

Tuesday, 31 August 2021 at 11:00 pm

The resurgence of COVID-19 in our community has created additional constraints for many organisations and their employees.

Given these exceptional circumstances and the uncertainty about ongoing impacts, the Commissioner has made a change to the submission date for a component of the obligation to prepare and submit a Gender Equality Action Plan.

The Commissioner will now allow defined entities to submit their Gender Equality Action Plan in two stages.

While the submission of the data from workplace gender audits will remain due by 1 December 2021, defined entities will now have the option to submit the strategies and measures they develop for promoting gender equality in their workplaces by 31 March 2022.

The two-stage option for submitting a Gender Equality Action Plan is to alleviate the current strain on organisations responding to the pandemic, with employees being re-deployed for COVID-19 responses, managing their children’s care and learning from home, and facing other challenges during the crisis. It is intended to reduce pressure and allow for meaningful consultation to inform the strategies and measures in your plans.

Defined entities that do not require additional time for consultation and strategy development will still be able to submit their full Gender Equality Action Plan (i.e. audit data and strategies) on 1 December 2021.

The extension does not change future deadlines under the Gender Equality Act. The first progress report will still be due on 31 October 2023 and organisations should continue to deliver on their ongoing obligation to undertake gender impact assessments for all new (and up for review) policies, programs and services that have a direct and significant public impact.

If you have questions about the option to submit your Gender Equality Action Plan in two stages, or any other obligations under the Gender Equality Act please contact