News and resources

Gender Equality Act 2020

The Gender Equality Act (2020) (the Act) was introduced to the Victorian parliament in March 2020 and commenced on 31 March 2021.

Councils, along with the Victorian public sector and universities, are now required to take positive action towards achieving workplace gender equality, and to consider and promote gender equality in their community facing policies, programs and services. The Act also established the Commission for Gender Equality in the Public sector, with Dr Niki Vincent appointed as Victoria’s first Public Sector Gender Equality Commissioner.

Key obligations and timelines for councils

Under the Act councils are required to:

  • Ongoing - Complete gender impact assessments of new and reviewed policies, programs and services that have a direct and significant impact on the community
  • 30 June 2021 - Complete a workplace gender audit
  • 1 December 2021 – Workplace gender audit data due
  • 31 March 2022 - Develop and submit a Gender Equality Action Plan based on the findings of your workplace gender audit (extension granted from 31 October 2021)
  • 31 October 2023 - Submit a progress report to evaluate the success of your Gender Equality Action Plan and gender impact assessments
  • Reporting cycle repeated every four years.

Resources for councils

The Commission for Gender Equality in the Public Sector (CGEPS) has developed and continues to update a suite of guidance and support materials to assist councils to understand and meet their obligations. These are available on the CGEPS website.

The MAV worked closely with CGEPS in 2020 to support the Local Government Gender Equality Act Implementation Pilot, which saw 10 councils test draft guidance materials before they were published.

The MAV is currently undertaking a supplementary project to understand the community facing data needs of councils required to effectively undertake gender impact assessments. Findings from this project will be available later in 2021.

CGEPS have funded a number of workshops to assist with workplace gender auditing and gender impact assessments through their Panel of Providers. The Panel of Providers can also be independently engaged by councils for support with meeting their obligations. Please submit your requests for support to CGEPS.

Other resources:

Contact

For the most up to date information about the Gender Equality Act visit the CGEPS website.

For questions about the Gender Equality Act (2020) and your obligations contact the Commission for Gender Equality in the Public Sector via enquiries@genderequalitycommission.vic.gov.au.

We recommend that you subscribe to the CGEPS mailing list to stay up to date on the latest developments and opportunities.

You can also subscribe to the MAV’s fortnightly e-news covering issues related to gender equality and prevention of violence.

For queries about the MAV’s role on relation to the Gender Equality Act contact genderequality@mav.asn.au