Deadline for submission of Gender Equality Action Plans extended to 20 June 2022
February 23, 2022
Following correspondence between the VHA and the Commissioner for Gender Equality in the Public Sector, an extension has been granted to VHA members who have faced challenges in meeting obligations in relation to the Gender Equality Act 2020, specifically in meeting the 31 March 2022 deadline for submission of Gender Equality Action Plans (GEAPs).
While several VHA members have already submitted their GEAPS, other members’ progress to meet the existing deadline has been significantly impacted by the current COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent Code Brown.
On Monday 24 January, the VHA met with members of the Victorian Health Organisations Gender Equality Network (VHOGEN), an informal network with representatives from around 100 health services which aims to support health services deliver on the requirements of the Act. During the meeting, many VHOGEN members (who are also VHA members), including staff responsible for leading work related to the Act, reported that they have been re-deployed into pandemic response work, including rapid antigen testing and vaccination programs.
In addition, many services reported that their ability to engage in meaningful staff consultation and gain approval for their GEAPs from their organisational leaders and executive has been delayed as emergency pandemic response work has taken priority.
In recognising the challenges our members have faced, the Commissioner has indicated that GEAPs should now be submitted no later than close of business on 20 June 2022.
The Commissioner will publicly report state-wide analyses of workplace gender audit data and of GEAPs in mid-2022 and has emphasised the importance of defined entities within the public health sector being represented in these analyses.