Gender Equality Action Plan deadline extended to 1 December 2021

June 8, 2021

The deadline for public health services to submit their Gender Equality Action Plans has been extended to 1 December 2021.

The VHA welcomes the Public Sector Gender Equality Commissioner’s decision, having recently advocated on behalf of public health services to have the deadline extended beyond October 2021.

While strongly supporting the intent of the Gender Equality Act, the VHA understands our public health services are operating under considerable pressure while responding to COVID-19 outbreaks, increased reporting requirements and significant system reforms.

The extension applies to all defined entities for this year only, and does not affect other obligations or timeframes under the Gender Equality Act.

It is important to note that while Workplace gender audits must be submitted with Gender Equality Action Plans by 1 December 2021, the audit must be based on data as at 30 June 2021.

The deadlines for reporting obligations have been updated on the Commission for Gender Equality in the Public Sector website.

The VHA also sought clarity about whether, in working to meet the Act’s obligations, health services can share resources in order to streamline their efforts.

The Commission’s advice is that health services are encouraged to work collaboratively and share available resources and experience, while ensuring that each service meets their individual entity obligations under the Act.

This means individual Gender Equality Action Plans must be submitted, focusing on strategies and measures to reflect your specific workplace gender audit results.

As the Act’s intent is to build organisational capacity and capability to progress gender equality, the Commission believes ongoing, embedded resources are best placed to provide support and ensure success in the longer term.

Gender Equality Action Plan workshops for health services

The Commission is funding workshops for all defined entities to provide support and capacity building to help you meet your obligations under the Act.

These workshops have been tailored for health services and provide practical training to help meet your obligation to develop a Gender Equality Action Plan.

Ideally, services should register up to five staff members leading Gender Equality Act 2020 Implementation, with gender/diversity and inclusion responsibilities, human resources/systems expertise and change management.

Three free, online workshops are running on 16, 17 and 18 June. Click here fore more information and to register.

More information about the Gender Equality Act and related obligations are available on the Commission for Gender Equality in the Public Sector website.