New Gender Pay Equity Principles in Victoria

This article applies to defined entities under the Gender Equality Act 2020 (Vic).

Gender Equality Amendment Regulations 2021 (Vic)

Please be advised that the Gender Equality Amendment Regulations 2021 (Vic) (the Amendment Regulations) has commenced on 1 February 2022, amending the Gender Equality Regulations 2020 (Vic) (the Regulations).  The Amendment Regulations prescribe additional matters that must be considered by a defined entity when preparing a Gender Equality Action Plan.  The Amendment Regulations also prescribe an alternative date by which a university must undertake a workplace gender audit.

Gender pay equity principles

In accordance with the new regulation 5A, a defined entity must ensure that the Gender Equality Action Plan includes reference to how the entity has taken into account a number of gender pay equity principles.  Under regulation 5A(1), the principles are as follows:

  • equal pay for work of equal or comparable value, which refers to work valued as equal or comparable in terms of skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions, including different types of work;
  • employment and pay practices are free from bias and discrimination, including the effects of unconscious bias and assumptions based on gender;
  • employment and pay practices, pay rates and systems are transparent and information about these matters is readily accessible and understandable;
  • employment and pay practices recognise and account for different patterns of labour force participation by employees who undertake unpaid or caring work;
  • interventions and solutions are collectively developed and agreed to, sustainable and enduring; and
  • employees, unions and employers work collaboratively to achieve mutually agreed outcomes.

Pay, for the purposes of this regulation, is defined as remuneration and includes but is not limited to salary, bonuses, overtime payments, allowances and superannuation.

Audit assessment period for universities

Section 11 of the Gender Equality Act 2020 (Vic) (the Act) states that all defined entities must undertake a workplace gender audit to assess the state and nature of gender inequality in the workplace.  Under section 11, this audit must be undertaken as at 30 June each year.

The new regulation 5B will exempt universities from this requirement.  However, universities must undertake their audit as at 31 March in the reporting year, having regard to the matters outlined in section 11 of the Act.

Similarly, a university is exempt from the requirement to base their audit on the data as at 30 June each year, instead their audit must be based on the specified data as at 31 March each reporting year.

Prescribed designated bodies

Finally, regulation 7 has been amended to include universities within the definition of designated body for the purposes of section 38(1) of the Act.  Under the Act, the Commissioner has certain powers in relation to disputes arising under enterprise agreements or workplace determinations of designated bodies.

Please click here to access the full Amendment Regulations.


For further information please contact the Law Compliance team:

Phone: 1300 862 667


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