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Gender Equality Legislation – What will it mean for your business?

Submitted on Thursday, 21st December 2017

The Victorian Government has committed to developing gender equality legislation and is currently consulting with businesses and the community on what they would like included in the legislation and how it might be rolled out.

The commitment is part of the Victorian Government’s Safe and Strong Gender Equality Strategy, released in 2016. 

The first phase of consultation is being held in Melbourne on Thursday 11th January 9:30am-11:30am, Level 5, 121 Exhibition St, Melbourne CBD.

To attend, RSVP to gender.equality@dhhs.vic.gov.au no later than two business days prior to the workshop.

The Victorian Chamber is a strong support of equal opportunity, equality and diversity in the workplace. Workplace equality, including gender equity, makes good business sense.

In developing gender equality legislation, the Victorian Chamber has reinforced with the government that new legislation must:

Regulatory burdens have a significant and disproportionate impact on small business. Lower regulatory burdens are essential for improving the competitiveness of Victorian small business. Any red tape introduced through the gender equality legislation must replace existing red tape in a one-in-one-out approach.

  • Complement federal government efforts

    Legislation already exists at a Federal level through the Federal Workplace Gender Equality Act (2012). It requires businesses of a certain size to lodge annual public reports on their organisation’s various gender equity indicators (e.g. equal remuneration between men and women). The Victorian Chamber strongly advocates that any state based legislation must complement federal government efforts and the work being undertaken by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.

  • Not impose additional red tape on business

    Regulatory burdens have a significant and disproportionate impact on small business. Lower regulatory burdens are essential for improving the competitiveness of Victorian small business. Any red tape introduced through the gender equality legislation must replace existing red tape in a one-in-one-out approach.

  • Not make it more difficult for small businesses to compete for government contracts.

    The Victorian Government has committed to boost opportunities for local businesses, particularly small and medium sized businesses, to compete for government contracts. However, it is proposed that gender equity goals are embedded in government contracts. Gender equality legislation must not directly, or indirectly, create barriers for small and medium sized businesses to compete for government contracts.

We encourage you to attend the consultation sessions to make sure your view is heard. If members are unable to attend a briefing, please contact the Victorian Chamber’s Policy and Advocacy Team at policy@victorianchamber.com.au so your view can be represented in the Chamber’s advocacy.

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