27 September 2023

GEAP Commission takes next equality steps

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As the due date for Agencies to submit their very first Gender Equality Action Plans (GEAPs) passes, the Commission for Gender Equality in the Public Sector has released information on next steps.

In its update, the Commission said defined entities had been required to submit their GEAPs by 31 March, following an extension of the legislated deadline of 31 October 2021 due to the pandemic.

“The Commission for Gender Equality in the Public Sector (CGEPS) would like to acknowledge the considerable time and effort that defined entities have put into the development and submission of their GEAPs,” the Commission said.

“Our team will shortly commence reviewing GEAPs for compliance against the requirements listed under section 10 of the Gender Equality Act 2020,” it said.

“We appreciate your patience as our small team works through this rigorous process, led by Commissioner, Dr Niki Vincent.”

The Commission said all reporting platform users would be notified of the outcome of the GEAP compliance check and defined entities would be allowed some time to make any required changes.

It said that once the compliance checking and resubmission process (if required) was completed, defined entities would be notified that they should publish their GEAP on their website and notify their governing body, employees and employee representatives of that publication within a reasonable time.

“The timeframe for publishing GEAPs on the Commission’s website will be confirmed shortly, noting this will not occur before June 2022,” it said.

“Organisations that would prefer to provide a graphically designed copy of their final GEAP for publication by the Commission should notify us immediately.”

The Commission said organisations could publish their GEAP before receiving their compliance check outcome, however, they must note on the webpage that the GEAP may be subject to change following feedback from the Commission.

“Following the compliance checking process, the Commission will be undertaking further in-depth qualitative analysis of GEAPs with a view to improving our guidance materials and training and showcasing best practice examples that will support defined entities to strengthen their strategies and measures to progress gender equality.”

It said the compliance checking process for GEAPs was expected to take approximately eight to 10 weeks from date of submission.

Further information on the GEAP compliance checking process can be accessed at this PS News link and on GEAPs at this link.

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