Victoria government logo
buyingfor.vic.gov.au

Building Equality Policy – Suppliers

Find out about the Building Equality Policy and what tenderers need to do to comply.

Policy application

In December 2021, the Government announced its Building Equality Policy to improve gender equality in the building, infrastructure, and civil engineering sectors.

The policy applies to all publicly funded construction projects that meet the following requirements:

  • Valued at $20 million or more (excluding GST).
  • Request for Tenders released after 1 January 2022.

Thresholds refer to the total budget allocated over the life of the project. It does not refer to the value of individual contracts.

Grants are not subject to the Building Equality Policy.

The policy is being implemented through the Social Procurement Framework. It aligns with the Women’s equality and safety objective.

Responding to tenders

The policy requires suppliers to undertake the following three actions:

  • Action 1: Meet project specific gender equality targets.
  • Action 2: Engage women as apprentices and trainees.
  • Action 3: Require gender equality action plans.

Tenderers are required to address how they will meet or exceed the targets in Action 1 and Action 2 and submit the following with their tender for Action 3:

  • an Organisation Wide Gender Equality Action Plan.
  • an Organisation Wide Workplace Gender Audit.
  • a Project Specific Gender Equality Action Plan.

When responding to tenders that have Building Equality Policy targets, Tenderers must:

  • Provide their responses in the Response Schedules.
  • Provide commitments in the Social Procurement Commitment Proposal.

Tenderers should refer to the following information:

Action 1: Meet project specific gender equality targets

For the contract works’ total estimated labour hours, contractors must meet the following:

  • Trade covered labour positions: at least 3 % of each trade position must be performed by women.

For example:

If the total estimated labour hours for carpenters in a project is 10,000 hours, then at least 300 estimated labour hours must be performed by women.

  • Non-trade Construction Award covered labour: at least 7 % of each non-trade Construction Award covered labour position must be performed by women.

For example:

If the total estimated labour hours for concreters in a project is 15,000 hours, then at least 1050 estimated labour hours must be performed by women.

  • Management/supervisory and specialist labour (staff): at least 35 % of each management/supervisory and specialist labour (staff) position must be performed by women.

For example:

If the total estimated labour hours for surveyors in a project is 7,000 hours, then at least 2,450 estimated labour hours must be performed by women.

Staff must spend 80% of their time dedicated to a specific project to count towards this target.

To respond to tenders that have project specific gender equality targets the Tenderer must complete the Social Procurement Commitment Proposal included in the tender.

Tenderers must outline how they will they meet or exceed targets during the term of the contract in the Response Schedule.

Action 2: Engage women as apprentices and trainees

Contractors must engage women as apprentices and trainees for at least 4% of the contract works’ total estimated labour hours.

The 4% apprentice and trainee hours performed by women can be calculated by using the Major Project Skills Guarantee formulaExternal Link .

For example:

If the total deemed labour hours (calculated based on the Deemed hours formula) for a project is 10,000 hours, then at least 400 labour hours must be performed by women on that project.

Only the hours spent working on the project can be counted towards the project’s Building equality policy targets.

For example:

A plumbing apprentice may work across a few projects and only spend an equivalent of two days working on the Building equality policy applicable project. Only these days can be counted towards the requirement.

Off-site training and education hours can be counted towards Building equality policy targets.

Hours counted towards the Building equality policy 4% target for apprentices and trainees can count towards a contractor's Major Project Skills Guarantee 10% targetExternal Link .

Only trainees and apprentices can be counted toward the Building Equality Policy 4% target – cadets are excluded.

To respond to tenders that have apprentices and trainees targets the Tenderer must complete the Social Procurement Commitment Proposal included in the tender.

Tenderers must outline how they will they meet or exceed targets during the term of the contract in the Response Schedule.

Action 3: Require Gender Equality Action Plans

The tender response must include:

  • An Organisation Wide Workplace Gender Audit.
  • An Organisation Wide Gender Equality Action Plan.
  • A Project Specific Gender Equality Action Plan.

Refer to Gender Equality Action Plan - Guidance for Tenderers.

Contract award

Buyers may negotiate and finalise the commitments made by the Tenderer. The final commitments will form part of the contract.

Successful or unsuccessful tenderers may request feedback on their response. This can be a part of the debriefing process.

Contract management

The Building Equality Policy is subject to a transitional implementation period until 1 January 2024.

Within 20 business days, contractors must report on an inability to meet:

  • Policy action targets.
  • Gender equality action plan mandatory actions.

Contractors may be required to outline steps to improve performance.

Verification of the contractor’s performance will be undertaken at practical completion.

From 1 January 2024 penalties may apply for non-compliance as determined by the Buyer.

Reporting requirements

Contractors are required to report on all three Building Equality policy actions during the life of the project. Reporting will be captured in the Victorian Management CentreExternal Link .

Action 1: Meet project specific gender equality targets

Every 6 months and at practical completion, contractors must submit relevant data and a record of actual labour hours for each position against the baseline

Contractors must submit their total estimated labour hours for each position applicable to the project with their first progress report to establish the baseline.

Action 2: Engage women as apprentices and trainees

Every 6 months and at practical completion, contractors must submit relevant data and a record of actual labour hours for each position against the baseline.

Contractors will use the hours calculated using the Major Projects Skills Guarantee as the baselineExternal Link .

Action 3 – Require Gender Equality Action Plans

Contractors must report on their implementation of the mandatory actions required in the Gender Equality Action Plans.

Every 12 months and at practical completion, contractors must submit:

  • A progress report against Organisation Wide Gender Equality Action Plan
  • An updated Organisation Wide Workplace Gender Audit

Every 6 months and at practical completion, contractors must submit:

  • Progress report against Project Specific Gender Equality Action Plan
  • Complete Project Specific Workplace Gender Audit (practical completion only)

Refer to Gender Equality Action Plan - Contract management and reporting guidance for suppliers.

Help and support

For more information on responding to the Building Equality Policy, contact the Industry Capability Network Victorian Social Procurement team.

Access the Building Equality Policy - Defined terms for more information.

Reviewed 16 May 2022

Buying for Victoria

Was this page helpful?