Equal employment opportunity (EEO) management plans

Section 145(1) of the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (EO Act) requires public authorities to prepare and implement an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) management plan.

For a range of reasons employees belonging to diversity groups may experience inequitable access to public employment.  The preparation and implementation of EEO management plans by public authorities is the means by which this inequitable access is addressed. 

In accordance with the EO Act plans must include the following provisions:

  • a process for the development of EEO policies and programs [section 145(2)(a)]
  • strategies to communicate the EEO policies and programs [section 145(2)(b)]
  • methods for the collection and recording of workforce diversity data [section145(2)(c)]
  • processes for the review of personnel practices to identify possible discriminatory practices [section 145(2)(d)]
  • the inclusion of goals and targets to determine the success of the EEO management plan [section 145(2)(e)]
  • strategies to evaluate the EEO policies and programs [section 145(2)(f)]
  • a process to review and amend the EEO management plan [section 145(2)(g)]
  • the delegation of implementation, monitoring and review responsibilities. [section 145(2)(h)].

To meet the requirements under the EO Act public authorities must submit their EEO management plan and any further amendments of the Plan to the Director of Equal Opportunity in Public Employment (DEOPE) as soon as practicable once it has been prepared and endorsed. 

Integrated workforce and diversity plans

Public authorities can meet their obligations under the EO Act either through a standalone EEO management plan (as outlined above) or an integrated workforce and diversity plan.

Commissioner’s Circular 2017-04 encourages authorities to consider the integration of diversity with broader workforce planning through an integrated workforce and diversity plan. This integrated approach supports an inclusive workplace and streamlines human resource planning processes, whilst meeting legislative obligations.

Assessing plans

When assessing integrated workforce and diversity plans or standalone EEO management plans, as required by section 143 of the EO Act, the DEOPE only focusses on ensuring that plans include initiatives to meet the provisions of section 145(2) of the EO Act.

Useful resources

The DEOPE does not prescribe how a public authority presents its EEO management plan or workforce and diversity plan. Public authorities should consider a ‘fit for purpose’ approach which may take into account the size of the authority, nature of the workforce and level of competency in EEO management planning.

Authorities looking for ideas on EEO initiatives may find the following templates useful:

EEO management plan template (100 or more employees) 

For larger authorities and public universities choosing to maintain an independent EEO management plan, this template provides some key diversity initiatives and a framework to ensure all elements within s145(2)(a)–(h) of the Equal Opportunity Act are met.  

EEO management plan template (less than 100 employees)

For smaller public authorities, including local governments and government trading enterprises, electing to maintain an independent EEO management plan, this template provides some key diversity initiatives and a framework to ensure all elements within s145(2)(a)–(h) of the Equal Opportunity Act are met.  


Page last updated 29 September 2017