Gender-responsive Public Procurement
Use of labels/certifications
To verify compliance with specifications or performance under award criteria, contracting authorities may request that bidders provide a third-party label or certification.
In the GRPP context, certain labels may assist companies in implementing gender equality measures and in monitoring progress. For labels or certifications to be requested in tenders, they must meet certain minimum transparency standards, be based on objective criteria and be available to all operators who meet the criteria (not, for example, only those in a particular country or region).
Examples of labels or certifications
In Malta, an equality mark has been developed, which is available to organisations that take specific steps to foster gender equality, relating to recruitment, training, promotion, equal pay, family-friendly policies and equal access to goods and services. As of January 2021, approximately 100 organisations had achieved this certification, in sectors including cleaning services, security services, banking, consultancy, pharmacies and medical supplies.
In Germany, several standards are available to certify if a business is active in fostering a good work–life balance for staff with family. The criteria include approaches to recruitment, part-time work, communication and long-term planning.
In Spain, a business equality distinction is regulated in Article 50 of Organic Law 3/2007 for effective equality between women and men. At the state level, Order SSI /113/2018, regulates the award of the ‘equality in the company’ label. To obtain the label, companies must report annually to the Institute of Women on gender equality measures and maintain an excellent standard. As of 2020, 170 companies held the label.
Example of a tendering procedure establishing the possession of a ‘family’ label as an award criterion
In Italy, in a tender concerning the provision of catering services by the province of Trento, an award criterion was established for operators in possession of the ‘family audit’ label or equivalent labels certifying the performance of meaningful work–life balance measures. The family audit certification, which is issued by the autonomous province of Trento, certifies that a company employs work–life balance measures and policies aimed at improving the well-being of its employees and their families. Among the most important measures are the flexibility of working hours and provisions for remote working (teleworking) and part-time work.