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Workforce management

Staff are the ABCC’s most valuable resource. The agency has in place a workforce plan designed to adopt an efficient and effective approach to ensuring the ABCC is adequately resourced to carry out its functions.

To continue to attract high-performing staff, the ABCC invests significantly in ongoing education and training, maintaining high levels of engagement and wellbeing in its workforce, and attracting the best candidates available.

Recruitment and retention

During the reporting period, internal and external recruitment activities undertaken by the ABCC decreased by more than 25 per cent from the previous year.

This decrease was attributable to COVID-19, which caused a slowdown of internal and external recruitment activities.

Graduate recruitment continued to be a success, with 10 new graduates engaged during this reporting period.

In the previous reporting period, the ABCC’s staff turnover rate was 25 per cent. In this reporting period, the turnover rate for the agency decreased to 11 per cent.

Workforce development

The ABCC is committed to developing workforce capabilities, skills and competencies, and supporting staff to perform to their full potential. Part of this commitment includes ongoing collaboration with individual business units to identify current and future learning and development priorities. Staff development during this period has included a blend of on-the-job and in-house training, externally facilitated programs and internally run technical sessions. Staff have also attended formal training, external short courses, conferences and mandatory continuing professional development seminars.

The ABCC’s learning management system has been upgraded and improved, providing staff with a one-stop shop for online learning. In addition, the development of a Capability Framework for Graduates and Inspectors has further enhanced and targeted key learning and development requirements for these staff.

Professional development programs undertaken during the reporting period have included:

  • witness statement taking
  • investigative interviewing
  • situational awareness training
  • workplace legislation training
  • ABCC induction
  • building code theory training
  • legal technical training
  • online learning modules
  • corporate compliance program.

Performance management

In the reporting period, the ABCC conducted a review of its performance management processes, resources and tools. This resulted in a simplified, user-friendly intranet site that provides both managers and employees with better education and support that they can use during the performance management process. The updated site clearly highlights the responsibility and roles both the employee and their manager play in managing and improving performance. There is a strong emphasis placed on the need for regular, ongoing conversations and feedback to ensure good performance management at the ABCC.

Workplace environment

Throughout 2019–20, the ABCC continued to focus on positive work health and safety by offering a number of wellbeing activities, including:

  • physical and mental health assessments
  • skin cancer checks
  • flu vaccinations
  • participation in the Virgin Global Challenge program
  • a suite of educational wellbeing seminars
  • provision of e-learning modules, providing a broad range of skill-building training on demand
  • access to an online wellbeing centre
  • healthy lifestyle assistance.

The ABCC also promoted the Employee Assistance Program.

During the reporting period, the agency’s WHSC met four times. The ABCC appointed and trained three new health and safety representatives and first aid officers where needed.

No bullying or harassment incidents were reported during the year. No new compensation claims were submitted.

The agency’s rehabilitation management system audit revealed 100 per cent compliance against Comcare’s Guidelines for Rehabilitation Authorities 2019. This was consistent with 100 per cent compliance against Comcare’s repealed Guidelines for Rehabilitation Authorities 2012 in 2018–19.

Ongoing support was provided to all staff during COVID-19, such as access to a dedicated information page with resources including fact sheets, webinars and tools to complete an ergonomic workstation self-assessment.

Ethics and values

The ABCC is committed to the APS Values, Code of Conduct and Employment Principles. Information on the APS Values, Code of Conduct and Employment Principles is available on the ABCC intranet, included in induction training and regular training for existing staff.

Disability reporting in annual reports

The National Disability Strategy 2010–2020 is Australia’s overarching framework for disability reform. It acts to ensure that the principles underpinning the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities are incorporated into Australia’s policies and programs that affect people with disability, their families and carers.

All levels of government will continue to be held accountable for the implementation of the strategy through biennial progress reporting to the Council of Australian Governments. Progress reports can be found at www.dss.gov.au.

Disability reporting is included in the Australian Public Service Commission’s State of the Service reports and the APS Statistical Bulletin. These reports are available at www.apsc.gov.au.

Remuneration and conditions of employment

All ABCC staff, with the exception of the Commissioner and three Deputy Commissioners, are engaged under the Public Service Act 1999.

The Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners are engaged as Tier 2 public office holders (POHs) in accordance with the Remuneration Tribunal’s determination.

All SES officers’ terms and conditions of employment are covered by common law contracts.

All non-SES employees are covered by the ABCC 2017–2020 Enterprise Agreement. This agreement came into effect on 15 May 2017 and had a nominal expiry date of 15 May 2020. The Commissioner signed a determination under section 24 of the Public Service Act 1999 that applies to non-SES staff covered by the enterprise agreement. It provides for increases to existing salary and Corporate Citizen allowances covered by the enterprise agreement. The salary increases will be:

  • 2 per cent payable from 16 May 2020;
  • 2 per cent payable from 16 May 2021; and
  • 2 per cent payable from 16 May 2022.

The determination was due to take effect on 16 May 2020. The government announced that, effective 14 April 2020, over the next 12 months upcoming wage and salary-related allowance increases in APS agencies will be delayed by six months, as they fall due. The first increase is now due on 16 November 2020.

As at 30 June 2020, the ABCC employed 154 employees under the 2017–2020 Enterprise Agreement, one contractor, two SES officers by common law contracts, and four POHs. Eight staff had individual flexibility arrangements, as agreed with the Commissioner.

The salary ranges available for APS employees by classification level at the beginning and end of this reporting period are shown in Table A17 in Appendix A: Workforce statistics.

The ABCC does not provide performance pay for SES or non‑SES employees.

Staffing statistics

As at 30 June 2020, the ABCC employed 133 ongoing and 23 non-ongoing staff members (excluding one contractor), as well as four full-time ongoing POHs. One ongoing employee identified as Indigenous. Of the agency’s senior executive leadership team, 33 per cent were female; of the executive level staff, 37 per cent were female.

ABCC staffing statistics for the current and previous reporting periods can be found in Appendix A: Workforce statistics.

Executive remuneration

The Commissioner, three Deputy Commissioners and two SES officers form the ABCC’s key management personnel.

Remuneration of the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners is set by the Remuneration Tribunal under the relevant determinations covering POHs.

SES officers are part of the ABCC’s leadership group. They are not subject to the ABCC 2017–2020 Enterprise Agreement but have common law employment contracts approved by the Commissioner that reference key conditions within the enterprise agreement.

Acting SES officers receive remuneration based on the role and responsibilities of the acting position.

Other highly paid staff have individual flexibility arrangements under the enterprise agreement with remuneration outcomes exceeding the top pay point under the agreement. During the reporting period, there were no staff whose remuneration exceeded the threshold amount.

The ABCC does not pay performance bonuses.

Table 21 shows the ABCC’s executive remuneration for the reporting period. Staff acting in SES or other highly paid positions for a total period of less than three months are not included in the ABCC’s executive remuneration disclosure.

Table 21: Key management personnel remuneration for the reporting period


Position title

Short-term benefits

Post-employment benefits

Other long-term benefits

Termination benefits

Total remuneration

Base salary


Other benefits and allowances

Superannuation contributions

Long service leave

Other benefits

Stephen McBurney










Cliff Pettit

Deputy Commissioner









Jill Jepson

Deputy Commissioner









Matt Kelleher

Deputy Commissioner









Janine Drennan

National Manager Building Code









Murray Gregor

Executive Director Operations