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Management of human resources

Management of human resources

Employee skills and qualifications

We are fortunate to have employees with a great diversity of skills, knowledge and experience. This ranges from research knowledge in multiple disciplines – including social science, psychology, family law, child and adolescent development, criminology, demography, economics, statistics and survey design – to management skills such as commercial contract negotiation, project management, financial and human resource management, information technology and communications. This diversity of knowledge and expertise exemplifies one of the benefits of working in a small organisation. These skills are known and, as such, can be used across a number of facets of our operations.

Figures 9.1.1 and 9.1.2 show, respectively, the highest qualifications gained by our employees overall and by those employed in the research area.

Employee qualifications as at 30 June 2020  4.3%

Research employee qualifications as at 30 June 2020  30%

Workforce planning

In 2019/20, we continued to develop our capacity to plan and respond to changing workforce needs. Building capacity and other workforce issues, including increasing the diversity of our workforce, will continue to be an area of focus in 2020/21.

Learning and development

The primary focus of learning and development activities is to ensure that we have the organisational capability to meet operational objectives, both now and in the future.
During the year, staff development covered a range of topics including written communication, leadership, research and analysis tools, compliance topics, interpersonal skills and wellbeing. The effectiveness of the training provided was evaluated after each course and in the performance reviews conducted between managers and individuals.

We also continue to provide professional development opportunities for employees via professional memberships, attendance at conferences and webinars, many of which have moved to online or remote formats during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recruitment

Our recruitment in 2019/20 focused on specialist research positions, as well as key positions in knowledge translation and a new Chief Financial Officer. Our vacancies were advertised via online channels including the APS Jobs site and our social media pages.

Staff engagement, participation and development

We recognise the vital contribution our people make to the achievement of our purpose and the importance of staff being engaged with their work, participating in the workplace, and developing professionally.

Our comprehensive induction program for new staff and our ongoing activities that embed the AIFS Values and Behaviours ensure our workforce has a strong foundation.
In the second half of 2019/20 we relied on our strong culture of innovation, engagement and wellbeing to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our leaders and staff swiftly responded to the challenges of remote working through new flexibilities, peer support and increased use of video and collaboration technologies.

AIFS Values

In 2019/20 we worked to embed our AIFS Values and Behaviours, which along with the APS Values, help to shape our culture and guide us towards achieving our purpose. AIFS’ five values and behaviours are:

Champions of our work and each other
We want everyone’s boat to rise: We take collective pride in each other’s work and success.

Excellence for impact
We are committed to producing excellent work that makes a difference for families.

Fearless and curious explorers
We value experimentation, creativity and ongoing learnings.

Honest and respectful conversations
We are authentic and have meaningful conversations including the tough ones.

Seeing the lighter side
We value collegiality, humour and fun.

Workplace Relations Committee

The Workplace Relations Committee provides a forum for management and employees to discuss matters relating to the Enterprise Agreement as well as the workplace in general. The committee comprises management and employee representatives. The Committee’s work in 2019/20 focused on staff consultation relating to the provision of salary increases by a Determination made by the Director under section 24(1) of the Public Service Act 1999 as an alternative to enterprise bargaining, with the nominal expiry of the Australian Institute of Family Studies Enterprise Agreement 2017 being in June 2020. The 2020 salary increase of 2% was subsequently affected by the Government’s decision to defer salary increases for Commonwealth employees by six months and will now take effect in December 2020.

Health and Safety Committee

The Health and Safety Committee was established to represent staff and facilitate consultation and discussion between management and employees regarding health and safety matters in the workplace. Committee meetings are held at least quarterly and provide an effective forum for staff to raise particular health and safety issues as well as the planning and promotion of health and safety practices and principles in the workplace.

Statistics on staffing

As at 30 June 2020, there were 93 staff – 22 males and 71 females – employed at the Institute under the Public Service Act 1999, excluding the Director and employees engaged to provide services to us on an irregular/intermittent (casual) basis.

Tables 4.1 and 4.2 present profiles of our staff by gender and type of employment at 30 June 2020 and 30 June 2019 respectively. As Table 4.1 indicates, at 30 June 2020 we had 35% of staff in ongoing positions and 65% of staff in non-ongoing positions. Table 4.3 describes staff by classification level, gender and type of employment as at 30 June 2020.

Table 4.1: Staffing overview – Actual ongoing and non-ongoing full-time and part-time staff, by gender, at 30 June 2020

Ongoing

Non-ongoing

Totals

Full-time

Part-time

Full-time

Part-time

Male

6

0

10

6

22

Female

14

12

21

24

71

Total number

20

12

31

30

93

% of all staff

22

13

33

32

100

Note: Excludes employees engaged to provide services to us on an irregular/intermittent (casual) basis.

Table 4.2: Staffing overview – Actual ongoing and non-ongoing full-time and part-time staff, by gender, at 30 June 2019

Ongoing

Non-ongoing

Totals

Full-time

Part-time

Full-time

Part-time

Male

8

0

10

4

22

Female

14

11

32

25

82

Total number

22

11

42

29

104

% of all staff

21

11

40

28

100

Note: Excludes employees engaged to provide services to us on an irregular/intermittent (casual) basis.

Table 4.3: Staffing overview – Actual ongoing and non-ongoing staff, by classification level and gender, at 30 June 2020

Classification

AIFS classification

Ongoing

Non-ongoing

Total

% of all staff

Male

Female

Male

Female

SES Band 1

SES Band 1

1

1

0

0

2

2

Executive Level 2

AIFS EL2

2

10

2

4

18

29

Executive Level 1

AIFS EL1

2

4

7

11

24

26

APS6

AIFS Band 5–6

1

8

2

17

28

30

APS5

AIFS Band 5–6

0

2

3

8

13

14

APS4

AIFS Band 3–4

0

1

2

4

7

8

APS3

AIFS Band 3–4

0

0

0

1

1

1

APS2

AIFS Band 1–2

0

0

0

0

0

0

APS1

AIFS Band 1–2

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total

6

26

16

45

93

100

% of all staff

6

28

17

48

100

Note: Eighteen employees on higher duties were counted at the higher duties level. Excludes employees engaged to provide services to us on an irregular/intermittent (casual) basis.

Staff location

As at 30 June 2020 100% of AIFS' ongoing and non‑ongoing employees were located in Victoria, the same as at 30 June 2019.

Employees who identify as Indigenous

As at 30 June 2020 we had 0 ongoing or non-ongoing employees who identified as Indigenous, the same as at 30 June 2019.

Individual and collective agreements

Details of the number of staff covered by our Enterprise Agreement or a Section 24(1) determination at 30 June 2020 are shown in Table 4.4.

Table 4.4: Number of staff covered by different employment agreements, at 30 June 2020

SES

Non-SES

Total

Enterprise Agreement

0

91

91

Section 24(1) determination

2

0

2

Total

2

91

93

Note: The two SES employees on Section 24(1) determinations are also covered by the Enterprise Agreement at their substantive level. The number of staff excludes employees engaged to provide services to us on an irregular/intermittent (casual) basis.

Performance pay

0 employees were eligible for performance pay in 2019/20.

Assets management

We maintain a detailed and effective assets register. Assets management is not a significant aspect of our strategic business.

Purchasing

All purchasing is carried out in line with the requirements of the Commonwealth Procurement Rules, as detailed in the Accountable Authority’s Instructions and Financial Guidelines, and in keeping with the core principles of ethical, efficient, effective and economical conduct. Templates covering all aspects of purchasing and approval have been developed and are used consistently.

All procurements in excess of $10,000 are reported in AusTender, and contracts in excess of $100,000 are included in Senate Order 192 reporting.

Consultants

Our core business, to conduct research and communicate the findings, can require the use of consultant expertise. Consultants are generally engaged when particular specialist expertise is necessary and sufficiently skilled expertise is not immediately available in-house, or independent advice is required.

The services provided by new and continuing consultants in the reporting period included website content governance services, the review and audit of financial activities, human resources and business process analyses, as well as media relations services.

Processes for the engagement of consultants were consistent with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules, as detailed in the Financial Guidelines. As with all procurement, the priority in the engagement of consultants is to obtain value for money. Competitive processes are used for the selection of consultants, and the Accountable Authority’s Instructions contained guidelines for the approval of expenditure.

Consistent with the policy of including trend data in annual reports, expenditure on consultancy contracts over the three most recent financial years is listed in Table 4.5.

Table 4.5: Expenditure on consultancy contracts over 2017/18 to 2019/20 (incl. GST)

Financial year

Consultancy contract expenditure $

2017/18

366,279

2018/19

232,790

2019/20

274,137

During 2019/20, seven new consultancy contracts were entered into (including those to the value of less than $10,000), involving total actual expenditure of $163,289.41 (incl. GST). In addition, three ongoing consultancy contracts were active during the year, involving total actual expenditure of $110,847.50 (incl. GST). Expenditure for the year totalled $274,136.91 (incl. GST).

The Annual Report contains information about actual expenditure on contracts for consultancies. Information on the value of contracts and consultancies over $10,000 is available on the AusTender website: www.tenders.gov.au

Commissioning bodies

During the 2019/20 financial year, the following organisations commissioned projects from the Institute:

  • Attorney-General’s Department
  • Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety Ltd
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • Central Queensland University
  • Department of Education, Northern Territory
  • Department of Education, Skills and Employment
  • Department of Health
  • Department of Social Services
  • Department of Veterans’ Affairs
  • Monash University
  • National Centre for Vocational Education Research
  • National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health
  • Parenting Research Centre
  • Singapore Ministry of Social and Family Development

Australian National Audit Office access clauses

Our contract templates contain standard clauses to provide for the Auditor-General to have access to the contractor’s premises. All contracts let during the reporting period contained these standard clauses.

Exempt contracts

We have not entered into any contracts or standing offers above the reporting threshold value of $10,000 that have been exempted from publication in AusTender..

Procurement initiatives to support small business

We support small business participation in the Commonwealth Government procurement market. Our procurement practices support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by using the following:

  • the Commonwealth Contracting Suite for low risk procurements valued under $200,000
  • Australian Industry Participation Plans in whole-of-government procurement where applicable
  • the Small Business Engagement Principles (outlined in the government’s Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda), such as communicating in clear, simple language and presenting information in an accessible format
  • electronic systems or other processes used to facilitate on-time payment performance, including the use of payment cards.

SME and small enterprise participation statistics are available on the Department of Finance’s website: www.finance.gov.au/procurement/statistics-on-commonwealth-purchasing-contracts/