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Engaging with staff

We recognise the importance of engaging with staff in decisions that affect them. This engagement leads to better service delivery, use of resources, overall performance and staff experiences. Our staff consultative arrangements include several formal committees.

Consultative Committee

This committee is the principal forum through which formal consultation and discussions on workplace relations matters take place between management and employees. Consultative Committee processes support the change management and consultation obligations outlined in our EA. The committee discusses workplace relations matters in a spirit of cooperation and trust.

The committee met 4 times in 2018–19. A key focus was discussion of proposed changes to a number of human resources policies, accommodation to support the increase in staff numbers and car-parking facilities.

Health and Safety Committee

We maintained a Health and Safety Committee during 2018–19 as required by ss.75–79 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act). The committee facilitates cooperation between management and employees in initiating, developing and carrying out measures designed to ensure the health and safety of our people.

The committee met 4 times during the year and reviewed and supported the implementation of a new Work Health and Safety (WHS) Risk Register, Health and Safety Management Arrangements, WHS Policy and implementation of a Healthier Work Program. In addition, the committee supported health and safety arrangements for staff, following the relocation of a work group to a new building, and testing and tagging of electrical and fire safety equipment.

Learning and Development Advisory Committee

This committee provides strategic direction for, and enables staff input to, the planning and delivery of the learning and development program and initiatives. The committee comprises representatives from each group. The committee met 3 times during 2018–19 and discussed the implementation and subsequent review of the Learning and Development Strategy, development of specific technical training to support current and future work programs, the efficient use of the learning management system, and delivery of training to staff located in Sydney.

Social Club

Our active Social Club coordinates social activities and events to help foster a positive and collaborative workplace environment. The club comprises members that include a senior executive sponsor and staff from the latest graduate intake. Members take the lead in organising the annual staff Christmas party and other events.

Corporate social responsibility

We continued to foster stakeholder partnerships and engage with community organisations. We recognise the importance of giving back to the community by holding a range of events throughout the year to raise funds for charities. All staff are encouraged to support the Australian Red Cross Blood Service. Under our EA, staff have approved time off work to donate blood without needing to use leave.

A number of fundraising events were held during the year to support a range of local and national charities, including Karinya House, the Winter Coat Project, Cancer Council Relay for Life, RSPCA Giving Tree, Smith Family Toy and Book Appeal, AIDS Action Council, Pegasus, Wear it Purple Day and Jeans for Genes Day.

We promote major health and welfare activities though Tellagraph, our internal noticeboard. Activities included: Movember; DonateLife Week; Dry July; Men's Health Week; R U OK Day; International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia; World AIDS Day; White Ribbon Day and World Mental Health Day.

White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation

After an 18-month journey, the AIHW is now a White Ribbon Accredited Workplace. The world-first program focuses on gender discrimination and domestic violence, and provides organisations with a structured framework to examine current policies, procedures, training and communication. We have established a new Family and Domestic Violence Policy and supporting material, delivered several awareness workshops to staff and managers, collaborated with external organisations and APS agencies to share information and ideas, and amended our leave guidelines to provide improved guidance for staff who may be affected by family or domestic violence.

We believe that all forms of violence are unacceptable, and acknowledge that both men and women can be victims and the positive role that men play alongside women in preventing violence against women.