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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 2019–20. A key focus was discussion of proposed changes to a number of human resources policies, accommodation and the AIHW’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health and Safety Committee

We maintained a Health and Safety Committee during 2019–20 as required by sections 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 discussed the continued implementation of the Healthier Work Program, security and safety arrangements for staff who work outside of core business hours, emergency evacuation procedures and thermal comfort.

In addition, the committee discussed the AIHW’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with an emphasis on the WHS of staff working from home, safety measures implemented for staff who continued to work from an AIHW office and support for staff returning to work. The committee also supported WHS arrangements for staff following the relocation of a work group to a new building, and tested and tagged 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 2 times during 2019–20—less than its usual 3 occasions due to disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The committee discussed the delivery of corporate programs, feedback from staff and the implementation of an upgrade to our learning management system, Learnhub.

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 organised the annual staff Christmas party and other events.

The red team, blue team and CEO Barry Sandison standing together at the AIHW birthday soccer match
The annual AIHW birthday soccer match, July 2019

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.

We undertake major charity fundraising and promote health and welfare activities. Activities supported in 2019–20 included: DonateLife Week; International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia; Men’s Health Week; R U OK Day; White Ribbon Day; Women’s Health Week; World AIDS Day; and World Mental Health Day.

White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation

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.

Through 2019–20, we maintained our Family and Domestic Violence Policy and supporting material. We also continued to deliver awareness workshops. We engaged with Communicare to assist us maintain our commitment to raising awareness and supported staff who may be affected by family or domestic violence.