Transition from Australian Public Service
On 1 July 2019, ASIC moved out of the Australian Public Service (APS). The Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing ASIC’s Capabilities) Act 2018 amended the ASIC Act to remove the requirement for ASIC to engage employees under the Public Service Act 1999 (Public Service Act). Instead, it engaged employees under section 120 of the ASIC Act.
The changes were a result of the 2016 Government response to the 2015 ASIC Capability Review recommendation that ASIC no longer engage employees under the Public Service Act. The changes aligned ASIC with APRA and the RBA. They are intended to provide greater flexibility in the way ASIC employs its people, so that it has the right capabilities to deliver improved outcomes for all Australians.
ASIC Code of Conduct
As the APS Code of Conduct and values no longer applied to ASIC employees, the amendments to the ASIC Act also required the Chair to determine the ASIC Code of Conduct and ASIC Values.
On 1 July 2019, ASIC published its new Code of Conduct, which sets out ASIC’s expectations of its employees when performing ASIC’s functions. ASIC’s values of accountability, professionalism and teamwork remained the same. They underpin everything we do and play an essential role in meeting our strategic priorities.
ASIC’s Code of Conduct and Values are set out on our website.
Working at ASIC
This year, we focused on the experiences of our new team members, including seamless onboarding and induction processes.
Although low numbers of new starters commenced during the COVID-19 pandemic, results from our onboarding survey, launched this year, show that 89% are satisfied with their current role, 99% are satisfied with the support provided by their manager, and 100% can see themselves working at ASIC in 12 months’ time.
Since March 2020, given the restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, most of our people have worked remotely.
Despite the significant changes to work arrangements, pulse survey results showed a very positive response. On average, 65% of our people participated in the pulse surveys. In the last survey, conducted in June 2020, 94% felt that their work was meaningful and 90% felt well supported by their people leader.
Our people have embraced a new way of working and most will continue to work flexibly as we transition back to the office.
We are committed to investing in our workforce and we continue to recruit people from a wide variety of disciplines, including law, finance, economics, statistics and analytics, business and accounting, mathematics, arts and social science, and information technology and computer science.
Professional development and other benefits provided to our people this year included:
- up to 15.4% superannuation contribution
- annual performance bonus paid to ASIC 4 and executive level employees
- reward and recognition programs, including individual and team awards
- payment of relevant professional association memberships
- a study assistance program with employees supported in their studies across a range of disciplines, including IT and data analytics, leadership, applied finance and law
- flexible working arrangements.
ASIC has a well-established national 18-month graduate program, providing professional development in both business and interpersonal skills and rotation opportunities for graduates through different teams. Our multistaged graduate recruitment process enables us to identify and select a diverse range of candidates.
In 2019–20, we:
- received over 2,500 graduate applications
- expanded the program to employ 42 graduates
- were ranked #1 in the Australian Government category by the Australian Association of Graduate Employers
- were ranked #3 Top Graduate Employer by the Australian Association of Graduate Employers.
In late 2019, ASIC launched its first postgraduate program and employed eight postgraduates.
Postgraduates progress through a multistaged recruitment process and, once onboard, receive professional development and rotation opportunities. The 24-month program recognises the previous experience postgraduates bring to ASIC, with longer rotations across different business units.
We provide our people with opportunities to participate in a range of mentoring programs. In 2019–20, these included the following.
Women in Banking and Finance: Conducted externally, this program supports women preparing for senior leadership roles. This year, seven team members participated as mentees and one senior executive participated as a mentor.
Women in Law Enforcement Strategy (WILES): This is a formal 10 month program to address the underrepresentation of women in law enforcement agencies, particularly at senior levels. This year, seven team members participated in the program as mentees and five senior executives participated as mentors.
Our learning activities are aligned to capabilities identified in our organisational learning framework and our professional and technical learning frameworks. These frameworks focus on building and maintaining capability in regulatory practice, enforcement, law, data analytics, accounting and auditing.
This year, we delivered 421 learning activities to our people, resulting in 34,640 completions.
We develop our teams’ capabilities through both formal and on the job learning activities. We sponsor, guide, develop and deliver capability building activities through our Learning team, which works in partnership with our Professional and Technical Learning Networks, Communities of Practice and team Learning Champions.
During 2019–20, we conducted capability reviews across our organisational learning framework and our professional and technical learning frameworks to ensure that they continue to be relevant and future focused. We have also developed a foundational enforcement program to support new team members.
Our focus for 2020–21 will be to develop and implement a capability assessment program across ASIC, built on the foundation of the updated capability frameworks.
Work health and safety
ASIC’s early intervention approach to managing injuries and illnesses has had excellent results and we continue to see significant Comcare premium reductions.
We remain committed to training and supporting our Health and Safety Representatives, First Aid Officers and Harassment Contact Officers.
To further foster psychological safety, we have advanced programs to support people leaders to recognise and respond to signs of emotional distress.
For Mental Health Month in October 2019, well-known mental health advocate Wayne Schwass conducted a national wellbeing seminar, which was very well attended.
ASIC’s flu vaccination program commenced on 1 May 2020 and, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was offered as a voucher system only. Of these vouchers, 57.1% were downloaded and 24.7% had been redeemed as at 30 June 2020.
One notifiable incident reportable to Comcare was identified. No claim was made to Comcare for this incident and Comcare indicated that it marked the incident for no further action.
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in considerable changes to the work environment and new guidelines were issued by Safe Work Australia. As most of our team members were working remotely, there was an increased focus on how to do so safely. To support the physical and psychological wellbeing of our people, we:
- introduced a mandatory eLearning module
- developed additional eLearning resources
- provided regular information and articles on our intranet
- offered a ‘wellbeing check-in’ support service from an external provider.