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Our people

In 2020-21 AUSTRAC continued to focus on building a responsive and agile future workforce. We focused on building capability and delivering outcomes from our operational workforce planning activities, to provide our leaders with greater access to workforce data insights and to support evidenced-based decision making. As a result of additional funding in October 2020, and an expansion of its workforce by nearly 20 per cent, AUSTRAC underwent the largest recruitment activity in recent years, focusing on aligning our operating environment with the workforce we need for the future.

In addition, as a result of COVID-19 and the need to quickly respond to changing scenarios for its workforce, AUSTRAC refined its Agency Resource Strategy 2019-23, to support our flexible working model. AUSTRAC continues to mature its approach to succession planning and is developing career development tools to assist in attracting, growing and retaining talent.

The agency delivered on its strategic objectives by supporting its people. We offered our employees increased flexible working arrangements, increased mobility opportunities, specialist intelligence and regulatory training programs and a new learning and development framework to support agency wide capability uplift of common capabilities.

infographic AUSTRAC trusted courageous and focussed
One AUSTRAC - Trusted Courageous Focussed

AUSTRAC brings people together from a diverse range of backgrounds with a broad range of skills and experiences to form ‘One AUSTRAC’. This philosophy describes the interconnected nature of our regulatory and financial intelligence functions, and underpins the belief that employees are stronger together than as individuals. Our core values reflect our strengths and help shape our workplace culture in order to fulfil our vision.

In 2020-21 AUSTRAC employees remained resilient during COVID-19 while they were required to adapt to new ways of operating virtually and working flexibly. Our employees remained well supported and enabled through technology with little disruption to their work. AUSTRAC conducted numerous staff surveys through various mechanisms including the APS Census, which revealed very high wellbeing and engagement indexes and high workplace productivity and culture scores. AUSTRAC will continue to monitor its culture and implement culture initiatives in response to the future operating model to ensure that it remains as an employer of choice.

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

AUSTRAC’s Diversity and Inclusion Program 2019-23 aims to position AUSTRAC as an employer of choice by attracting, supporting, advancing and celebrating employees across all diversity dimensions. It includes individual action plans for disability and access, Indigenous employment, gender equality, LGBTI+, culturally and linguistically diverse and mature age.

The program is driven by the AUSTRAC Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Group which is chaired by a Diversity Champion at the SES level. The group is supported by the agency Human Resources team and oversees AUSTRAC’s Women’s and Pride Networks.

In 2020-21, COVID-19 saw AUSTRAC pivot some of the planned Diversity and Inclusion deliverables, however the promotion and commitment to an inclusive and barrier free workplace remained at the cornerstone of our activities.

Activities undertaken during 2020-21 included:

  • Building and maintaining relationships and networks with member organisations (Pride in Diversity, Australian Network on Disability and Diversity Council Australia) and partner agencies (primarily the Home Affairs portfolio and the National Intelligence Community) in order to provide AUSTRAC employees with expanded resources, support and networking opportunities.
  • Supporting professional and cultural development of our employees through the provision of mentoring, training and leadership programs such as the Women in Law Enforcement Strategy (WILES) Mentoring Program, the ‘Core Cultural Learning’ program developed by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) and the ‘Share Our Pride’ cultural learning program hosted by Reconciliation Australia.
  • Providing a workplace that promotes safety and respect through AUSTRAC’s Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) Policy and a CEO-led campaign on DFV awareness, promotion of appropriate workplace behaviour and ensuring accessibility requirements are met, both digitally and physically.
  • Driving a supportive and enabling workplace culture by promoting AUSTRAC as a flexible employer throughout all stages of the employee life cycle, advertising all ongoing vacancies under a ‘RecruitAbility banner’ and encouraging opportunities for networking, sharing experiences and discussing issues.
  • Educating and celebrating diversity by encouraging participation in events to celebrate and raise awareness of diversity issues, such as International Men’s Day (November 2020), NAIDOC Week (November 2020), White Ribbon Day (November 2020), International Day of People with Disability (December 2020), International Women’s Day (March 2021), National Reconciliation Week (May-June 2021) and Pride Month (June 2021).

Further to the AUSTRAC Diversity and Inclusion Program, during 2020-21 AUSTRAC committed to the development of an ‘Innovate’ Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). A working group was established to support this plan which as at 30 June 2021 was in its final draft. The RAP will likely be submitted to Reconciliation Australia for consideration in 2021.

AUSTRAC Enterprise Agreement

The employment terms and conditions for non-Senior Executive Service (SES) AUSTRAC employees are contained in the AUSTRAC Enterprise Agreement 2016-19. The Enterprise Agreement is supplemented by a determination under subsection 24(1) of the Public Service Act 1999, which provides annual adjustments to salary and remuneration based allowances. In accordance with an APS wide Ministerial determination, made in April 2020, the pay adjustment that was due on 29 March 2021 was deferred for six months.

The current determination expires in March 2022.

Executive Remuneration

The terms and conditions of employment for AUSTRAC’s SES are established under subsection 24(1) of the Public Service Act 1999, and outlined in the respective employee’s determination. The majority of employment conditions are similar to those set out in AUSTRAC’s Enterprise Agreement and comply with the APS Executive Remuneration Policy.

The AUSTRAC SES Remuneration Policy ensures a consistent approach in determining SES remuneration. As at 30 June 2021, such determinations were in operation for 11 SES employees.

AUSTRAC benchmarks SES remuneration against the annual APS remuneration surveys. The AUSTRAC CEO is responsible for setting the appropriate remuneration for SES employees upon engagement, move or promotion. The CEO also reviews SES salaries regularly to ensure SES base salaries remain competitive.

SES base salary generally increases in line with those that apply to non-SES employees. This is in accordance with the agency’s enterprise agreement or other applicable mechanisms, such as an agency wide subsection 24(1) determination. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the SES pay adjustment was suspended as directed by the APSC Commissioner on 26 March 2020.

No AUSTRAC incentive payments were made to SES employees during 2020-21.

Employment conditions

The terms and conditions of employment for AUSTRAC’s non-SES employees are governed by the AUSTRAC Enterprise Agreement 2016-2019. This remains in force under the subsection 24(1) determination, but can be varied through a written individual flexibility arrangement (IFA).

The AUSTRAC IFA policy outlines the underlying principles whereby an IFA may be established. It also sets out the approval process and governance of IFAs. AUSTRAC’s Governance Committee approves IFAs, and these are reviewed annually to ensure they continue to support AUSTRAC’s operational requirements.

At 30 June 2021 there were 32 IFAs in effect. The majority of these related to salary arrangements.

No AUSTRAC employees were covered by common law contracts in 2020-21.
Performance pay was also not applicable.