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Our people

Workforce profile

To successfully lead the government’s digital transformation efforts, our workforce has unique and wide-ranging capabilities.

Our people have skills that many service delivery agencies need in a digital future, including:

  • expertise in user-centred research and design
  • agile delivery methodologies
  • technology design and build
  • systems architecture
  • stakeholder engagement
  • sophisticated procurement approaches.

As at 30 June 2018, our agency had 243 Australian Public Service employees, including part-time and non-ongoing employees (based on headcount).

Most of our employees are located in our Canberra office (93 per cent) with our remaining staff working in our Sydney office.

We had an average staffing level of 215 during 2017–18.

Figure 7 provides detailed workforce profile information.

Figure 7a: Workforce profile—staffing statistics as at 30 June 2018 (based on substantive headcount)

Classification

Type

Status

Location

Gender

Total

Ongoing

Non-ongoing

Full-time

Part-time

Canberra

Sydney

Female

Male

Other

CEO

1

-

1

1

-

1

-

-

1

-

SES B2

3

3

-

3

-

2

1

1

2

-

SES B1

9

8

1

9

-

8

1

3

6

-

EL2

57

52

5

50

7

50

7

27

30

-

EL1

67

66

1

57

10

62

5

31

36

-

APS

106

99

7

96

10

98

8

73

33

-

Total

243

228

15

216

27

221

22

135

108

0

Figure 7B

Figure 7b Workforce profile staffing statistics as at 30 June 2018 (based on substantve headcount)

Location

CEO

SES B2

SES B1

EL2

EL1

APS

Total

Canberra

1

2

8

50

62

98

221

Sydney

-

1

1

7

5

8

22

Workforce planning and people management

We did a significant amount of work throughout 2017–18 to develop and implement strategies, frameworks, policies and procedures to support people management in our agency, including our:

  • Performance Management Framework and supporting policies
  • Strategic Workforce Plan 2018–2023
  • Domestic and Family Violence Policy to provide support to employees experiencing domestic or family violence
  • work health and safety policies and procedures.

We understand the benefits and value of a diverse workforce. This is reflected in our broad range of employment types to progress our work. Our workforce implementation plan, which complements our Strategic Workforce Plan, will help us improve our attraction and retention
strategies and make the best use of all our people within these employment types.

Our Strategic Workforce Plan will help us build a responsive and agile future agency workforce. It includes five enterprise people strategies that we aim to deliver between 2018 and 2023. These areas of focus are:

  • align the operating environment and workforce
  • attract and retain talent
  • strengthen partnerships
  • improve resource management
  • implement strategic workforce planning.

We have begun prioritising initiatives within these areas of focus.

Attracting and retaining the right people

To ensure we can attract and retain high-calibre candidates in a very competitive environment, we provide employees with:

  • significant workplace flexibility to enable them to balance their work and personal commitments
  • the ability to work on things that matter and improve access to government services for people and businesses
  • access to a range of development opportunities to enable employees to enhance and maintain their skills and capabilities
  • a diverse and inclusive work environment where our people feel supported
  • competitive remuneration and employment conditions.

We use a variety of strategies such as flexible working arrangements, targeted recruitment processes and skills development to increase employee engagement and reduce ongoing employee turnover. In 2017–18, we had an ongoing employee turnover rate of 18 per cent.

Flexible working arrangements

We work with agencies to deliver more government services that people can access when and where it suits them.

We apply the same approach to our workforce by providing staff with reasonable flexibility in how, when and where they perform their roles by offering a broad range of flexible arrangements to support employees in their roles to enable them to balance their work and personal lives. Our focus is on what and how we deliver rather than when and where it is delivered.

Our employees have options on:

  • where they work—at home, at one of our offices in a common space or at their desk, or a mixture of these places
  • when they work—the days, hours and pattern of work (including staggered start and finish times), working part-time, a phased return from leave, or compressed hours
  • how their role is structured—formal job-sharing of a full-time role with another employee, or sharing a role such as co-managing a unit, team or project.

Our agency also benefits from these flexible work arrangements, which:

  • improve work/life balance
  • improve productivity
  • allow us to attract and retain the best staff
  • help us achieve broader environmental and social outcomes
  • improve our ability to accommodate needs of people with disability or injuries.

Diversity and inclusion

We are committed to building and maintaining a diverse workplace that fosters inclusiveness and supports all employees.

In 2017–18, we had three employees (1.3 per cent) who identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and four employees (1.6 per cent) who identified as having a disability.

The National Disability Strategy 2010–2020 sets out a 10-year national policy framework to improve the lives of people with disability, promote participation and create a more inclusive society. High level reports tracking progress against the six outcome areas of the strategy are available at www.dss.gov.au.

Our employees have access to update their own records. Disclosure is not mandatory, but we encourage everyone to provide this information by communicating the benefits of disclosing diversity status. This information informs our policies, programs and adjustments we could implement to ensure inclusiveness for all our employees.

We are developing our first Diversity and Inclusion Strategy to identify our approach to attracting and retaining employees from diverse backgrounds, and establishing an enduring culture of inclusivity. In 2017–18 we appointed a diversity champion to lead, inspire and promote a culture of inclusion and collaboration, to support networks and develop inclusive action plans to demonstrate how we will embed diversity and inclusion in our workplace.

We are proud to be partnering with the APSC’s NextStep Program— the government entry-level program for people with disability. We are looking forward to engaging our first trainee in October 2018 and another in 2019.

Our offices in Canberra and Sydney are accessible for all employees and visitors to our agency.

Our co-lab function hosts an Accessibility Team to support and advise projects and products on all things accessibility and inclusivity. We have also appointed an Accessibility and Inclusivity Capability Lead to assist staff in ensuring services and products are being created that provide an inclusive user experience of everyday Australians when they access government services.

We use our own Digital Service Standard to advise government employees on 13 criteria that must be followed in the design and redesign of public-facing government services. Number 9 is ‘Make it Accessible’ and ensures the service is accessible to all users regardless of their ability and environment.

Supporting employees with carer responsibilities

We fully support employees with carer responsibilities. Carer support, which complies with the requirements of the Carer Recognition Act 2010, includes:

  • family-friendly work arrangements such as access to flexible working arrangements and various forms of leave to meet caring responsibilities
  • the Employee Assistance Program, which provides employees and their immediate family with free access to professional counselling and support
  • non-discriminatory definition of immediate family that recognises family members by blood, marriage, traditional kinship, current or former partner or de facto partner, and those in a genuine domestic or household relationship.

Employment arrangements

All our SES officers are employed under the terms of individual determinations made under section 24(1) of the Public Service Act 1999, supplemented by a common law contract detailing
remuneration. The amount of remuneration our SES officers receive is determined on an individual basis by the CEO in accordance with the SES Remuneration Policy.

In late 2017 we implemented a new group Determination, made under section 24(1) of the Public Service Act 1999. This is an interim instrument to provide for the terms and conditions of employment for all our non-SES employees until our agency negotiates and implements our first Enterprise Agreement.

At the end of 2017–18 we were finalising bargaining for the Enterprise Agreement, which will make sure our entitlements and remuneration remain competitive.

During bargaining we have also developed and revised supporting policies and procedures to be fully transparent about entitlements that will apply to our employees once our Enterprise Agreement commences.

Salary range

In 2017–18 salaries for our employees ranged from $45,197 to $309,000.

Figure 8: Salary ranges for our employees in 2017–18

Classification

Minimum ($)

Maximum ($)

APS1

45,197

49,633

APS2

50,849

56,361

APS3

57,830

62,479

APS4

64,819

70,054

APS5

72,265

78,745

APS6

79,686

93,587

EL1

103,151

114,347

EL2

119,665

141,849

SES (all bands)*

192,610

309,000

* The SES salary range is based on the actual salaries of SES employees as at 30 June 2018.

Performance pay and other benefits

We did not pay performance bonuses to any employees in 2017–18. Our agency provides employees with a range of non-salary benefits including additional superannuation and salary packaging options.

Capability development

We are committed to continued learning and the ongoing development of our employees. Building capability is about having connected, confident, capable and committed learners who interact effectively and grow individually and together.

To build capability is to grow our organisation through our people—we want to help our people develop the skills they need to succeed in the workplace. At the end of the reporting year were in the final stages of developing our Learning and Development Capability Framework. Our framework is based on the 70:20:10 model for learning and development (where 70 per cent of knowledge comes from job-related experiences, 20 per cent from interactions with others, and 10 per cent from formal education). It also focuses on learning styles, learning pathways, and the core capabilities our people need to deliver on our priorities.

In 2017–18 we implemented a learning management system, LearnHub, to support our employees do online training at any time and from anywhere. This includes mandatory compliance modules and courses to develop their professional skills and capabilities. Many of our employees are regularly accessing learning opportunities via LearnHub. We provide our people with support in the form of leave and financial assistance, under our Study Assistance Program, for formal study that will enhance their skills and provide long-term benefit to our agency and broader public service. During 2017–18, we provided this support to 32 people to undertake study across disciplines including business information systems, business administration, commerce and human resource management.

We also held several in-house training sessions during the year on topics and capabilities including Google Analytics, Agile, the Digital Service Standard and Certificate IV in Procurement and Contracting.

Workplace health and safety

The health and safety of our workforce is of the utmost importance. We implemented several initiatives in 2017–18 to support and manage the health, safety and welfare of our workers. These included:

  • Influenza vaccinations—We offered free onsite influenza vaccinations to our entire workforce, including contractors and secondees, before the start of the flu season. The uptake significantly increased, up by 50 per cent on 2017.
  • Events and guest speakers—throughout the year we held and participated in activities to raise awareness of and support a number of events such as Mental Health Week, R U OK Day and International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
    • For example, Jessica Rowe, TV personality and mental health ambassador, spoke with DTA staff about her mental health journey. She also provided strategies for coping with changes in personal and work life and how we can all work towards removing the stigma of mental health.
  • Employee Assistance Program—Our people and their family members have access to free confidential counselling and support services through our Employee Assistance Program provider and various other support organisations.
  • Domestic Violence Policy—We are committed to providing support to those who are experiencing family or domestic violence. In 2017–18 we implemented a Domestic Violence Policy detailing the support and services available to ensure our people have the flexibility and support they need to continue to be engaged at work while managing their personal circumstances.
  • Early Intervention Policy—We developed this policy with a strong focus on providing injured employees with early support and assistance to accelerate their recovery and reduce the impact on their work and personal lives. Early intervention is also intended to reduce the probability of Comcare claims.
  • Automated External Defibrillators—During 2017–18 we installed Automated External Defibrillators in all our office locations, with St John Ambulance providing full training to our first aid officers and other key people.

In addition to these initiatives, we continued to review, develop and expand our existing workplace, health and safety (WHS) activities to meet our agency’s changing needs. This included the work of our WHS Committee, the appointment and training of additional fire wardens and first aid officers, our WHS policies and procedures, work station assessments and providing ergonomic equipment.

During 2017–18 there were 10 hazard and 12 incident notifications (none were ‘notifiable incidents’), one Comcare claim was lodged and subsequently withdrawn and no investigations were conducted or notices given under Part 10 of the WHS Act.

Financial year

2017/18

2016/17

2015/16

Number of Incidents

Number of Incidents

Number of Incidents

Notifable Incidents

0