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Workforce management

Capability development

In 2019–20, the FWO maintained its commitment to enhancing workforce capability and supporting people to perform to their full potential.

Our continued investment in the Manager Academy program, including a 360 degree feedback program, ensures current and future managers have the skills to respond effectively to changing business needs. We’ve identified new ways to deliver Fair Work Act legislative training to frontline staff, which ensures we can continue to upskill staff in a timely, effective and flexible manner. Manager capability and technical expertise were critical factors in our successful transition to wide-scale temporary working from home arrangements while responding to increased service demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other 2019–20 capability development initiatives included:

  • providing e-learning and face-to-face training in areas such as unconscious bias, mental health first aid and fraud awareness
  • piloting a learning solutions partnership, which gives our staff access to services such as virtual and face-to-face training, coaching and diagnostics
  • supporting staff to undertake formal accredited courses through our study assistance scheme
  • providing a continuing professional development program to maintain the technical knowledge and professional development of frontline and corporate FWO staff
  • enhancing the development pathway for new starters through an improved induction experience
  • offering all employees access to an online learning platform containing self-paced courses that have enabled employees to upskill while working from home.

Employee engagement

FWO has high engagement levels between staff, supervisors and the agency, and generally performs well in the Australian Public Service (APS) Employee Census. The Employee Census 2020 has been delayed until late 2020, due to the workforce impacts of COVID-19.

FWO has launched an Employee Pulse Survey to provide an opportunity for staff to share feedback, ideas and opinions to help the agency navigate current challenges and better support employees during the COVID-19 period.

Each year the APS Employee Census measures employee engagement through the employee engagement index score. When agencies with the highest and lowest engagement scores were compared, the most significant differentiating characteristic was the extent to which employees felt valued for the contribution they make (the 2018-19 State of the Service Report). With this in mind, FWO implemented a best practice approach to agency-level employee recognition in 2020, following extensive consultation with staff and the executive. The new approach is simpler, encourages more frequent recognition and recognises a broader cross section of staff.

Ethics and values

The APS Values, Code of Conduct and Employment Principles promote responsible public administration. They underpin our positive workplace culture—one that encourages and recognises high performance, strong leadership and inclusion.

Information on the APS Values, Code of Conduct and Employment Principles is available on our intranet, included in induction training for new staff, mandatory training for existing staff and incorporated in employee performance plans.

Diversity and inclusion

We value diversity and inclusion and we recognise the positive contribution employees from diverse backgrounds make at the FWO.

In 2019–20, our commitment to an inclusive and flexible workplace continued through:

  • implementation of our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan 2018–21
  • implementation of our Gender Equality Action Plan 2018–21
  • providing online training to increase diversity awareness for the following diversity groups: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples; Multi-Cultural and Disability
  • continued promotion of flexible work arrangements and support for the implementation of wide-scale temporary working from home arrangements, due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • enhancing the awareness of and support for employees experiencing domestic and family violence including:
    • enhanced leave provisions
    • additional training for our Domestic and Family Violence Contact Officers
    • a dedicated intranet page outlining a range of support services
    • promotion of Domestic Violence Prevention month
  • maintaining and promoting a register of multilingual staff willing to assist customers from diverse backgrounds
  • sponsorship of employee networks including our Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Network; Gender Equality Network; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Network; and Disability Network
  • sustained gender equality at executive levels, with 51% of EL2-SES level positions held by female staff at 30 June 2020
  • our continued commitment to the Law Council of Australia’s Equitable Briefing Policy practice. This financial year, we briefed female counsel 41 times and we briefed male counsel 24 times
  • accreditation by the Australian Breastfeeding Association as a Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace
  • two university students completed a placement at the agency in The Australian Network on Disability (AND) Stepping Into Internship program, which facilitates paid internships for university students with disability
  • placement of two Red Cross interns as part of the In Work Australia Program. This program is a social cohesion initiative that aims to help recently-arrived migrants find and enjoy work
  • participation of a FWO employee in the 2019 Jawun Secondment Program (Jawun is a not-for-profit organisation that provides opportunities for skilled employees in corporate and government organisations to share their expertise and support in Indigenous organisations)
  • publication of various profiles featuring our staff and their experiences with disability including two videos and various intranet articles
  • hosted our first ‘5 plus 5’ event, where five people with disability spoke to five of our senior executive listeners about their experiences of living with disability
  • implementation of a new Gender Affirmation Guide to provide information about gender identity and affirmation in the workplace, including practical ways in which all employees can support an inclusive and respectful workplace.

Disability reporting

Since 1994, non-corporate Commonwealth entities have reported on their performance as a policy adviser, purchaser, employer, regulator and provider under the Commonwealth Disability Strategy. In 2007–08, reporting on the employer role was transferred to the APSC’s State of the Service reports and the APS Statistical Bulletin. These reports are available on the APSC’s website. From 2010–11, entities have no longer been required to report on these functions.

The Commonwealth Disability Strategy has been overtaken by the National Disability Strategy 2010–20, which sets out a 10-year national policy framework to improve the lives of people with disability, promote participation and create a more inclusive society. Progress reports track outcomes against the strategy and present a picture of how people with disability are faring. The first of these progress reports can be found on the Department of Social Services website.

Graduate program

In February 2020, three employees commenced as graduates at the FWO. These graduates have degrees in politics, commerce and finance. The program is run in conjunction with the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) Graduate Development Program and helps us build capability in specialist roles and capacity in critical areas.

Remuneration and employment conditions

The FWO Enterprise Agreement 2019–2022 (the agreement) came into effect on 19 December 2019. Under the agreement, there was a 2% salary increase on commencement.

The agreement covers APS1–EL2 employees and provides access to a range of leave, flexible working arrangements, allowances and other benefits. It also provides for an Agency Consultative Forum, which facilitates staff consultation on workplace matters.

Information on rights and obligations under the agreement and associated policies is available on the FWO intranet.

Employee workplace agreements, common law contracts, and individual flexibility agreements by classification, at 30 June 2020 and 30 June 2019

Classification

2020 enterprise agreement

2019 enterprise agreement

2020 common law contract

2019 common law contract

2020 individual flexibility agreement

2019 individual flexibility agreement

2020 total

2019 total

APS 1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

APS 2

2

5

0

0

0

0

2

5

APS 3

126

106

0

0

0

0

126

106

APS 4

113

118

0

0

0

0

113

118

APS 5

303

295

0

0

0

0

303

295

APS 6

184

167

0

0

1

2

185

169

EL 1

111

104

0

0

0

0

111

104

EL 2

39

32

0

0

4

3

43

35

SES Band 1

0

0

10

10

0

0

10

10

SES Band 2

0

0

4

4

0

0

4

4

Total

878

827

14

14

5

5

897

846

Our remuneration policy operates in accordance with parameters that apply across the APS. No performance bonuses were paid to FWO staff in 2019–20.

Salary ranges by classification, at 30 June 2020

Classification

Salary ranges

APS 1

$50 810 - $52 801

APS 2

$57 572 - $63 007

APS 3

$64 730 - $69 770

APS 4

$72 022 - $78 121

APS 5

$80 241 - $85 014

APS 6

$86 869 - $99 863

EL 1

$110 468 - $119 219

EL 2

$127 305 - $180 000

SES Band 1

$212 026 - $249 111

SES Band 2

$264 446 - $283 635

Non-salary staff benefits can include:

  • professional membership fees
  • parking allocation at work
  • a mobile phone, iPad and laptop
  • airline lounge membership.

Executive remuneration reporting

During the reporting period ended 30 June 2020, the Entity had six executives who meet the definition of key management personnel (KMP). Their names and the length of term as KMP are summarised below.

Name, position and length of term of Key Management Personnel

Name

Position

Term as KMP

Sandra Parker

Fair Work Ombudsman

Full year

Mark Bielecki

Registered Organisations Commissioner

Full year

Jeremy O’Sullivan

Chief Counsel

Full year

Michael Campbell

Deputy FWO, Corporate

Full year

Kristen Hannah

Deputy FWO, Policy and Communication

Full year

Mark Scully

Deputy FWO, Compliance and Enforcement

Full year

The remuneration and other benefits for the positions of Fair Work Ombudsman and the Registered Organisations Commissioner are set by the Remuneration Tribunal. All other KMP are remunerated through common law contracts that reference elements of the entity’s Enterprise Agreement and the policies of the entity.

In the notes to the financial statements for the period ending 30 June 2020, the Entity disclosed the following KMP remuneration expenses.

KMP remuneration expenses

2020

$’000

Short-term employee benefits

2,023

Post-employment benefits

310

Other long-term employee benefits

68

Total key management personnel remuneration expenses

2,401

In accordance with the PGPA Rule, this information is further disaggregated as shown in the table below:

Disaggregated KMP remuneration expenses

Short-term benefits

Post-employment benefits

Other long-term benefits

Total Remuneration

Name

Position

Base salary

Other benefits and allowances

Superannuation contributions

Long service leave

Sandra Parker

Fair Work Ombudsman

388,345

-

69,852

13,340

471,537

Mark Bielecki

Registered Organisations Commissioner

348,215

57,553

34,046

12,412

452,226

Jeremy O’Sullivan

Chief Counsel

282,185

33,148

57,234

10,925

383,492

Michael Campbell

Deputy FWO, Corporate

283,763

30,134

53,286

10,783

377,966

Kristen Hannah

Deputy FWO, Policy and Communication

265,629

33,268

49,543

10,267

358,707

Mark Scully

Deputy FWO, Compliance and Enforcement

267,842

33,268

46,371

10,343

357,824

Total

1,835,979

187,371

310,332

68,070

2,401,752

During the reporting period ended 30 June 2020, the Entity had 13 other senior executives who did not meet the definition of a KMP. The remuneration of these senior executives is disclosed in remuneration bands in the table below and remuneration within each band is calculated as an average.

The average amounts for the relevant category are based on the number of senior executives within the relevant band, not the full-time equivalent.

Remuneration of senior executives who don't meet the definition of a KMP

Short term benefits

Post-employment benefits

Other long-term benefits

Termination benefits

Total remuneration

Total remuneration bands

Number of senior executives

Average base salary

Average bonuses

Average other benefits and allowances

Average superannuation contributions

Average long service leave

Average other long-term benefits

Average termination benefits

Average total remuneration

0- $225,000

3

50,214

0

8,842

9,088

2,331

0

0

70,475

$275,001- $300,000

3

216,389

0

29,062

38,359

8,394

0

0

292,204

$300,001- $325,000

4

229,663

0

28,909

42,772

8,893

0

0

310,237

$325,001- $350,000

3

244,715

0

30,215

46,098

9,434

0

0

330,462

Work health and safety

The FWO Health and Wellbeing Framework 2018-2020 is focused on providing support, developing and embracing employee psychological and physical wellbeing with a strategic focus on prevention, early intervention, and rehabilitation and injury management. Key initiatives aim to raise awareness, increase capability, and provide appropriate support.

Initiatives included:

  • hazard and risk identification, assessment, removal or mitigation, management and evaluation
  • regular review of health and safety related policies, guides and fact sheets
  • ongoing commitment of the Health and Safety Committee, including Health and Safety Representatives, who advise and consult with the broader agency on workplace health and safety policy related matters, review trends in claim and incident data, and contribute to broader workplace health and safety initiatives
  • provision of work health and safety training and information, including targeted communications such as the quarterly WHS Executive Update to assist managers to meet their WHS obligations
  • provision of training, webinars and information to promote wellbeing initiatives and encourage employees to actively look after their health
  • programs in support of staff health and wellbeing included the 10,000 Steps Challenge to encourage physical activity, Wear it Purple Day, and RUOK? Day activities to support mental health in the workplace
  • an influenza vaccination program
  • workstation assessments (office and home) to promote good ergonomic practices and prevent body stressing injuries
  • flexible working arrangements (part-time and flexible hours, job sharing, working from home)
  • access to services through our employee assistance provider. Specialist and confidential support can be provided for a range of personal issues for individuals and work issues for people leaders
  • early intervention and rehabilitation case management services.

A range of work health and safety initiatives have been launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

  • enacting large-scale working from home arrangements
  • implementing physical distancing in the workplace
  • additional cleaning and disinfecting of our offices
  • education and information for staff on reducing the risks associated with COVID-19, as well as health and wellbeing while working from home.

During 2019–20, one new workers’ compensation claim was accepted. The agency’s initiatives and commitment to early intervention, rehabilitation, return to work principles and ongoing education continues to provide a safe and rewarding workplace for our employees.

Work health and safety incident reporting

Under section 38 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, we are required to notify Comcare of any deaths, serious injury or illness, or dangerous incidents arising out of our work. There was one notifiable incident reported to Comcare in 2019–20.

Under Schedule 2, Part 3 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, we are required to report on any investigations undertaken by Comcare or any notices we received under Part 10 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. There were no investigations conducted or notices received during 2019–20.

Property and environmental management

In 2019–20, our initiatives to reduce waste, energy and water consumption, and greenhouse emissions included:

  • encouraging and promoting ways the Entity and its staff can reduce their environmental impact via the employee Green Team
  • fitting our offices with timer mechanism sensor lighting to switch lighting off when rooms are not occupied
  • participating in Earth Hour 2020, which involved turning off all non-essential lighting in our 23 tenancies on 28 March 2020
  • using video conferencing and technology as a sustainable alternative to travel
  • print-on-demand and setting default printing properties to duplex and black and white
  • using recycled copy paper and engaging scheduled document destruction and recycling of cardboard/paper to reduce our environmental footprint
  • continuing to replace paper-based processes with digital solutions
  • participating in programs to recycle toner cartridges and mobile phones
  • providing organic matter and recycling bins in addition to general waste kitchen bins in our office accommodation
  • participating in disposable coffee cup and coffee pod recycling in selected offices.