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Management of Human Resources

Our people are critical to delivering on our purpose and objectives. The Agency’s values and our strong community focus gives our staff a genuine connection with the communities and stakeholders we work with.

EMPLOYMENT ARRANGEMENTS

All Agency employees transitioned from PM&C to be employees of the Agency from 14 May 2020.

The Agency established a determination under s24(1) of the PS Act. This determination provides the terms and conditions of employment for non-SES employees of the Agency. SES officers are employed under the terms of individual determinations made under section 24(1) of the PS Act with the Agency.

No performance pay provisions were in operation for employees.

The Agency provided non-salary benefits to a limited number of employees, including salary packaging, laptops, mobile phones, carparks and airline lounge memberships.

WORK HEALTH AND SAFETY

No incidents were deemed notifiable under section 38 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) and no notices were issued under Part 10 of the same Act.

The Agency has a strong commitment to the health and wellbeing of all staff, along with those impacted by our work. A significant number of policies, procedures and documents were developed and implemented to assist the Agency to meet its duties under the WHS Act, with a particular focus on identifying and eliminating, where possible, risks to health and safety.

An internal audit of the Agency’s work health and safety arrangements found the Agency was, overall, performing well. There were three recommendations identified and as at 30 June 2020, measures have been implemented to address these, including:

  • establishment of a WHS Committee
  • stronger procedures to ensure Trip Plan Assessments were fully completed prior to travel
  • revision of risk assessments for remote area travel.

All staff have access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which offers staff and their immediate family members free, confidential counselling for personal or work-related matters. Given the Agency’s stakeholder base, all staff are expected to participate in Mental Health Intervention training to improve their own understanding of mental health and its impact on them as individuals, and to assist them to identify, acknowledge and assist others who may be experiencing low levels of mental health.

The Agency established requirements for staff to have vaccinations where they are required to travel to remote areas. This includes vaccinations for Q Fever, tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough. Additionally, the Agency supported the health and wellbeing of staff through voluntary influenza vaccinations,

RECRUITMENT

During 2019–20, the Agency’s staffing profile went from a headcount of 25 to 67. We undertook a national recruitment campaign to identify talent from across Australia to fill key roles including RRO roles. The recruitment of 15 RROs nationally applies the Agency’s ‘boots on the ground’ approach, and ensures we are supporting communities by employing local people with lived experience.

A temporary national employment register was also established in June 2020 to provide a ready pool of candidates for future temporary vacancies or surge requirements in staffing, if required.

Statistics on the Agency’s employees is available at APPENDIX 1: STAFF DATA

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

The Agency invested in the ongoing professional development of its staff to ensure they are equipped with the necessary skills and capabilities for their roles.

Under Shared Services arrangements with PM&C, staff were able to access online learning and development through platforms such as LearnHub and LinkedIn Learning. The Agency also commenced the planning and delivery of a series of information sessions, masterclasses and a speaker series for all staff, to build knowledge and understanding in a variety of topics. A Studies Assistance Policy for the Agency was finalised and promoted to staff as a way to continue their professional development.

EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT

Following establishment of the Agency, all staff were required to establish a performance and development plan with their manager and actively participate in the Agency’s performance management process. The Agency is committed to ensuring effective performance from all staff, and places a strong emphasis on employees and managers having regular, ongoing and meaningful performance conversations. The Agency commenced the development of a performance management framework, which is to include resources and practical information to support effective employee performance, as well as provide advice and support for managers to empower timely resolution of performance concerns. This work will be completed in 2020–21.

ETHICAL STANDARDS

The Agency is committed to maintaining high standards of integrity, good governance and ethics. All employees are required to uphold the APS Values, Employment Principles and Code of Conduct. This is supported and promoted by a requirement for all staff to undertake mandatory training on the APS Values, Employment Principles, Code of Conduct and Fraud Awareness. During 2019–20, following the establishment of the Agency, procedures for managing suspected breaches of the APS Code of Conduct, as required by s.15(3) of the PS Act, were established. The Agency has also instituted a requirement for all staff to complete an annual conflict of interest declaration.