Over recent years, the CDPP has worked hard to embed modern work practices across the organisation to ensure optimal outcomes, in terms of prosecution results and our people’s wellbeing. During 2019–20, the CDPP faced several challenges which placed these practices under the spotlight, highlighting our ability to support employees to balance their work and personal lives, whilst still delivering a highly effective independent prosecution service.
Catastrophic bushfires, smoke haze, devastating floods and most recently the COVID‑19 pandemic, have impacted the ability of our people to work at our office sites. In addition to the technological advances made through ongoing digital transformation, and our focus on building digital capability in our people, a flexible work framework enabled CDPP to respond to these crises through transitioning our people to remote working while continuing to deliver our important services to the Australian community.
The CDPP was well positioned to respond to the challenges of isolation and remote work due to the frameworks we already had in place and having progressed our digital transformation journey. We were also able to provide support to other APS agencies to assist with their efforts in implementing pandemic response initiatives for all Australians.
A virtual taskforce was established across Enabling Services to target services, communication, support, advice and information to ensure our people were supported during uncertain times.
Since implementing the flexible working framework, the CDPP has understood the need for efficient and effective systems and applications to support employees to work flexibly. This provided a solid foundation for a sudden shift to working remotely for the majority of staff in response to the pandemic and enabled the CDPP to respond quickly to changes introduced by courts in each state and territory ‑ each jurisdiction introduced their preferred application to interact digitally with the CDPP and others. This meant that the CDPP lawyers had to quickly adapt to different technological platforms when dealings with courts in different jurisdictions.
During the pandemic, 86 per cent of our employees have been supported to work remotely either partially or full time. A survey of our employees during the pandemic saw an overwhelming majority of respondents reporting that they were still feeling connected to their team, their managers and the agency and high levels of satisfaction with the flexibilities being offered by the CDPP, including remote working.
A small percentage of our employees have been required to attend our office sites due to the nature of their roles. We have mitigated risks to our people working in our office sites by implementing physical distancing practices with associated signage, availability of hand cleaning products, including sanitiser and frequent additional cleaning of our sites, including contact points.
The flexible work framework was designed to support and facilitate an agile and responsive workplace and the challenges faced over the last year have shown the framework enables this very successfully. The CDPP will continue to explore additional flexible working arrangements and evaluate our framework, once restrictions associated with the pandemic pass.