The Office supports and empowers staff to be innovative, embrace change and work collaboratively to deliver impressive outcomes. Key achievements include:
transition to new outsourcing arrangements for the delivery of payroll services in order to improve personnel support for staff, record keeping and reporting, and to align with the Office’s commitment to shared services to harness operational efficiencies
strategies to attract, develop and maintain a talented and diverse workforce, including formal partnerships with local government, academic institutions and government agencies
rapid response to COVID-19, supporting staff to maintain a safe working environment, including implementation of practical and meaningful remote working arrangements, increased internal communications, and staff engagement surveys
effective and efficient learning and development, including
a focus on design thinking principles
coaching for leaders
internal awareness around the Office’s behaviours and values
initiatives focused on health and wellbeing, including proactive injury management
continued commitment to Australian School-based Apprenticeships (ASBA), work experience, internships, and early career programs
continued commitment to reward and recognise staff achievement through the Australia Day Achievement Awards and internal acknowledgement.
KEY MANAGEMENT PERSONNEL REMUNERATION
The following information relates to the Key Management Personnel (KMP) of the Office consistent with the disclosure requirements of the PGPA Rule 2014 (PGPA Rule). During 2019–20, the Office did not have any officials requiring disclosures under the senior executives and other highly paid staff categories.
The Office has two KMP positions, which were occupied by three officers during 2019–20. The remuneration of the Official Secretary is determined by the Remuneration Tribunal. Further information on the Tribunal can be found at www.remtribunal.gov.au. The Deputy Official Secretary’s remuneration was determined in accordance with section 34 of the current Enterprise Agreement. Since 2016–17, the Office has published information about the remuneration of its executives on the Office website. This information provides transparency of remuneration of senior executives and other highly paid officials of Commonwealth entities and companies. Information relating to KMP remuneration is set out in Appendix E.
At 30 June 2020, the Office remunerated 84 employees: 79 employees were covered by the Enterprise Agreement (including 4 casual employees), one by the Remuneration Tribunal, one by an Australian Workplace Agreement and three by an Individual Flexibility Arrangement (IFA). No employees received performance pay in 2019–20.
The classification range that applies to employees under the Enterprise Agreement is set out in Appendix G.
STAFFING CHANGES AND STATISTICS
In 2019–20, the average staffing level (ASL) for the Office was 73.31. The Office is actively managing and monitoring the workforce analytics and reporting to identify any emerging issues to ensure allocated ASL is achieved to meet current business demands.
The Office continues to make informed staffing decisions in line with our strategic and operational goals. Our natural attrition has provided us with the opportunity to ensure we have the right people in the right place, with the right capabilities at the right time.
During the year there were 11 cessations and 10 commencements.
Detailed staffing demographic information in accordance with workplace diversity principles is at Appendix G.
The Office is committed to providing opportunities for staff to develop skills, capability and experience. The Office provides opportunities for recent school leavers and school-aged students to undertake apprenticeships and work experience placements.
The Office continues to support an internal career program that provides structured training and development over a two-year period.
In 2019–20 the Office provided:
two Australian School-based Apprenticeships
three work experience students
appointed four Assistant Case Officers on a structured internal two-year on-the-job mentoring program.
The Office remains committed to cultivating a culture of learning and growth to help staff reach their full potential, and support them to deliver outcomes.
In 2019–20, there has been an increase in leadership development, coaching for performance, and online learning, with focuses on leading teams through change, leading virtually, self-directed digital learning, and shared learning experiences through Office-wide virtual lunch and learn sessions.
The Office acknowledges that learning and development is a shared responsibility between staff, their direct manager and the leadership of the organisation.
WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY OVERVIEW
WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY STRUCTURE AND OVERSIGHT
The Office continues to focus on providing a safe and healthy work environment and actively promotes safe work practices that ensure the health, safety, and wellbeing of all staff.
The Office policies and procedures are fundamental to the Office’s commitment to WHS, and ensure that the Office takes reasonably practicable steps to protect the health and safety of all staff. The Office communicates and consults with employees to increase awareness of their obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) to take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of themselves and others, as well as report hazards, accidents, or near misses.
WHS statistics are presented in Appendix J.
HEALTH AND SAFETY MANAGEMENT ARRANGEMENTS
In exercising a commitment to ensuring the health and wellbeing of its staff (and consistent with the legislative obligations of the WHS Act), the Office implements effective prevention strategies, such as:
providing a safe and healthy workplace in which people are protected from hazards (or potential hazards) that may cause psychological or physical injury or disease
integrating adaptable safe work systems into work processes
providing information and training to employees to enable them to perform their work safely
ensuring that workers, including casual staff and contractors, are aware of their individual responsibilities to ensure their own and others’ health and safety
encouraging a cooperative and consultative relationship within the Office on health and safety issues
ensuring compliance with, and full implementation of, the requirements of the WHS Act, the WHS Regulations and the associated Codes of Practice.
INITIATIVES THAT ENSURE THE HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELFARE AT WORK OF EMPLOYEES AND CONTRACTORS
The Office implemented a five-stage business continuity plan in response to COVID-19. Safety measures were implemented to protect the health, safety, and welfare of our people, while continuing to deliver on core outcomes for the Office. During a period when the majority of staff were working from home, increased levels of communications, education, coaching and support were facilitated to ensure that staff and leaders were appropriately supported. The implementation of self-directed remote training and development programs was accelerated to empower our people to continue to achieve outcomes. Priorities during minimal on-site staffing arrangements included:
recognising the changes to the way we work
supporting the different work streams available to staff that matched their individual situations
creating an environment of ongoing greater workforce flexibility and balance
ensuring staff remained connected to the Office while fostering a safe and inclusive culture.
The WHS Committee meets every three months in accordance with the WHS regulations to discuss workplace inspections and other WHS matters.
Employee and workplace health monitoring procedures include regular inspections of the grounds and property, workplace assessments are conducted for all staff on commencement and personal protective equipment is provided whererequired.
The Office actively encourages the utilisation and awareness of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) counselling service available to both employees and their immediate families.
An active health and wellbeing program includes provision of specialist services, influenza vaccinations, health brochures and guest speakers covering a range of topics. WHS inductions are completed for all new employees.
HEALTH AND SAFETY OUTCOMES ACHIEVED AS A RESULT OF INITIATIVES
WHS policy and guidelines are regularly reviewed and updated in consultation with all staff to reflect WHS legislation and best practice. Comprehensive WHS information is available on the Office intranet, including a hazard and incident notification flow chart and appropriate forms.
The Office ensures that mandatory training is undertaken. Staff across the Office participated in various sessions and presentations on mental health, mindfulness, health and safety representative (HSR) training, fire warden training, first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation training, and ergonomics sessions. WHS training statistics are presented at Appendix J, Table J2.
The Office continues to support return to work, early intervention and rehabilitation activities as part of a robust tailored injury management program.
Since 1994, Commonwealth departments and agencies have reported on their performance as policy adviser, purchaser, employer, regulator and provider under the Commonwealth Disability Strategy. In 2007–08, reporting on the employer role was transferred to the Australia Public Service Commission’s State of the Service Reports and the APS Statistical Bulletin. These reports are available at www.apsc.gov.au. Since 2010–11, departments and agencies have not been required to report on these functions.
The Commonwealth Disability Strategy has been superseded by the National Disability Strategy 2010–2020, which sets out a ten-year national policy framework to improve the lives of people with disability, promote participation and create a more inclusive society. A high level, biannual report will track progress against each of the six outcome areas of the strategy and present a picture of how people with disability are faring. Reports can be found at www.dss.gov.au.