The Appendixes

Last updated: 07 May 2012

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Appendix A – Checklists

Checklist for senior managers

Action

  • I am familiar with, and take appropriate steps to implement, my agency’s strategies in relation to people with disability, such as its disability action plan.
  • My decisions in the workplace and my behaviour towards managers and staff in my agency openly demonstrate my commitment to the APS Values and Code of Conduct.
  • I make it clear to the managers who work for me the importance I personally place on supporting diversity in the workplace
  • I am committed to creating a workplace environment in which people with disability can talk to their managers and colleagues about their condition, should they wish to do so, without being stigmatised.
  • I seek, and give proper weight to, the views of staff with disability when discussing what reasonable adjustments my agency can make to help them work more effectively.
  • When discussing staff management issues with people who work for me, I continually reinforce the importance of fostering a supportive and inclusive workplace environment for all staff, including those who have disclosed a disability.
  • I ensure that reports of behaviour by employees in my area that may not comply with the APS Values and Code of Conduct are dealt with promptly in accordance with relevant agency procedures.
  • I have taken stock of the mix of employees in my area to gauge whether it suitably reflects the diversity of the Australian community and the clients with whom my agency works.
  • I have considered what I need to do to maintain a suitably diverse mix of employees in my area over time, eg, marketing future employment opportunities in a way that will attract interest from a more varied cross–section of people.
  • I have arranged for my workplace to be accessible to people with disability, both in terms of physical access and access to equipment and support.

Checklist selection committee members and delegates

Action

  • We have identified the inherent requirements for the position, i.e. the critical duties that must be carried out to get the job done.
  • We have developed selection criteria that:
    • are relevant to the inherent requirements of the job
    • are written in clear, realistic terms without unnecessary jargon
    • convey useful and relevant information to prospective applicants about the skills, personal qualities, qualifications (if any) and experience required to perform the duties of the position.
  • We have ensured that selection documentation can be made available in alternate formats (such as Braille or in electronic form) to allow broad access.
  • We have considered how to advertise the job vacancy to attract the best field, including people with disability.
  • In short–listing, we have assessed the claims of any applicants who have disclosed a disability on the basis of what they can do without making assumptions about their disability, and have taken reasonable adjustment into account.
  • We have discussed with any applicant who has disclosed a disability whether they need any adjustments to be made to the way in which the selection process is being conducted.
  • If interviews or other forms of selection testing are to be used we have:
    • considered the kinds of adjustments that we might need to make
    • taken reasonable steps to ensure the venue is accessible
    • carefully considered what adjustments we may need to make for applicants who have disclosed a particular type of disability to ensure that there are no impediments to clear communication between them and the selection committee.
  • In the selection report we have set out clearly and succinctly the reasons for the assessment of each applicant, the final conclusions, and the recommendation/s.
  • We have looked carefully at the claims of all the applicants and considered those claims in context, giving appropriate weight to non–work experience.
  • We are confident we could justify our recommendation if questioned about it.

Checklist for HR professionals

HR professionals play a key role in any agency when it comes to the employment of people with disability. They are uniquely placed to ensure that their agency’s policies and practices support the recruitment and employment of people with disability, and that principles of fairness and equity are fully integrated into the way their agency employs people.

HR professionals also support and assist their agency head in meeting their legal obligations.

The following checklist may help to meet both of these goals.

Action

The employment framework
  • I have reviewed my agency’s collective agreements and workplace diversity plans to ensure they encourage and support flexible working practices that allow all employees, including employees with disability, to realise their full potential.
  • I have considered developing a specific policy relating to the employment of people with disability.
  • I have ensured that managers in my agency are aware that they may make use of the Supported Wage System to employ people with disability, including people with intellectual disability.
  • I have taken steps to ensure that all new employees are provided with information about disability issues as part of the induction process.
  • I have taken steps to ensure that employees with disability in my agency are aware of the agency’s internal support networks and other support services such as my agency’s Employee Assistance Programme.
Training and information
  • I have considered the possibility of arranging awareness programmes and training for all staff in order to promote an inclusive culture where people with disability are valued and treated equitably.
  • I have considered the possibility of arranging awareness programmes and training for managers and other employees on mental illness, depression or related disorders through organisations such as beyondblueand the Mental Health Council of Australia.
  • I have taken steps to ensure that managers in my agency have ready access to a source of information and expertise, such as the material in this toolkit, within the agency and/or ready access to external sources of information and assistance, e.g. the Jobacess website, managed by the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations.
  • I have considered the possibility of my agency becoming a member of the Australian Employers’ Network on Disability.
Recruitment and selection
  • I have reviewed my agency’s policy and procedures on recruitment and selection to ensure that they do not discourage people with disability from applying for jobs in the agency, or indirectly discriminate against them during the selection process. In doing so, I have considered matters such as:
    • whether advice is provided to employees involved in selection processes on developing selection documentation that will attract a wide field of applicants including people with disability
    • whether guidance provided to selection panels and delegates provides information on reasonable adjustment and allows for appropriate flexibility
    • whether staff involved in selection exercises are provided with training on selection processes, covering issues such as the application of merit and the diverse needs of applicants, including those with disability
    • the possibility of developing links with organisations specialising in placing people with disability in employment, including the Disability Employment Network, National Disability Recruitment Coordinator, strategic service providers, disability liaison officers in universities (to make graduates with disability aware of opportunities in the agency) and lobby groups
    • the possibility of establishing contacts with community and peak bodies to raise the department’s profile as an employer.
  • I have considered the possibility of developing a training scheme, under the Public Service Regulations, to engage people with disability on a non–ongoing basis in my agency to gain skills and experience to assist them to participate in the workforce.
  • I have ensured that managers in my agency are aware of the possibility of employing people with intellectual disability by utilising the special employment measures under clause 4.2(6)(b)(ii) of the Public Service Commissioner’s Directions.
  • If my agency uses external recruitment agencies to conduct selections, I have made sure that contractual arrangements clearly set out the expectations that recruitment agencies will abide by my agency’s policies and procedures, be fully conversant with the APS Values relating to employment, and encourage and support applicants with disability.
Collecting data
  • I have ensured that my agency uses the definition of disability in Section 4 of the Disability Discrimination Act in developing recruitment and retention policies.
  • I have ensured that my agency uses the definition of disability used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics—in its 2003 Disability, Ageing and Carers Survey—for the purpose of data collection.
  • I have arranged for the promulgation of clear advice to staff in my agency about why personal employment data, including data on disability, is being collected and how it will be used to benefit both the employee and the agency.
  • I encourage employees in my agency to update their employment data on a regular basis.
  • I have considered making use of a web–based system for collecting data developed by the Commission, called Online Employee Provided Information (OEPI).

Appendix B – Model form of words for data collection

Collecting Diversity data

Attached to this letter is a form that we have developed to help us to capture information about the personal background of all of our staff.

I am personally committed to ensuring that the workforce of [our agency] represents the diversity of the community it serves, and that our employees are supported to achieve their maximum potential. Completing the form is voluntary. Nevertheless, I want to encourage employees to record this information and return it to the [human resources area]. Recording this information will help us to develop and monitor our strategies to ensure that we are attracting the best people to work in [this agency] from across the full diversity of the Australian community.

It can also help us support you in your employment. If you identify as having a disability and require any adjustments to be made or specific equipment to be provided, please contact [relevant employee] as soon as possible to discuss your situation.

How we keep your personal information

We will hold your information on a secure basis, with access only available to authorised staff on a need to know basis, and subject to the provisions of the Privacy Act 1988. Records must be kept for the periods set out in the Workplace Relations Regulations and the National Australian Archives Administrative Functions Disposal Authority. 

To whom do we disclose information

Information in your personnel records may be disclosed as appropriate to Comsuper, Comcare, the Australian Taxation Office, the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, the [agency’s] protective security vetting service provider or the Australian Government Solicitor’s Office. In addition, if you move to another APS agency, your personnel records will be transferred to the gaining agency.

Amending your information

I will ask you again for this information from time to time during your career with us. I want to make sure that this information is as complete and up to date as it can be.

If you want more details of what other personnel records we hold about you, or wish to seek access to your records, or to request an amendment to your records to ensure that they are accurate, complete and up to date, please contact [details].

[Agency Head signature block]

1. Are you of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin?
  • Yes
  • No
  • Choose not to give this information
2. What country were you born in?
  • Australia (go to Question 4)
  • Other (please specify)
  • Choose not to give this information
3. If you were born outside of Australia, what year did you arrive in Australia?
  •  
  • Choose not to give this information
4. What was your first language spoken?
  • English only (go to Question 6)
  • English and another language
  • Language other than English
  • Choose not to give this information
5. What was your (main) first non–English language spoken?
  • Choose not to give this information
6. What was your mother's first language?
  • English
  • English and another language
  • Language other than English
  • Language unknown
  • Choose not to give this information
7. What was your father's first language?
  • English
  • English and another language
  • Language other than English
  • Language unknown
  • Choose not to give this information
8. Do you have a disability (see below)?
  • Yes
  • No
  • Choose not to give this information
    • If yes, please state:
      •  Physical or sensory disability
      •  Intellectual disability
      •  Mental illness or psychiatric disability
      •  Learning disability
Are any adjustments to the nature of your work or workstation required to assist you in your duties?
  • Yes
  • No
  • If so, please contact [contact officer]

Some questions you may have…

Why do you want to know about my background and whether I have a disability?

We’re committed to merit in the workplace. We want the most talented available people working with us. If we’re not recruiting from the diversity of the Australian community then we may not be tapping the best available pool of talent.

We need to know whether our policies to attract, recruit and retain people with that talent are working effectively. The data you give us helps us to evaluate those policies and make any changes we need to make.

We’re also committed to ensuring that all of our employees have the right tools and the right environment to allow them to make the best contribution they can to our work. If you have a disability, for example, we’d like to know that so that we can make sure that we’ve got the right arrangements in place to support you in your work.

How will this information be stored?

All information is held on a secure basis, with access only available to authorised staff on a need to know basis

Who will get this information?

Your personal information is released to a strictly limited number of people and organisations:

  • it will be used in an anonymous way to help us monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of our workplace diversity plan and other relevant employment policies
  • the information will be passed to our Diversity Co–ordinator who may contact you to discuss any reasonable adjustments that we can make to assist you in undertaking your work effectively
  • we report regularly to the Australian Public Service Commission on the composition of our workforce. That information is used anonymously in publications like the Commission’s State of the Service Report published each year.
Will this information be passed on to my manager or co–workers?

The information you give us is protected by the provisions of the Privacy Act 1988. In almost all cases this means that, unless you agree to it being disclosed to your manager or co–workers, it won’t be.

What do you include as a ‘disability’

For data collection purposes, all APS agencies use the Australian Bureau of Statistics Disability, Ageing and Carers: Summary of Findings 2003 definition, according to which

…a person has disability if they report they have a limitation, restriction or impairment, which has lasted, or is likely to last, for at least 6 months and restricts everyday activities. This includes:

  • loss of sight (not corrected by glasses or contact lenses)
  • loss of hearing where communication is restricted, or an aid to assist with, substitute for, hearing is used;
  • speech difficulties;
  • shortness of breath or breathing difficulties causing restriction;
  • chronic or recurrent pain or discomfort causing restriction;
  • blackouts, fits, or loss of consciousness;
  • difficulty learning or understanding
  • incomplete use of arms or fingers;
  • difficulty gripping or holding things;
  • incomplete use of feet or legs;
  • nervous or emotional condition causing restriction;
  • restriction in physical activities or doing physical work;
  • disfigurement or deformity;
  • mental illness or condition requiring help or supervision;
  • long–term effects of head injury, stroke or other brain damage causing restriction;
  • receiving treatment or medication for any other long–term conditions or ailments and still restricted;
  • any other long-term conditions resulting in restriction.