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Appendix 5 Unscheduled Absence

The APSC remains committed to managing workplace absence and collects data from APS agencies.

Unscheduled absence includes personal, carers and miscellaneous leave (bereavement, compassionate and emergency leave). It includes instances of these leave types with or without a supporting medical certificate, whether paid or unpaid.

The unscheduled absence rate is calculated as the average number of days per employee taken over the preceding 12 month period. 

While the unscheduled absence rate has remained relatively stable over the last five years, this year saw the rate decrease to 11.2 days.

Table A5.1: Unscheduled absence (2015-16 to 2019-20)
Year 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20
Rate (days) 11.5 11.4 11.4 11.4 11.2

Table A5.2 shows unscheduled absence rates by agency size for the financial year 2019-20. The absence rate by agency size has dropped slightly from financial year 2018-19, influenced by a reduction in large agency unscheduled absence rates. This could be a reflection of the change in working conditions due to COVID-19.

Table A5.2: Unscheduled absence by agency size (2018-19 and 2019-20)

Agency size

Unscheduled absence 2018-19 (days)

Unscheduled absence 2019-20 (days)

Small agencies 10.7 10.6
Medium agencies 11.6 11.6
Large agencies 12.7 11.9
Overall APS 11.4 11.2

Table A5.3 provides personal and miscellaneous leave use and unscheduled absence rate by agency, 2018-19 and 2019-20 (expressed as an average number of days). It should be noted, for small agencies a small number of individuals with high leave levels can influence the unscheduled absence rate substantially. 

Due to Machinery of Government changes in February 2020, care should be taken when comparing affected agencies.

Table A5.3: Sick leave, carer’s leave, miscellaneous leave and unscheduled absence rate by agency (2018-19 and 2019-20) (expressed as an average number of days)

Agency name

Sick leave 2019-20

Carer’s leave 2019-20

Miscellaneous leave 2019-20

Total unscheduled absence rate 2019-20

Total unscheduled absence rate 2018-19

Aboriginal Hostels Limited

13.1

1.4

0.6

15.1

14.2

Administrative Appeals Tribunal

8.1

1.6

0.7

10.5

13.5

Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission

9.1

2.0

0.6

11.7

.

Agriculture, Water and the Environmentab

9.6

2.7

0.9

13.1

12.0

Attorney-General's Department

7.4

1.9

0.3

9.6

11.1

Australian Building and Construction Commission

10.6

1.4

0.3

12.3

11.1

Australian Bureau of Statistics

9.0

2.5

0.5

12.0

12.0

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research

7.2

3.3

0.1

10.6

8.1

Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission

7.7

1.9

0.1

9.7

6.8

Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity

6.3

2.2

0.5

9.0

11.2

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care

7.6

1.2

0.6

9.4

13.8

Australian Communications and Media Authority

9.4

2.9

0.3

12.6

12.4

Australian Competition Consumer Commission

6.5

1.5

0.4

8.4

9.1

Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission

7.6

2.1

0.2

9.8

11.4

Australian Digital Health Agency

8.2

1.0

0.7

9.9

17.0

Australian Electoral Commission

11.7

2.3

0.4

14.4

10.6

Australian Financial Security Authority

8.7

1.8

0.2

10.8

12.1

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

8.4

3.3

3.5

15.2

11.6

Agency name

Sick leave 2019-20

Carer’s leave 2019-20

Miscellaneous leave 2019-20

Total unscheduled absence rate 2019-20

Total unscheduled absence rate 2018-19

Australian Human Rights Commission

4.7

2.3

0.3

7.3

8.0

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Studies

9.0

2.2

0.6

11.7

12.3

Australian Institute of Family Studies

9.1

1.5

0.7

11.3

11.3

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

8.8

2.3

0.7

11.7

11.3

Australian National Audit Office

7.1

1.4

0.2

8.8

9.8

Australian National Maritime Museum

7.6

1.6

0.6

9.8

9.2

Australian Office of Financial Management

4.3

3.4

0.1

7.7

8.7

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority

6.4

2.4

0.8

9.5

11.9

Australian Public Service Commission

10.6

1.9

0.5

13.0

10.9

Australian Radiation Protection & Nuclear Safety Agency

8.5

3.5

0.3

12.3

10.5

Australian Research Council

8.6

3.2

1.7

13.6

16.4

Australian Skills Quality Authority

9.7

1.5

0.3

11.5

10.7

Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority

6.8

1.4

0.4

8.6

6.9

Australian Taxation Office

9.3

2.0

0.3

11.6

11.9

Australian Trade Commission

6.8

2.0

0.2

8.9

10.0

Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre

6.4

2.2

0.4

9.0

8.2

Australian Transport Safety Bureau

7.1

1.9

0.2

9.3

9.8

Australian War Memorial

8.2

4.3

1.1

13.5

10.5

Bureau of Meteorology

6.4

2.2

0.2

8.8

9.9

Cancer Australia*

4.4

1.0

0.1

5.5

9.2

Clean Energy Regulator

11.8

2.4

0.8

15.0

16.8

Comcare

12.1

2.0

2.1

16.2

16.7

Commonwealth Grants Commission

10.1

1.9

0.2

12.2

7.2

Commonwealth Ombudsman

9.9

2.8

0.2

12.9

11.2

Defence

10.1

2.0

0.3

12.4

13.3

Defence Housing Australia

8.9

2.5

1.3

12.7

10.7

Agency name

Sick leave 2019-20

Carer’s leave 2019-20

Miscellaneous leave 2019-20

Total unscheduled absence rate 2019-20

Total unscheduled absence rate 2018-19

Digital Transformation Agencya

7.7

1.8

0.2

9.7

10.6

Director of Public Prosecutions

6.1

2.1

0.2

8.4

5.9

Education, Skills and Employmenta

9.8

2.9

0.4

13.1

14.1

Fair Work Commission*

6.4

1.5

0.9

8.8

9.2

Federal Court Statutory Agency

6.5

1.8

0.4

8.7

10.0

Finance

8.2

2.4

0.2

10.9

12.7

Food Standards Australia New Zealand

7.1

2.2

0.3

9.6

8.2

Foreign Affairs and Trade

7.8

2.4

0.2

10.4

10.3

Future Fund Management Agency

2.5

1.0

0.1

3.6

4.8

Geoscience Australia

7.0

3.7

0.5

11.2

10.1

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

11.6

2.8

1.1

15.5

15.6

Health

9.0

1.9

0.7

11.7

12.8

Home Affairs

11.4

3.2

0.3

14.9

15.7

Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority

11.0

3.3

0.0

14.4

14.9

Industry, Science, Energy and Resourcesa

7.9

1.5

0.4

9.8

11.0

Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communicationsa

8.3

2.1

0.3

10.7

11.8

Inspector-General of Taxation and Taxation Ombudsman

7.0

1.6

0.1

8.7

6.2

IP Australia

8.4

3.0

0.3

11.7

12.7

Murray-Darling Basin Authority

7.1

2.5

0.2

9.8

12.1

Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House

9.1

2.6

0.4

12.1

12.2

National Archives of Australia

11.5

2.3

0.3

14.2

15.7

National Blood Authority

8.0

1.6

0.3

9.9

9.3

National Capital Authority

5.9

2.2

0.6

8.7

11.6

National Disability Insurance Agency

10.4

1.9

0.7

13.1

13.3

National Film and Sound Archive

9.7

3.0

1.1

13.7

15.2

National Health and Medical Research Council

8.8

2.8

0.2

11.7

11.1

National Health Funding Body

7.1

1.7

0.1

8.9

9.8

Agency name

Sick leave 2019-20

Carer’s leave 2019-20

Miscellaneous leave 2019-20

Total unscheduled absence rate 2019-20

Total unscheduled absence rate 2018-19

National Indigenous Australians Agency

11.6

2.8

0.5

14.9

.

National Library of Australia

11.6

3.1

0.6

15.3

14.2

National Museum of Australia

10.1

2.6

0.4

13.2

13.6

National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority

6.8

1.2

0.4

8.4

9.7

National Portrait Gallery

7.0

2.6

0.8

10.3

11.7

NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission

8.9

1.7

0.3

11.0

.

Office of National Intelligence

5.5

4.1

2.0

11.6

6.9

Office of Parliamentary Counsel

5.7

1.2

0.5

7.4

13.1

Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

7.3

1.9

0.3

9.4

12.0

Office of the Fair Work Ombudsman

8.9

2.2

0.4

11.4

13.0

Organ and Tissue Authority

8.7

1.3

0.5

10.5

9.3

Prime Minister and Cabinet

8.2

1.6

0.4

10.1

13.4

Productivity Commission

6.7

1.2

0.3

8.2

10.3

Royal Australian Mint

11.8

4.0

1.1

17.0

14.5

Safe Work Australia

10.2

2.1

0.5

12.8

12.3

Services Australia

13.6

2.5

0.6

16.7

16.4

Social Services

10.5

2.3

0.4

13.2

13.6

Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency

7.3

1.2

0.3

8.7

6.1

Torres Strait Regional Authority

7.9

1.9

1.5

11.4

9.9

Treasury

7.3

1.8

0.3

9.4

9.7

Veterans' Affairs

11.0

2.2

0.4

13.7

15.5

Workplace Gender Equality Agency

9.6

1.5

0.7

11.7

10.0

* Agency provided headcount (not full-time equivalent) data.

a Agency was involved in a Machinery of Government during 2018-19 and data is not comparable to other years.

b Agency was involved in a Machinery of Government change. As such, five months of data has been annualised to make it comparable to other agencies.