Go to top of page

Chapter 9: Employment instrument

Employees within the APS generally have their employment terms and conditions set by one of the following primary employment instruments:

  • Enterprise Agreements (EA)
  • Public Service Act Determinations (s24(1) and (3)) (PSAD)
  • Common Law Agreements (CLA)
  • Australian Workplace Agreements (AWA).

The vast majority of employees in the non-SES classifications are employed under an EA. 
Very small numbers of employees at these levels are covered by PSADs, CLAs or AWAs. A further 3,594 employees are engaged under a secondary agreement known as an Individual Flexibility Arrangement (IFA). The majority of these staff were at the EL levels—39% of IFAs were for EL2 staff, and 31% for EL1s.

Table 9.1: Employees by employment instrument and classification, 2017
  EA AWA PSA CLA
  N % N % N % N %
 Graduate 1,356 99.9%     1 0.1%    
APS 1 563 100.%            
APS 2 2,477 99.8%     1 0.0% 3 0.1%
APS 3 15,181 99.7% 2 0.0% 43 0.3% 9 0.1%
APS 4 28,370 99.8% 1 0.0% 24 0.1% 45 0.2%
APS 5 20,163 99.6% 5 0.0% 51 0.3% 35 0.2%
APS 6 31,965 99.6% 11 0.0% 79 0.3% 42 0.1%
EL 1 24,742 99.2% 12 0.1% 119 0.5% 61 0.2%
EL 2 11,154 98.3% 17 0.2% 108 1.0% 70 0.6%
SES 1 24 1.2% 20 1.0% 1,697 85.8% 236 11.9%
SES 2 9 1.7% 8 1.5% 452 85.3% 61 11.5%
SES 3     4 3.6% 99 90.0% 7 6.4%
All employees 136,004 97.6% 80 0.1% 2,674 1.9% 569 0.4%
Table 9.2: Secondary employment instrument
  IFA
  N %
 Graduate 1 0.1%
APS 1 1 0.2%
APS 2 2 0.1%
APS 3 17 0.1%
APS 4 100 0.4%
APS 5 252 1.2%
APS 6 252 0.8%
EL 1 1,106 4.4%
EL 2 1,406 12.4%
SES 1 9 0.5%
SES 2 2 0.4%
All employees 3,594 2.6%