Working in the APS
The Australian Public Service is positioning itself as a model employer, where employees understand their role, feel supported and have terms and conditions that are fair and flexible.
Working in the APS requires commitment to the values and behaviours set out in the Public Service Act 1999. In 2023, the Australian Government proposed that stewardship become legislated as an APS Value. This highlights that all employees have a responsibility to support the enduring success of the APS as well as the ongoing and sustainable delivery of Government policies and programs.
Future work to support the APS in articulating our role and purpose will align with the existing provisions under the Act and serve as a mechanism to develop a unifying vision that actively engages public servants in connecting their work to the APS purpose. Consultation has begun, with a diverse group of employees from across the APS coming together to discuss and articulate the purpose of our work, based on legislative obligations and values.
The Australian Government has re-introduced service-wide bargaining, negotiating pay and common conditions on behalf of 103 APS agencies. It is expected to deliver the largest pay increase in more than a decade to over 160,000 employees. Work continues to address salary differences between APS agencies over time. The Government is considering the recommendations of the Review of the Maternity Leave (Commonwealth Employees) Act 1979.
The Secretaries Board Future of Work Sub-committee is supporting various priority actions to assist the APS to attract and retain talent in competitive labour markets and build more effective, diverse and inclusive workplaces. These include the APS Employee Value Proposition, an APS-wide approach to flexible work, an APS Location Strategy and action plan, reducing reliance on contractors and consultants and improvements to APS hiring practices.
APS employees are responding well to the changes taking place in 2022–23 and engagement levels remain high. The year has been challenging for some on a personal level, with a number of public inquiries into the work of the APS including the Royal Commission into the Robodebt Scheme Employee wellbeing is a priority and support continues to be available, including in the area of mental health.
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