The size of the Commission’s workforce decreased by 1.4 per cent in 2016–17—to 207 employees, excluding employees engaged on an irregular or intermittent basis. Ninety-five per cent of the Commission’s workforce is based in Canberra. Of the entire Commission workforce, 71 per cent are women, 79 per cent work full-time, and 94 per cent are ongoing employees. Women make up 88 per cent of the part-time workforce. Appendix B provides detailed information about the Commission’s workforce.
The Commission continued to consider its future staffing requirements and engaged in strategic planning in relation to workforce matters. Of the 30 per cent of current ongoing employees who might elect to retire now or within the coming five years, the majority are at the executive level. Recruitment activity in 2016–17 continued to focus on filling key positions that directly contribute to the Commission’s ability to achieve its strategic goals. One strategy the Commission adopted in order to achieve this was, for the first time in several years, to implement a Graduate Recruitment Program to find, develop and retain graduates with relevant skills and qualifications.
The Commission continues to use streamlined recruitment processes designed to identify the best applicants in a fair, transparent and efficient manner.
The average use of personal leave with pay—including sick, carers and emergency leave—was 9.8 days per employee in 2016–17; this compares with 10.8 days in 2015–16.
In 2016–17 the Commission continued to maintain its strong record in workforce diversity. It implemented a new Gender Equality Action Plan that aligns with the APS Gender Equality Strategy. The plan focuses on increasing flexibility, capability, identity and working in partnership with other agencies. We continued to engage with the Disability and Carers Employee Network on the implementation of the Disability Action Plan and also launched an LGBTI network during 2016–17.
The Reconciliation Action Plan
The Commission conducted a range of activities in support of its commitment to reconciliation and its own cultural capability journey. The activities were facilitated by the Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group.
The Core Cultural Learning e-learning course, which encourages respect for and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures, was made available to all staff. The working group also issued ‘acknowledgement of country’ cards to Commission staff in order to facilitate the widest possible adoption of this practice when meetings and other events are being opened.
A broad range of activities were arranged to celebrate National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week, including the 15th annual APS NAIDOC Week Touch Football Carnival. A highlight for 2016–17 was the NAIDOC Week block party, which was held in conjunction with other APS agencies in the Woden area. The party was well attended and raised funds for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.
The Commission’s remuneration framework and terms and conditions of employment consist of an enterprise agreement for non-SES staff and section 24(1) determinations under the Public Service Act 1999 for SES staff.
The Australian Public Service Commission Enterprise Agreement 2015–18 came into operation on 29 July 2015. Three non-SES Commission employees had individual flexibility arrangements approved during 2016–17 and 11 section 24(1) determinations apply to SES employees were made during the year.
Table 2 shows the salary ranges available for the Commission’s classification levels.
No performance pay provisions were in place for employees. The Commission provided non-salary benefits—including salary packaging, leased motor vehicles, laptops, mobile phones and airline lounge memberships—for a limited number of employees.
|29 July 2016 to
30 June 2017
The Commission implemented a new approach to performance management. Called Taking Time to Talk, it places greater emphasis on employees and managers having regular, meaningful performance conversations. This approach is supported by an online portal on the Commission’s intranet that provides support and further information for employees.
Australia Day awards
At the Commission’s 2017 Australia Day awards ceremony Naomi Buckley, Caroline Davidson, Donna Tait and the Ripple team from the APS Reform Group received awards for their outstanding work and dedicated service to the Commission during the year.