Australian Public Service Remuneration Report 2019
The Australian Public Service (APS) Remuneration Report 2019 presents a summary of remuneration paid to APS employees under the Public Service Act 1999 as at 31 December 2019. The report provides APS agencies with data that informs their remuneration practices.
This annual report builds on several years of trend information and serves as an important public record for the APS.
Peter Woolcott AO
Australian Public Service Commissioner
APS remuneration at a glance 2019
Key findings for 2019:
- In 2019 the median weighted1 Base Salary across the APS increased by 1.2%. This reflects weighted increases of 1.1% for non-Senior Executive Service (SES) employees and 3.4% for SES employees.
- Median weighted Total Reward increased by 1.4% for non-SES employees and 1.7% for SES employees. The closer alignment between non-SES and SES Total Reward increases, compared with Base Salary increases, demonstrates the impact of repackaging of motor vehicle related allowances into SES Base Salaries.
- For the majority of classification levels, there was less than a 1% difference between male and female median Base Salaries at the same classification. The difference in overall average remuneration between genders has decreased from 7.8% in 2018 to 7.3% in 2019. Increased female representation at senior classifications has supported this change.
- 13,205 employees received performance bonuses representing 9.9% of all employees, down from 11.5% of employees in 2018. The number of SES employees paid performance bonuses remained steady between 2018 and 2019, but has declined in every other year since 2015.
- 10,824 employees had their salary set in a determination made under the Public Service Act 1999 while continuing to receive other terms and conditions provided by an enterprise agreement that has passed its nominal expiry date. This number continues to increase as more agencies and employees have opted for determinations to provide wage increases rather than bargaining new enterprise agreements.
Influences on the 2019 results:
- Large agencies have a substantial impact on remuneration. Services Australia (formerly the Department of Human Services), the Australian Taxation Office, the Department of Defence and the Department of Home Affairs make up approximately 55% of the APS population and are influential on median figures.
- Similarly, the majority of employees are employed across the APS 1-6 classifications, with more than half of those between the APS 4 and APS 6 levels. In contrast, SES account for only 2% of all employees and have minimal influence on medians.
- Most non-SES employees are covered by enterprise agreements that deliver average 2% per annum general wage increases over three years. The majority of enterprise agreements that commenced in 2017, including for the three largest agencies, provided for wage increases of 5%, of a total 6%, within the first two years. This resulted in wage increases of 1% for the majority of APS employees in 2019.
- SES employees are generally employed under individual arrangements negotiated between an agency and an individual. Given the small size of the SES cohort there are a range of factors that can have a prominent effect on remuneration change. In 2019 the continued repackaging of motor vehicle related allowances into base salary has influenced median increases.
- It should be noted that the impact of the Australian Government’s SES wage increase pause and six month deferral of non-SES wage increases will not become apparent until next year.
1For the purposes of comparisons between non-SES and SES employees, medians are adjusted to account for the number of employees at each level. These are referred to throughout the report as ‘weighted’ medians. For further explanation on weighted medians refer to Appendix A.2.