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Section 4: Movements of ongoing employees

During 2015–16, there were 11,005 engagements and 9,759 separations of ongoing employees. The number of engagements included 727 ongoing employees who moved into coverage of the PS Act. The number of separations included 299 ongoing employees who moved out of coverage of the PS Act. Engagements increased by 362.4% from the previous year and separations decreased by 8.5%. Figure 13 shows the number of engagements and separations of ongoing employees for the past 15 years. It shows that the number of engagements increased after a decline over the previous four years.


During 2015–16, the number of ongoing engagements increased by 362.4%, after decreasing by 48.7% in 2014–15. This year saw increases in the number of engagements across all classifications. Compared to 2014–15, the classification with the largest percentage increase of engagements occurred at the APS 3–4 classification, increasing by 1,136.1% or 4,408 engagements, followed by the APS 5–6 classification increasing by 559.8% or 2,228.

Figure 14 shows that the greatest decline in engagements from 2014–15 to 2015–16, as a proportion of all ongoing engagements, was the Trainee and Graduate classification group, with a decrease of 33.9%. This is due to Trainees and Graduates having a high proportion of ongoing engagements over the last few years when engagements at all other classifications were restricted. During 2015–16, 1,649 Trainees and Graduates were engaged, an increase of 485 or 41.7% from 1,164 in 2014–15.

Figure 15 shows that the representation of ongoing engagements sharply decreased in the under 25 years age group. This can be attributed to the decrease in the proportion of graduates engaged­—10.3% of engagements in 2015-16 were at the graduate classification, compared to 43.6% in the previous year. Engagements of employees aged 35–44 increased from 14.0% of all ongoing engagements in 2014–15 to 21.4% in 2015–16.

Women accounted for 60.3% of all ongoing engagements during 2015–16, higher than their representation of 58.4% of all ongoing employees at June 2016.

The mean age of those engaged in 2015–16 was 34.3 years. For men the mean age was 34.4 years and for women it was 34.3 years.


There were 9,759 separations of ongoing employees during 2015–16, a decrease of 8.5% from the 10,662 separations in the previous year.

Women accounted for 53.0% of all ongoing separations from the APS during 2015–16, lower than their ongoing representation of 58.4% at June 2016.

The number of resignations during 2015–16 was greater than the number of retrenchments for the first time since 2013. Resignations increased from 34.8% of all separations in 2014–15 to 42.0% in 2015–16. Retrenchments decreased from 42.7% to 29.1% of all separations. In 2015-16 age retirements accounted for 20.5% of all separations, an increase from 17.4% last year. The number of terminations in 2015–16 was 163, or 1.7%, compared to 141, or 1.3% last year.

This financial year was the second year data was collected to identify voluntary and involuntary redundancies. During 2015–16, 91.7% of retrenchments were voluntary and 4.1% were involuntary. The remaining 4.2% were SES Retirements. Compared to 2014–15, involuntary retrenchments decreased by 1.3%, and voluntary retrenchments increased by 0.4%.

Figure 17 shows the natural attrition rate for the APS in 2015–16 was 4.4%, up from 4.0% in 2014–15. Natural attrition includes resignations and age retirements only. The rate of other separations has decreased from 3.6% to 2.7% due to the decrease in the number of retrenchments. The overall separation rate from the APS was 7.1%, down from 7.6% during 2014–15.

Mobility within the APS

Figure 18 shows how mobility between agencies has varied over the past 15 years. During 2015–16 the overall mobility rate of 2.4% was an increase from 1.6% in 2014-15. The transfer rate increased from 1.3% to 1.6% and the promotion rate increased from 0.4% to 0.8%.

Mobility has consistently been higher for women than for men. During 2015–16, the mobility rate for women was 2.6%, up from 1.8% in 2014–15. The mobility rate for men was 2.2%, up from 1.3% in 2014–15.

In general, mobility between agencies is higher at higher classifications. The mobility rate for the SES was 7.7%, up from 5.3% in the previous year. Mobility for EL employees was 3.5%, up from 1.8%, and mobility for APS 1–6 employees was 1.9%, up from 1.5%.

As expected, the number of agencies an employee has worked in increases at higher classification levels, similar to mobility between agencies. Of the current ongoing SES employees, 38.4% worked in only one agency compared with 62.6% of EL employees and 83.2% of APS 1–6 employees. At June 2016, 19.3% of SES employees worked in four or more agencies, compared with 6.6% of EL and 1.3% of APS 1–6 employees.

Table D: Ongoing employees: Number of agencies worked in, 2002 and 2016
Classification One agency 2-3 agencies 4 or more agencies
% 2002 % 2016 % 2002 % 2016 % 2002 % 2016
Source: Table 22
APS 76.7 83.2 20.5 15.5 2.7 1.3
EL 55.9 62.6 33.1 30.8 10.9 6.6
SES 33.6 38.4 42.3 42.3 24.1 19.3
Total 72.1 76.9 23.3 20.0 4.6 3.1

Tables in Section 4: Movements