Annual Report 2016-17

Management of human resources

We are committed to investing in our people and ensuring that we have the right mix of skilled and experienced employees to deliver our services.

In 2016–17, we identified focus areas for workforce development, taking into account employee feedback obtained through the 2016 State of the Service employee census.

Census data confirmed that employees have a sense of personal accomplishment and pride in their job. The results also provided insights into the learning needs of our employees, and enabled us to focus on creating a highly engaged workplace through capability development.

Five key initiatives were implemented:

  • a new learning management system, LearnHub, to improve access to learning opportunities for all employees
  • focus groups to give all supervisors and managers an opportunity to discuss challenges and suggestions for improvement in employee engagement
  • a supervisors' forum, held over three days, to build capability in all areas of people management
  • training for managers and supervisors on managing difficult conversations, with a focus on performance management
  • mandatory online training modules on disability awareness and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural awareness, to improve our employees' understanding of other cultures and build a more inclusive and diverse culture.


At 30 June 2017, the Commission employed a headcount of 285 staff (211 ongoing and 74 non-ongoing). This does not include Members of the Commission and is a decrease of 21 from the total number of ongoing and non-ongoing staff at 30 June 2016. The Commission did not have any casual employees at 30 June 2017. Tables 47 to 50 provide detailed staffing statistics for the past two reporting periods.

Table 52: Ongoing employees by employment status (headcount)
  30 June 2017 30 June 2016
  Female Male Total Female Male Total
Full time 107 64 171 135 82 217
Part time 35 5 40 30 4 34
Total 142 69 211 165 86 251

Note: At 30 June 2017 the Commission did not have any employees who identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

Table 53: Non-ongoing employees by employment status (headcount)
  30 June 2017 30 June 2016
  Female Male Total Female Male Total
Full time 49 24 73 38 16 54
Part time 1 0 1 1 0 1
Total 50 24 74 39 16 55
Table 54: Ongoing and non-ongoing employees by location (headcount)
  30 June 2017 30 June 2016
  Female Male Total Female Male Total
Victoria 121 63 184 129 71 200
New South Wales 29 16 45 32 21 53
Queensland 13 7 20 14 4 18
Western Australia 11 1 12 11 1 12
South Australia 8 4 12 9 3 12
Tasmania 3 0 3 3 0 3
Australian Capital Territory 5 2 7 4 2 6
Northern Territory 2 0 2 2 0 2
Total 192 93 285 204 102 306
Table 55: Ongoing and non-ongoing employees by substantive classification (headcount)
  30 June 2017 30 June 2016
  Female Male Total Female Male Total
APS Level 2 2 2 4 5 3 8
APS Level 3 6 0 6 7 0 7
APS Level 4 39 26 65 32 21 53
APS Level 5 48 19 67 41 15 56
APS Level 6 62 22 84 84 33 117
Executive Level 11 15 5 20 13 6 19
Executive Level 21 17 18 35 19 22 41
Senior Executive Service Band 1 2 1 3 2 2 4
General Manager 1 0 1 1 0 1
Total 192 93 285 204 102 306

1 The Commission employs conciliators at Executive Levels 1 and 2 who have specialist skills and do not have managerial roles. The Commission employed 31 conciliators at 30 June 2016 and 36 conciliators at 30 June 2017.

Diversity and inclusion

The Commission is committed to building a culture of inclusion and diversity, including through developing strategies to increase those groups who are under-represented in our workforce.

The Commission is building on the 2013–15 workplace diversity strategy with the development of a 2017 strategy and implementation plan. The strategy will provide for an inclusive, respectful and diverse workforce, improving employee awareness of different cultures, developing the capability of groups identified in the strategy and developing recruitment and retention strategies so that the Commission's workforce better represents the community around us.

Groups identified in the strategy include:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • people with disability
  • people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • people from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex communities.

In 2016–17, the Commission's commitment to diversity and inclusion was demonstrated by:

  • the launch of online training modules on disability awareness and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural awareness
  • the celebration of national days of significance of identified groups
  • continued support for the Keeping in Touch program for employees on parental leave.

Recruitment and separations

During 2016–17, 64 new employees (ongoing or non-ongoing) commenced employment and 85 employees (ongoing or non-ongoing) departed the Commission.

Conditions of employment

Fair Work Australia Enterprise Agreement 2011–14

The Fair Work Australia Enterprise Agreement 2011–14 remained in force during the year while negotiations for a new enterprise agreement continued between staff and management bargaining representatives.

Staff Consultative Committee

The Staff Consultative Committee is established and maintained under the Commission's enterprise agreement. The committee, which is a well-established consultation and communication forum that considers matters affecting the workplace, includes:

  • the General Manager
  • management representatives
  • employee representatives
  • a union official.

Flexible work

The Commission provides flexible working arrangements to help employees balance work and other responsibilities, including:

  • Part time work—at 30 June 2017, 40 ongoing employees and one non-ongoing employee (five male and 36 female) worked part time, six more than the number working part time at 30 June 2016.
  • Home-based work—at 30 June 2017, two ongoing employees had a home-based work agreement to combine ongoing work commitments with parental responsibilities and/or personal circumstances. Three employees had home-based work arrangements at 30 June 2016.

Collective and individual agreements

All employees, excluding Senior Executive Service (SES) employees, are covered by the Fair Work Australia Enterprise Agreement 2011–14. At 30 June 2017, 281 employees were covered by the enterprise agreement, six of whom were also covered by individual flexibility arrangements.

At 30 June 2017, the Commission had three SES Band 1 employees. Employment conditions for SES employees are set out in individual determinations made under s.24(1) of the Public Service Act. The determinations are comprehensive documents covering each SES employee's terms and conditions, with many conditions being aligned with the Commission's enterprise agreement.

Salary ranges

Table 56 shows salary ranges available to APS employees by classification level. The maximum salary paid may be higher than represented in Table 56 for those employees who are covered by individual flexibility arrangements.

Table 56: Salary ranges by classification
  2016–17 2015–16
  Minimum ($) Maximum ($) Minimum ($) Maximum ($)
APS Level 2 52,284 57,529 52,284 57,529
APS Level 3 58,836 63,446 58,836 63,446
APS Level 4 65,508 71,089 65,508 71,089
APS Level 5 73,029 77,397 73,029 77,397
APS Level 6 79,094 90,983 79,094 90,983
Executive Level 1 100,688 108,694 100,688 108,694
Executive Level 2 116,094 135,869 116,094 135,869
SES Band 1 140,0001 N/A2 140,0001 N/A2

Note: The General Manager is not included in this table. The General Manager is an independent statutory office holder whose remuneration arrangements are determined by the Remuneration Tribunal.

1 The figures reflect base salary only and exclude superannuation and other benefits.

2 The General Manager determines the maximum salaries of all SES staff. By 31 July each year the Commission publishes on its website average annual remuneration paid to senior executives and other highly paid officials.

Non-salary benefits

Non-salary benefits are available to employees through the Fair Work Australia Enterprise Agreement 2011–14, individual arrangements and other initiatives. They include:

  • time off instead of payment for overtime worked
  • where available through the local metropolitan public transport authority, access to annual train, tram and bus tickets—the Commission pays the up-front cost and the employee repays the amount fortnightly over a 12-month period
  • healthy lifestyle initiatives such as subsidised yoga and Pilates classes, annual flu vaccinations and an employee assistance program.

Performance pay

The Commission does not provide performance pay.

Learning and development

Individual professional development is directly linked to the Commission's performance and development framework and aims to create a more capable workforce to meet current and future needs.

The Commission continues to offer learning and development opportunities through a range of learning options, in line with the 70:20:10 model of learning and development which is widely used across the APS. Under this model, 70 per cent of learning is on the job or experience based; 20 per cent is relationship based or learning through other colleagues; and 10 per cent is formal learning or learning through structured courses and programs. Learning opportunities for staff include e-learning modules, support for formal study, short courses, attendance at conferences and coaching/mentoring opportunities.

The Commission's new learning management system, LearnHub, plays a pivotal role in developing the individual's knowledge of the APS through numerous Australian Public Service Commission modules. In 2016–17, the Commission designed, developed and delivered specialised e-learning modules relevant to business needs. LearnHub provides improved flexibility and access to learning opportunities and enables consistent reporting.

In 2016–17, the Commission spent $266,927 (excluding GST) on learning and development for APS staff. This covered all staff training across the Commission, including studies assistance and core skills training in areas such as people management and leadership, administration, legislation, technology, project/program management and communication.

Work health and safety

The Commission has work health and safety management arrangements consistent with the WHS Act.

The arrangements set out a statement of commitment, a workplace health and safety policy, consultation arrangements, agreed employer/employee responsibilities and work health and safety structures and arrangements. They also set out guidelines for workplace inspections, training and information and emergency procedures.

Work Health and Safety Committee

The Commission has five work groups, 13 health and safety representatives and a national Work Health and Safety Committee. The committee met on three occasions in 2016–17.


In 2016–17, the Commission continued to promote work health and safety. During the year the most significant workplace health and safety initiatives were:

  • ongoing quarterly reporting by managers, who provided details of workplace health and safety matters raised, implemented and/or resolved
  • workstation assessments and, where needed, rehabilitation case management services, to meet the health, safety and rehabilitation needs of the workforce
  • early intervention strategies, which included the provision of specialised equipment and advice to assist staff following injury
  • the flu vaccination program, which was available to all staff
  • healthy lifestyle initiatives, which included a walking challenge and yoga and Pilates programs at lunchtime
  • R U OK? Day, which was part of a broader initiative promoting a more connected community
  • regular campaigns encouraging staff to use the Commission's employee assistance program.


The Commission remains committed to maintaining and improving the health and wellbeing of its workforce and other parties. In 2016–17, there was one new compensation claim, and 24 accidents/incidents involving employees and other parties were reported, compared with 14 reported accidents/incidents in 2015–16. The increase in the number of reported accidents/incidents reflects measures in 2016–17 to raise awareness of work health and safety across all Commission offices.

The Commission closely monitors its compensation costs and internal rehabilitation programs against broader APS compensation costs and the increasing number of longer term injuries and more complex claims. The Commission's workers' compensation premium rate has been reduced to 0.33 per cent in 2017–18, well below the average rate of 1.23 per cent across all agencies in 2017–18.

Reportable accidents and occurrences

Under s.38 of the WHS Act, the Commission is required to notify Comcare of any notifiable accidents or dangerous incidents arising out of work undertaken by any of its employees. The Commission had no reportable accidents or incidents in 2016–17.


Under Part 4 of the WHS Act, the Commission is required to report any investigations conducted during the year into any of its undertakings. No investigations were conducted in 2016–17.

Other matters

Under Part 5 of the WHS Act, health and safety representatives are entitled to issue provisional improvement notices to address immediate risks to improve health and safety performance. No notices were issued in 2016–17.

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