Annual Report
2013–14

Management of human resources, work health and safety

Our people

As at 30 June 2014 we had a total of 2,141 employees engaged in ongoing functions, up from 587 employees as at 30 June 2013. The significant increase was due to the large scale machinery of government changes. A further 208 staff were employed primarily in the G20 Taskforce and 31 staff for other taskforces in the Department. There were also 87 inoperative staff. These figures are based on headcount and include part-time and non-ongoing employees. Further information is provided at Figure 3.2.

We continue to have a diverse workforce with approximately 66 per cent female representation, 61 per cent under 45 years and 14 per cent identifying as Indigenous. Following the machinery of government changes the Department is now geographically dispersed across Australia. Approximately 64 per cent of staff are located in Canberra with the remaining staff in other urban centres and remote regions across Australia. Further information is provided in the human resources workforce profile at Figure 3.3.

Figure 3.2 Staff distribution figures (based on headcount)

PM&C functions Number of staff at 30 June 2013 Number of staff at 30 June 2014
Ongoing functions 587 2,141
Associated functions 1311 2392
Inoperatives3 80 87
Total 798 2,467

Notes:

1 This figure for 2012–13 includes three staff from the Australia in the Asian Century Taskforce, 86 staff from the G20 Taskforce, 11 staff from the NDIS Taskforce, 24 staff from the COAG Reform Council, and seven staff employed for the support of former Governors-General.

2 This figure for 2013–14 includes two employees for the White Paper on Agricultural Competitiveness, three employees for the White Paper on Developing Northern Australia, 12 employees for the White Paper on the Reform of the Federation, 14 employees for the COAG Reform Council, and 208 employees for the G20 Taskforce.

3 Includes staff on paid leave greater than three months (maternity leave, long service leave, annual leave) and staff on leave without pay (external temporary transfers, overseas travel or study) and other temporary employment in the interests of the APS.

Developing our staff

In 2013–14 we made a significant investment in developing the capability and enhancing the capacity of our employees in order to meet the needs of the Department and the broader APS.

Our approach to learning and development focused on the core capabilities required for staff in the Department, including high‑quality leadership development, change management skills and policy development expertise. Development initiatives align with the Department’s 70:20:10 learning strategy, which includes 70 per cent on‑the‑job learning; 20 per cent mentoring, coaching and peer learning and 10 per cent formal classroom‑based learning.

Our employees benefited from a range of in‑house and external learning and development opportunities including programmes related to APS core skills and leadership development; career coaching and mentoring; seminars and presentations by internal and external guest speakers; secondments, taskforce and cross‑agency project work and financial support for study and professional memberships.

Figure 3.3 Workforce profile (based on headcount)

Workforce profile1 At June 2013 At June 2014
Ongoing Non-ongoing Total Ongoing Non-ongoing Total
Job classification
Secretary 1 0 1 1 0 1
SES Band 3 7 0 7 7 0 7
SES Band 2 17 0 17 24 0 24
SES Band 1 42 0 42 85 1 86
EL2 113 6 119 305 12 317
EL1 216 18 234 660 52 712
APS4–6 316 22 338 1,088 111 1,199
APS1–3 15 1 16 74 12 86
Graduate 24 0 24 35 0 35
Total 751 47 798 2,279 188 2,467
Location
ACT 718 28 746 1,550 47 1,597
NSW 25 1 26 112 6 118
QLD 6 17 23 147 110 257
VIC 2 1 3 28 1 29
Other jurisdictions 0 0 0 442 24 466
Overseas 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 751 47 798 2,279 188 2,467
Staff age profile
Age < 25 44 5 49 72 7 79
Age 25 – 34 333 16 349 675 75 750
Age 35 – 44 212 14 226 629 47 676
Age 45 – 54 113 6 119 580 34 614
Age 55 – 64 43 5 48 299 23 322
Age 65 + 6 1 7 24 2 26
Total 751 47 798 2,279 188 2,467
Equal employment opportunity group participation and workplace arrangements
Female 474 26 500 1,517 106 1,623
Non-English speaking background 22 0 22 152 9 161
Indigenous 6 0 6 334 20 354
People with a disability 15 0 15 78 1 79
Working part time 67 2 69 265 10 275
Employees volunteering personal data     85%     84%

Notes:

1 Figures include staff employed in ongoing and associated functions and staff who are inoperative.

Studies assistance

Most of our staff are eligible to apply for the Department’s Study Assistance Scheme. A total of 182 employees were granted access to studies assistance during the 2013–14 financial year. This enabled them to undertake formal courses of study relevant to their work and that of the broader APS.

Career advisory service

A total of 50 employees accessed the Career Advisory Service throughout the financial year, a service that provides employees with advice on leadership, team management and career development planning.

Professional and academic partnerships

The Department continued to foster our relationship with the Australian National University through participation in leadership programmes facilitated by the National Security College. We also participated in programmes to enhance public sector governance through our relationships with the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) Institute of Governance at the University of Canberra and the Institute of Public Administration Australia.

Leadership development

The Department implemented in-house leadership development programmes targeted at APS5-SES officers. The Department also accessed a range of external programmes for EL and SES employees, including those offered by the Australian Public Service Commission, ANZSOG, the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Mt Eliza Executive Leadership and the Cranlana Programme.

PM&C essentials

Internal subject matter experts delivered a variety of in-house seminars and workshops aimed at enriching the knowledge and understanding of departmental processes and building internal capability and networks. These sessions were very well received by employees and provided additional resources and information to better equip employees to deliver business outcomes.

Core skills

The Department offered a range of training courses which focused on building the core skills of APS employees. These core skills were integral to building organisational capability and assisted staff in their day-to-day tasks. Given the recent machinery of government changes, change management and resilience training was offered, as well as training to coincide with the implementation of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and electronic records management. This training was in addition to other core skills training sessions such as writing, communication and presentation skills that were regularly available to staff.

Secretary seminar series

Many of our employees also attended the Secretary’s Seminar Series, to gain insight from national and international experts on a range of current issues, including governance, public service management and Indigenous affairs.

Recruitment

The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) announced the Interim Recruitment Arrangements in October 2013. The interim arrangements were put in place to give greater priority to the redeployment of existing staff, and to reduce the engagement of new staff.

Partly as a result there was a decrease in recruitment activity during 2013–14.

The Department continued to offer opportunities through a range of entry-level recruitment programmes including the Graduate Programme, Vacation Employment Programme and the ‘Stepping Into…’ Programme. The machinery of government changes saw Cadets, Trainees and Indigenous Australian Government Development Programme participants join the Department. These programmes allowed the Department to build and maintain capability and offer the participants the chance to gain specific skills and knowledge through on‑the-job training and formal learning and development opportunities.

Performance frameworks

With the introduction of the PM&C Performance Culture Framework in 2013, there was a strong focus on both the work delivered and how these outcomes are achieved. Managers find it simpler when assessing an employee’s overall performance with both indicators being of equal importance. As a result of the 2013 machinery of government changes, nine additional performance frameworks were administered across the Department.

Employment programmes

Graduate Programme

The 2014 Graduate Programme (the Programme) commenced in February with 35 participants. The Department had initially recruited 21 graduates to the Programme with an additional 14 participants joining as a result of the machinery of government changes. Within the 2014 cohort there were five graduates recruited through the APSC Indigenous Pathways Programme.

The Programme will allow graduates to experience two job rotations in areas that will enhance their knowledge and capability and provide exposure to new facets of government policy, service delivery and programme management. The graduates also undertake a tailored learning and development programme that features courses specific to working at PM&C and in the wider APS.

The Programme is designed to enable the Graduates to gain the foundation and core skills required for a career in the APS and the expectation is that, after a period of time, they will take the knowledge gained at PM&C out into the wider APS.

Vacation Employment Programme

In December 2013 we welcomed 15 university students to the Department through the Vacation Employment Programme (VEP). Similar to an internship, participants completed a nine week placement designed to teach them about the processes of government from the inside and to contribute to the work of the Department. This programme is a valuable opportunity to encourage students to consider employment with the Department after the completion of their studies, either as a graduate or in other roles.

‘Stepping Into…’ Programme

The ‘Stepping Into…’ Programme is an internship designed specifically for university students with a disability. Commencing along with the VEP, two interns completed a nine week placement. This programme is a valuable opportunity for these students to experience paid work experience that will assist them in their future careers.

Diversity

The machinery of government changes significantly changed the composition of the PM&C workforce. There was a significant increase in the representation of Indigenous employees as well as an increase in the representation of employees with a disability. As a result, the Department has an increased leadership role in the APS in supporting and promoting the employment and development of Indigenous people and individuals with a disability. This stewardship is reflected in the Secretary’s role as the Chair of the Diversity Council. In addition, the Department also has a dedicated Disability Champion and Indigenous Champion at the Senior Executive level. The Department’s commitment to increasing female participation, including in senior leadership roles is also influenced by the Secretary’s role as a Male Champion of Change.

The Department remains committed to the attraction, recruitment and retention of employees with a diverse background with a view to providing a supportive and respectful work environment which recognises and values diversity.

The new National Disability Strategy 2010–20 sets out a ten year national policy framework to improve the lives of people with disability, promote participation and create a more inclusive society. Agency level information on people with a disability can be found at www.dss.gov.au.

Work health and safety

The Department is committed to providing and maintaining a safe and healthy workplace and to meeting its obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) and the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRC Act). The expansion of work health and safety (WHS) responsibilities and a change in the risk profile resulting from the machinery of government changes prompted the Department to establish WHS as a separate section, that also included responsibility for rehabilitation case management. An extensive review of all WHS‑related strategies, policies, procedures and other arrangements was commenced as a result of the machinery of government changes, including a review of the Department’s WHS Committee structure. WHS Committee meetings were conducted in each state office with four meetings being conducted in Canberra during the year. A new national WHS Committee structure is being developed and a draft for consultation was released to the Department during the year.

During the year Comcare conducted a regulatory campaign to reduce the health and safety risks in those workplaces affected significantly by the Administrative Arrangements Order issued on 18 September 2013. As part of this campaign, Comcare conducted a review of the Department’s change management processes and the support mechanisms put in place to assist employees with the transition. The recommendations provided by Comcare as an outcome of the review echoed the actions that the Department had taken during the year, to facilitate the smooth transition to the new structure.

All new employees are required to complete an online WHS training module as part of their induction. The module was reviewed in the second half of the year to incorporate relevant aspects of the Department’s expanded responsibilities and work site coverage.

As part of the management of health and safety risks associated with the delivery of G20 events, the G20 Taskforce developed specific safety management arrangements that focused on hazards and risks related to the Taskforce’s activities. A G20 Safety Management Manual was developed, which applies to all G20 workers and covers activities associated with planning and delivery of G20 events. Training to support the implementation of this Manual was also provided to relevant employees.

In December 2013 the Department entered in to a shared services arrangement with the Department of Human Services for the provision of employee assistance programme (EAP) services to non-Canberra based staff.

In exercising a commitment to ensure the health and wellbeing of its employees the Department utilised a number of early intervention strategies to minimise any potential WHS risks and to promote work-life balance. These included:

  • preventative and specialist workstation assessments
  • access to the EAP for employees and their immediate family members
  • access to influenza vaccinations during the period March to May 2014
  • an onsite school holiday care programme run at the Department’s Barton office by the YMCA
  • a dedicated intranet page that provides information on family-friendly policies and initiatives
  • onsite carers/reflection room.

First aid officers are located throughout premises occupied by the Department to ensure assistance is available when needed and first aid kits are provided for vehicles operated in remote localities. A review of first aid facilities and services was conducted during the year to ensure effective coverage is available for the broader Department.

Training was arranged for all new health and safety representatives and refresher training organised as required for ongoing representatives.

Further information on notifiable incidents and investigations is at Appendix A.

Employment arrangements

Workplace arrangements

The Department’s employee profile has shifted significantly as a result of the machinery of government changes. The terms and conditions of employment, including remuneration of employees moved to PM&C as a result of the machinery of government were preserved under a section 24(3) determination of the Public Service Act 1999. The terms and conditions of those employees are preserved until such time as a new enterprise agreement is negotiated for the Department.

Data on employment arrangements for all PM&C staff is provided at Figure 3.4.

In addition to the current PM&C enterprise agreement, the Department is administering the terms and conditions of the following nine agreements:

  • Attorney-General’s Department Enterprise Agreement 2011
  • Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Enterprise Agreement 2011–14
  • Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Enterprise Agreement 2012–14
  • One Innovation Enterprise Agreement 2011
  • Department of Finance and Deregulation Enterprise Agreement 2011–14
  • Department of Health and Ageing Enterprise Agreement 2011–14
  • Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Enterprise Agreement 2012–14
  • Department of Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government Enterprise Agreement 2011
  • Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities Enterprise Agreement 2011–14

Figure 3.4 Trends in employment agreements

Agreements – at 30 June 2012 2013 2014
Section 24(1) determinations
SES 64 66 71
Non-SES1 0 0 1
Section 24(3) determinations2
SES 0 0 46
Non-SES 0 0 1523
Enterprise Agreement (EA)
SES 0 0 0
Non-SES 654 731 825
Total3 7184 797 2,466

Notes:

1 Non-SES staff subject to a determination under section 24(3) were offered a determination under section 24(1) in lieu of an Individual Flexibility Arrangement.

2 Staff transferred to PM&C to give effect to Administrative Arrangements Orders made by the Governor-General in Council on 18 September 2013 had all terms and conditions of employment maintained by determinations under section 24(3) of the Public Service Act 1999.

3 These figures include both ongoing and non-ongoing employees but do not include the Secretary.

4 This figure does not include the Special Adviser.

Figure 3.5 Trends in base salary

  30 June 2012 30 June 2013 30 June 20141
  Min Max Min Max Min Max
APS1–3 41,272 57,259 42,304 58,691 41,049 62,837
APS 4–6 59,119 92,456 60,597 94,767 56,711 97,137
EL1 96,518 117,647 98,931 120,588 94,705 123,603
EL2 112,340 141,591 115,148 145,131 112,992 148,759
SES Band 1 139,256 204,455 148,227 209,566 151,933 202,385
SES Band 2 210,000 237,026 215,250 240,875 212,950 246,897
SES Band 3 273,900 388,498 250,000 348,434 276,250 367,719
Secretary The Secretary’s remuneration is determined by the Remuneration Tribunal.

Notes:

1 2014 data sourced from Enterprise Agreements covering the PM&C workforce as a result of the machinery of government changes.

Productivity gains

We worked towards achieving a range of productivity initiatives throughout the year to enhance our ability to deliver the business outcomes of the Department. Through innovative development of people, structures and processes, the aim is to deliver results that will improve our collective and individual productivity.

We introduced enhancements to our Human Resource (HR) systems to streamline processes, including:

  • the transition help desk to assist employees transferring to PM&C in the machinery of government changes
  • the implementation of automated processes to supersede paper-based HR systems
  • the restructure of corporate services, including systems and processes to deliver client service to a department with a geographically dispersed workforce
  • analysis of customer queries to refine self‑service options and HR service delivery model.

Performance bonuses

No performance bonuses were paid to employees in 2013–14.

a photograph of Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women, with staff from the Office for Women

Photo 3.1 Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women, with staff from the Office for Women.