Our people

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Our people are central to the department’s ability to support the government, our ministers and the community. They uphold and promote the Australian Public Service Values and Code of Conduct, demonstrate leadership and take personal responsibility. These approaches, values and behaviours define the department’s culture. To maintain and strengthen this we will focus on the following priorities: a positive culture, an engaged workforce, a capable and innovative workforce and an adaptive, responsive workforce.

Work is underway on finalising our People and Capability Strategy, which incorporates both our leadership statement and how we will deliver on our people priorities. Overseen by the People and Capability Committee, over two years, the strategy will guide the department’s approach to ensuring people are at the core of our business.

The creation of the department provided the opportunity to set the strategic direction for our people. The department created the People Capability Committee to oversee the effective management of people and organisational strategies.

At 30 June 2014 the department had 1843 employees—1829 ongoing and 14 non-ongoing.

Table 17 Ongoing employees by employment status at 30 June 2014

Ongoing employees by employment status at 30 June 2014
Employment status Female Male Total
Full-time 765 790 1555
Part-time 226 48 274
Total 991 838 1829

Table 18 Non-ongoing employees by employment status at 30 June 2014

Non-ongoing employees by employment status at 30 June 2014
Employment status Female Male Total
Full-time 5 5 10
Part-time 3 1 4
Total 8 6 14

Employees were located across eight Australian locations and two overseas postings.

Table 19 Employees by location at 30 June 2014

Employees by location at 30 June 2014
Location Female Male Total
New South Wales 64 83 147
Victoria 31 21 52
Queensland 44 24 68
Western Australia 16 10 26
South Australia 23 11 34
Tasmania 9 4 13
Australian Capital Territory 805 687 1492
Northern Territory 6 3 9
Overseas 1 1 2
Total 999 844 1843

Table 20 Employees by classification at 30 June 2014

Employees by classification at 30 June 2014
Classification Female Male Total
Cadets 1 1 2
Apprentices/Trainees 0 0 0
Indigenous Australian Government Development Programme Trainees 1 3 4
Graduates 12 11 23
APS Level 1 0 0 0
APS Level 2 2 1 3
APS Level 3 40 31 71
APS Level 4 118 92 210
APS Level 5 175 130 305
APS Level 6 237 200 437
Executive Level 1 253 239 492
Executive Level 2 94 76 170
Information Technology Specialist 2 14 16
Government Lawyer 7 2 9
Senior Government Lawyer 11 8 19
Principal Government Lawyer 16 6 22
SES Band 1 19 22 41
SES Band 2 8 8 16
SES Band 3 2 0 2
Secretary 1 0 1
Total 999 844 1843

Note that minor typographical errors were identified in Table 20 post–print and have been corrected in the HTML version. This will be noted and corrected in the errors appendix of the Department of Employment Annual Report 2014–15.


The department is committed to diversity in everything we do and to building an environment that supports and embraces all elements of diversity. In March 2014, the Secretary joined the Australian Public Service Diversity Council. In addition, the department has established the role of Disability Champion to support our employees with disability and improve their employment outcomes.

The Disability Champion is a significant role for the department. In addition to providing important leadership and support internally, the champion represents the department externally and provides leadership across the APS through contributing to the APS Disability Champions Network as well as other related forums.

Work is well advanced to establish a disability employee network to build the department’s effectiveness by being an employer of choice for people with disability. The network will assist the department to develop the right organisational culture by having systems and policies in place for people with a disability to be confident and supported in their work environment.

Work is also underway on the agency multicultural plan in line with requirements under the government’s Multicultural Access and Equity Policy.

Indigenous business is our business

While some of the department’s work has changed with the machinery-of-government changes, Indigenous business remains our business. We are committed to building a department which is not only an employer of choice for Indigenous people, but is one which actively welcomes the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees and works towards positive outcomes for Indigenous Australians.

We contribute to the government’s priority of getting more Indigenous Australians into work to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.

The department has an Indigenous Leader who advises the Executive on matters of importance to Indigenous employees, jointly chairs the Indigenous Staff Committee, and takes part in key governance committees.

The work of the Indigenous Leader is complemented by that of the department’s Indigenous Champion. The Indigenous Champion has a role in our efforts to increase, retain and develop our Indigenous presence in the organisation and taking forward the key actions in our Reconciliation Action Plan but also taking on external representational and leadership roles across the APS.

Reconciliation Action Plan

The department’s Reconciliation Action Plan is being developed in consultation with employees. A draft plan was released by the Secretary in May 2014 as part of National Reconciliation Week. The Reconciliation Action Plan outlines actions and targets to ensure everyone in the department can identify their contribution to making Indigenous business our business.

Workforce planning and employee retention

Entry-level recruitment programmes

The department offers career opportunities to university graduates interested in supporting national policies and programmes that help Australians find and keep employment and work in safe, fair and productive workplaces. The graduate programme is a 10-month programme offering workplace learning and development in a supportive environment. By June 2014, the department had 23 graduates.

The department also supports the Indigenous Cadetship Programme. The programme offers career development opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students by providing an opportunity to study full-time as well gain work experience in a government agency. By June 2014 the department had two cadets.

The Indigenous Australian Government Development Programme is another entry-level programme for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. In addition to ongoing employment, participants undertake a Diploma of Government qualification and are provided with other professional and personal development opportunities to enhance their capability to undertake a career within the APS. By June 2014, the department had four participants in the programme.

Remuneration and conditions of employment

A new Administrative Arrangements Order was issued on 18 September 2013 to give effect to a range of changes to the machinery of government.

On the same day, the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service, Senator the Hon. Eric Abetz, signed a determination under section 24(3) of the Public Service Act 1999 that preserved the conditions of employment for non-SES and SES employees that applied to them immediately before the Administrative Arrangements Order was made. The previously existing enterprise agreement provided core conditions of employment and a range of flexible working arrangements to assist employees to balance their personal and professional lives.

At 30 June 2014, 1783 non-SES employees in the department were covered by the section 24(3) determination that preserved their previous enterprise agreement. Nine employees retained individual flexibility arrangements, and 10 employees received supplementary section 24(1) determinations. These determinations will remain in place until the new enterprise agreement, which is currently being developed, comes into effect.

On 27 June 2014, a new section 24(1) determination was made for the department’s SES employees to ensure consistency with the Australian Government Public Sector Workplace Bargaining Policy.

At 30 June 2014, 59 SES employees had section 24(1) determinations in place.

Table 21 Salary ranges by classification at 30 June 2014

Salary ranges by classification at 30 June 2014
Classification Salary range ($)
APS Level 1 27,172 –49,516
APS Level 2 53,190 –56,680
APS Level 3 59,400 –61,870
APS Level 4 64,615 –69,103
APS Level 5 71,342 –76,271
APS Level 6 80,204 –88,197
Executive Level 1 98,624 –109,001
Executive Level 2 116,056 –139,311
Information Technology Specialist 114,451 -119,901
Government Lawyer 61,870 –88,197
Senior Government Lawyer 98,624 –120,814
Principal Government Lawyer 132,400 –142,794
SES Band 1 140,000 –245,000
SES Band 2 206,000 –279,000
SES Band 3 270,000–300,000

Note: The Secretary is not included in these figures as remuneration arrangements for departmental secretaries are set out under a separate instrument.

Table 22 Employment agreement statistics at 30 June 2014

Employment agreement statistics at 30 June 2014
Classification Section 24(1) determinations Enterprise agreement Total
SES 59 0 59
Non-SES 10 1773 1783
Total 69 1773 1842

Note: The Secretary is not included in these figures.

Non-salary benefits

Non-SES employees are eligible for a paid allowance if undertaking recognised workplace responsibility roles such as first aid officer, emergency warden or health and safety representative.

Performance pay

No SES employees were granted performance pay for the 2013–14 performance cycle. The DEEWR Enterprise Agreement 2012–2014, which covers all non-SES employees, does not provide access to performance pay.

Work health and safety

The department is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment for all employees, with a focus on strong communication, effective consultation and the development of targeted health and safety initiatives in the workplace. Health and safety arrangements are in accordance with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

During 2013, DEEWR established a Work Health Safety and Environment Committee under the Act. The committee provided a forum for consultation and consideration of strategic work health and safety issues for the former department.

Following the machinery-of-government changes, the department continued to meet all employer obligations and to effectively manage health and safety risks.

Work health and safety incident reporting

Reporting for 2013–14 is split into two periods, the first for DEEWR for the period 1 July 2013 to 17 September 2013, and the second for the Department of Employment from 18 September 2013 to 30 June 2014.

Falls, including slips and trips, made up the highest proportion of reported incidents for both periods (34 per cent for DEEWR and 30 per cent for the Department of Employment). The incidence of muscle stressing decreased from 16 per cent in 2012–13 to 11 per cent for DEEWR and 5 per cent for the Department of Employment.

Between 1 July 2013 and 17 September 2013, DEEWR notified Comcare of two incidents pursuant to section 38 of the Work Health and Safety Act; between 18 September 2013 and 30 June 2014, the Department of Employment reported two incidents. This compares with nine incidents reported to Comcare by DEEWR in 2012–13.

Table 23 Work health and safety incidents by type, 2013–14

Work health and safety incidents by type, 2013–1
Mechanism of incident DEEWR Incidents (%) Department of Employment Incidents (%)
Falls on the same level (including trips and slips) 34 30
Miscellaneous and uncategorised mechanisms 5.6 15
Vehicle accident 5.6 10
Unspecified mechanism of injury 1.9 10
Repetitive movement with low muscle loading 17 7.5
Being hit by moving objects 0 7.5
Other muscular stress 11.3 5
Single contact with chemical or substance (excluding insect and spider bites and stings) 0 5
Hitting objects with the body 3.8 2.5
Other and multiple mechanisms of injury 1.9 2.5
Fall from a height 0 2.5
Exposure to variations in pressure (other than sound) 0 2.5
Exposure to mental stress factors 7.5 0
Other contact with chemical or substance (includes insect and spider bites and stings) 3.8 0
Contact or exposure to heat and cold 3.8 0
Contact with electricity 1.9 0

Note: DEEWR work health and safety incidents by type, 1 July 2013 to 17 September 2013. Department of Employment work health and safety incidents by type, 18 September 2013 to 30 June 2014.