Outcome 2 results

Indicators and targets for Outcome 2 are set out in the Employment Portfolio Budget Statements 2016–17, pages 30–33, and on pages 10–11 of the 2016–17 Department of Employment Corporate Plan. Further information and analysis is detailed in the ‘Our performance’ chapter.

Objective 1–The Fair Entitlement Guarantee Program functions effectively

Table 14. Results for objective 1
Indicator Target Result
Percentage of claims processed within 16 weeks of receipt of an effective claim 80% 85.5%
Average processing time for all claims 14 weeks 10.1 weeks
Claim payments that are correct 95% 95.8%
Claimants satisfied with the Department’s administration of the Fair Entitlements Guarantee 80% 85.8%
Insolvency practitioners satisfied with the Department’s administration of the Fair Entitlements Guarantee 80% 87%

Analysis

The Fair Entitlements Guarantee met or exceeded all of its key performance measures for 2016–17.

Overall, timeliness in processing Fair Entitlements Guarantee claims improved slightly over 2016–17. While the proportion of claims processed within 16 weeks decreased slightly from 90 per cent in 2015–16 to 85.5 per cent in 2016–17, the average processing time improved from 10.4 weeks in 2015–16 to 10.1 weeks in 2016–17. This reflects ongoing strong performance against timeliness key performance indicators. The slight reduction in claims processed within 16 weeks is attributed to variable demand in the scheme and in particular, the fact that there were fewer instances of large cases received in the program over 2016–17 (large cases typically result in stronger performance against this indicator as they attract economies of scale in processing).

Previously, the accuracy of Fair Entitlements Guarantee decisions was determined on the proportion of review decisions that are overturned based on the same information used in the initial assessment. In 2016–17 a broader methodology to measure accuracy of claim payments was introduced to audit a statistically significant sample of all claim decisions. This provided a more robust measure across the range of claim types. The audit outcomes for 2016–17 showed that 95.8 per cent of claim decisions were accurate, exceeding the target of 95 per cent.

Claimant satisfaction with the Department’s administration of the Fair Entitlements Guarantee has increased from 78.9 per cent to 85.8 per cent. This increase is primarily due to modernisation of program administration to make direct payments to claimants and reduce the waiting time for workers seeking assistance under the program. The proportion of insolvency practitioners satisfied with the Department’s administration of the Fair Entitlements Guarantee in 2016–17 was 87 per cent.

Objective 2–Commonwealth-funded projects are undertaken by builders accredited by the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner

Table 15. Results for objective 2
Indicator Target Result
Australian Government building and construction industry Work
Health and Safety Accreditation Scheme–percentage of
accreditation applications assessed and applicants contacted
within 10 working days
90% of accreditation applications assessed and contact made within 10 working days Exceeded: 93% of accreditation applications were assessed and contacted within 10 working days
Satisfaction of accredited companies with the service provided by
the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner
Majority of companies rate the level of service as satisfactory or better Exceeded: 97% of companies were satisfied with the level of service provided by the OFSC in 2016—17
Companies consider that workplace safety has improved due to accreditation Majority of companies say accreditation has improved their safety performance Exceeded: 78% of newly accredited companies consider that their workplace safety practices have improved as a result of accreditation

Analysis

In 2016–17, the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner continued to operate as a best-practice regulator and improve workplace health and safety in the construction industry, meeting all key performance targets. In the 2017 Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner survey of accredited companies, over 78 per cent of respondents from newly accredited companies stated that the scheme had improved safety practices in their company and over 83 per cent said the scheme represents value for money. There was improved administrative efficiency and a reduced regulatory burden for accredited companies through effective use of technological solutions, including the electronic submission of scheme reports and applications through FSC Online. Over 90 per cent of accredited companies agreed that the online services offered a more efficient method of reporting, applying for re accreditation, and monitoring accreditation status and safety performance.

The Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner operates under the Australian Government’s Regulator Performance Framework. Self-assessment against the six key performance indicators of the framework is undertaken annually and reported at the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner website.

Objective 3–The workplace relations system contributes to the productivity agenda by encouraging the adoption of flexible and modern workplace relations

Table 16. Results for objective 3
Indicator Target Result
Evidence that the national workplace relations system supports improved productivity outcomes Increase in productivity and the Australian Bureau of Statistics wage price index Productivity growth 1.7% over the year to the June quarter of 2017 (subject to ABS revision)
The wage price index increased by 1.9% over the year to the June quarter of 2017
Evidence that industrial action is minimised Maintenance of the number of working days lost per thousand employees 12.8 working days lost per thousand employees over the year to the June quarter of 2017
Evidence that enterprise bargaining is used by employers and employees to negotiate pay and conditions Increase in the number and coverage of enterprise agreements 14,497 current agreements as at 30 June 2017,covering an estimated 1.88 million employees

Analysis

Australian Bureau of Statistics data show that productivity growth increased from 1.2 per cent over the year to the June quarter of 2016 to 1.7 per cent over the year to the June quarter of 2017. The latest available data show that growth in the wage price index fell, from 2.1 per cent over the year to the June quarter of 2016 to 1.9 per cent over the year to the June quarter of 2017.

ABS data show that the rate of industrial disputes for the March quarter of 2017 increased to 12.8 working days lost per thousand employees; this compares with 9.5 working days lost per thousand employees in the June quarter of 2016. Despite the rise, the rate of industrial disputes remains near historical lows.

The Department maintains a workplace agreement database that contains information on all known federal enterprise agreements in operation since the introduction of the Enterprise Bargaining Principle in October 1991. Analysis of the database shows a small increase in the number of enterprise agreements—from 14,441 agreements covering 2.16 million employees as at 30 June 2016 to 14,497 covering 1.88 million employees as at 30 June 2017. The fall in the number of employees covered by enterprise agreements occurred particularly in the private sector.