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Achievements in organisational effectiveness

We are an engaged workplace that prides itself on our commitment to safety, diversity and inclusion. We provide generous terms and conditions, access to flexible working arrangements, a range of health and wellbeing initiatives and access to professional development. We also like to get involved; we participate in a range of corporate and charitable activities.

In November 2018, our Workplace Inclusion Network (WIN) was awarded the Network Award at the APS Diversity and Gender Equality Awards 2018. A contributing factor to the success of the WIN is its transformation from a Human Resources initiative to an employee-led network. Over the last year, the network modified its structure to formally engage a Senior Executive Service (SES) Diversity Sponsor, two Co-chairs and employee Diversity Champions to represent the six diversity groups identified in the Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2016–2019.

The network has focused on creating a culture where inclusive behaviour is integrated into everyday business. Through the WIN’s advocacy, the network was appointed as a standing member on our Employee Consultative Forum (ECF), enabling diversity and inclusion to be included in broader agency discussion and empowering employees to make meaningful change to policies and procedures.

The WIN leads by example which has contributed to increased awareness of the value of diversity and inclusion and has driven real, measurable change.

Management of human resources

The People Strategies section, part of the Enabling Services Branch, has primary responsibility for our people management and organisational capabilities functions. The section supports the agency in delivering on its strategic objectives and helps to foster a positive, productive and engaged workplace. The People Strategies section also provides advice and delivers organisational strategies, workforce planning, employee relations, performance management, recruitment, governance and audit, and learning and development.

Organisational structure

The structure of the agency as at 30 June 2019. Michelle Baxter, CEO, Amanda Johnston, Branch Manager Legal and WHS Strategy, Meredith Bryant, Acting Branch Manager Hazards, Anthea Raven, Acting Branch Manager Evidence and Compensation, Sarah Costello, Branch Manager Enabling Services. 13 teams sit under the four branch structure.

The Executive Leadership team

Michelle Baxter, Chief Executive Officer

Photo of Michelle Baxter

Michelle has been the CEO of Safe Work Australia since November 2013.

Michelle brings more than 20 years of public sector experience to her positions as Member of Safe Work Australia and its subsidiary committees, a Commissioner of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, and as the Commonwealth representative on the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Council. She has worked in many senior roles across the APS, including as Group Manager in the former DEEWR, and Group Manager, COAG Taskforce with DEEWR. Michelle has a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts from the Australian National University. She is admitted to practise as a barrister and solicitor in the Australian Capital Territory.

Amanda Johnston

Photo of Amanda Johnston

Amanda is Safe Work Australia’s General Counsel and the Branch Manager of the Legal and WHS Strategy Branch. She is responsible for leading the in-house legal team, and for policy matters relating to the model WHS framework. Ms Johnston also led the explosives reform work to finalisation.

Amanda has worked for the Commonwealth for over 15 years and is an employment law specialist, having led the Employment Law practice in the Office of General Counsel in the Australian Government Solicitor and worked in the Workplace Relations Legal Group in the former DEEWR where she was involved in significant legislative projects including the WorkChoices and Fair Work reforms, and WorkChoices litigation. Amanda has a Bachelor of Arts (major in Industrial Relations)/Law (Hons) from the University of Wollongong and is admitted as a legal practitioner in the Australian Capital Territory. Amanda is also a Deputy Commissioner of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission.

Sarah Costelloe

Photo of Sarah Costelloe

Sarah is the Branch Manager for Enabling Services. Sarah is responsible for leading the delivery of enabling services for the agency, including human resources, corporate and member services, communication and finance and procurement. Sarah is the SES sponsor for the agency’s WIN and aided the network in winning the Australian Public Service Commission’s network award at the 2018 Diversity and Gender Equality awards. Sarah joined Safe Work Australia in July 2017 as the Hazards Branch Manager where she provided technical policy advice on the model WHS laws related to asbestos, construction and occupational hygiene policy.

Sarah has over 15 years’ public sector experience and is a policy and legal specialist in workplace relations having held a range of positions in the former Commonwealth Department of Employment and its predecessors, and ministerial office experience. Sarah has a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce from the Australian National University and is admitted as a legal practitioner in the Australian Capital Territory.

Anthea Raven

Photo of Anthea Raven

Anthea is currently the acting Branch Manager of the Evidence and Compensation Branch. Anthea oversees national data and research to inform WHS and workers’ compensation policies and strategies and leads the agency’s workers’ compensation policy effort, with a focus on recovery and return to work. Anthea represents the agency on the Strategic Issues Group on Workers’ Compensation and also holds a range of corporate governance positions within Safe Work Australia.

Anthea joined Safe Work Australia in June 2017. She has more than 14 years’ experience in key health and social policy areas of the APS including population health, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, aged care reform and family support. Anthea has tertiary qualifications in business and health sciences from James Cook University.

Meredith Bryant

Photo of Meredith Bryant

Meredith joined Safe Work Australia in July 2018 and is currently the acting Branch Manager of the Hazards branch. Meredith is responsible for providing policy advice on the model WHS laws in relation to construction, plant and licensing, national workplace chemicals policy, asbestos and occupational hygiene policy. Meredith represents Safe Work Australia on the Asbestos Interdepartmental Committee and the Federal Safety Commissioner's agency Reference Group.

Meredith has over 18 years’ public sector experience and is a policy specialist. She has worked extensively in workplace relations having held a range of positions in the Commonwealth Department of Employment and its predecessors. Much of her work in recent years has focused on migrant workers. Meredith has a Bachelor of Science and Masters in Population Studies from the Australian National University.

Agency employees

As at 30 June 2019, the agency had 106 employees, of which 103 were engaged on an ongoing basis, one was engaged on a non-ongoing basis and two were statutory appointments. At this time the agency has seven employees on long-term leave and four employees on temporary transfer to other agencies. There are no employees who identify as Indigenous Australians.

Part-time staff

The agency continues to support flexible working arrangements with 23 per cent of employees currently working part time. This has increased from 22 per cent in 2017–18.

Graph showing 23% part-time staff

Agency demographics

Female representation in the agency is 71.6 per cent, which is higher than the APS as a whole. Further, 70.4 per cent of management positions in Safe Work Australia are held by women, this includes an entirely female Senior Executive cohort, female CEO and Chair.

Graph showing 71.6% female staff

The average age of our workforce is 38. Employees over the age of 50 account for 14.2 per cent of our employees which is less than the APS as a whole.

Graph showing 14.2% staff over 50 years old

Our workforce profile – demographics and statistics

Management of human resources—Australian Public Service employees

Table 1: All ongoing employees, current report period (2018–19)

Male

Female

Indeterminate

Total

Fulltime

Part Time

Total Male

Fulltime

Part Time

Total Female

Fulltime

Part Time

Total Indeterminate

NSW

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Qld

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

SA

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

1

Tas

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Vic

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

WA

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

ACT

28

2

30

50

22

72

0

0

0

102

NT

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

External Territories

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Overseas

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total

28

2

30

51

22

73

0

0

0

103

Table 2: All non-ongoing employees, current report period (2018–19)

Male

Female

Indeterminate

Total

Fulltime

Part Time

Total Male

Fulltime

Part Time

Total Female

Fulltime

Part Time

Total Indeterminate

NSW

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Qld

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

SA

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Tas

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Vic

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

WA

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

ACT

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

1

NT

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

External Territories

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Overseas

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

1

Table 3: All ongoing employees, previous report period (2017–18

Male

Female

Indeterminate

Total

Fulltime

Part Time

Total Male

Fulltime

Part Time

Total Female

Fulltime

Part Time

Total Indeterminate

NSW

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Qld

0

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

1

SA

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

1

Tas

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Vic

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

WA

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

ACT

23

3

26

55

19

74

0

0

0

100

NT

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

External Territories

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Overseas

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total

23

3

26

56

20

76

0

0

0

102

Table 4: All non-ongoing employees, previous report period (2017–18)

Male

Female

Indeterminate

Total

Fulltime

Part Time

Total Male

Fulltime

Part Time

Total Female

Fulltime

Part Time

Total Indeterminate

NSW

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Qld

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

SA

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Tas

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Vic

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

WA

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

ACT

2

0

2

2

0

2

0

0

0

4

NT

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

External Territories

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Overseas

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total

2

0

2

2

0

2

0

0

0

4

APS classification and gender

Table 5: APS ongoing employees, current report period (2018–19)

Male

Female

Indeterminate

Total

Fulltime

Part Time

Total Male

Fulltime

Part Time

Total Female

Fulltime

Part Time

Total Indeterminate

SES 3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

SES 2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

SES 1

0

0

0

4

0

4

0

0

0

4

Principal Government Lawyer (EL 2)

0

0

0

2

0

2

0

0

0

2

EL 2

8

0

8

3

2

5

0

0

0

13

Senior Government Lawyer (EL 1)

2

0

2

3

1

4

0

0

0

6

EL 1

6

2

8

16

9

25

0

0

0

33

PS 6 - Government Lawyer

1

0

1

0

1

1

0

0

0

2

APS 6

4

0

4

14

6

20

0

0

0

24

APS 5

3

0

3

4

3

7

0

0

0

10

APS 4

1

0

1

1

0

1

0

0

0

2

APS 3

3

0

3

4

0

4

0

0

0

7

APS 2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

APS 1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Other

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

TOTAL

28

2

30

51

22

73

0

0

0

103

Table 6: APS non-ongoing employees, current report period (2018–19)

Male

Female

Indeterminate

Total

Fulltime

Part Time

Total Male

Fulltime

Part Time

Total Female

Fulltime

Part Time

Total Indeterminate

SES 3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

SES 2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

SES 1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Principal Government Lawyer (EL 2)

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

EL 2

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

1

Senior Government Lawyer (EL 1)

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

EL 1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

APS 6 - Government Lawyer

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

APS 6

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

APS 5

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

APS 4

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

APS 3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

APS 2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

APS 1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Other

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

TOTAL

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

1

Table 7: APS ongoing employees, previous report period (2017–18)

Male

Female

Indeterminate

Total

Fulltime

Part Time

Total Male

Fulltime

Part Time

Total Female

Fulltime

Part Time

Total Indeterminate

SES 3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

SES 2

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

1

SES 1

0

0

0

2

1

3

0

0

0

3

Principal Government Lawyer (EL 2)

0

0

0

2

0

2

0

0

0

2

EL 2

6

0

6

4

0

4

0

0

0

10

Senior Government Lawyer (EL 1)

1

0

1

1

0

1

0

0

0

2

EL 1

6

2

8

14

8

22

0

0

0

30

APS 6 - Government Lawyer

1

0

1

1

0

1

2

APS 6

3

1

4

17

7

24

0

0

0

28

APS 5 - Government Lawyer

0

0

0

3

1

4

4

APS 5

2

0

2

6

2

8

0

0

0

10

APS 4

1

0

1

3

1

4

0

0

0

5

APS 3

3

0

3

2

0

2

0

0

0

5

APS 2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

APS 1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Other

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

TOTAL

23

3

26

56

20

76

0

0

0

102

Table 8: APS non-ongoing employees, previous report period (2017–18)

Male

Female

Indeterminate

Total

Fulltime

Part Time

Total Male

Fulltime

Part Time

Total Female

Fulltime

Part Time

Total Indeterminate

SES 3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

SES 2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

SES 1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Principal Government Lawyer (EL 2)

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

EL 2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Senior Government Lawyer (EL 1)

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

EL 1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

APS 6 – Government Lawyer

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

APS 6

1

0

1

0

1

1

0

0

0

2

APS 5 – Government Lawyer

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

APS 5

1

0

1

1

0

1

0

0

0

2

APS 4

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

APS 3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

APS 2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

APS 1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Other

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

TOTAL

2

0

2

1

1

2

0

0

0

4

APS employment type by full-time and part-time status

Table 9: APS employees by full-time and part-time status, current report period (2018–19)

Ongoing

Non-Ongoing

Total

Fulltime

Part Time

Total Ongoing

Fulltime

Part Time

Total Non-Ongoing

SES 3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

SES 2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

SES 1

4

0

4

0

0

0

4

Principal Government Lawyer (EL 2)

2

0

2

0

0

0

2

EL 2

11

2

13

1

0

1

14

Senior Government Lawyer (EL 1)

5

1

6

0

0

0

6

EL 1

22

11

33

0

0

0

33

APS 6 – Government Lawyer

1

1

2

2

APS 6

18

6

24

0

0

0

24

APS 5

7

3

10

0

0

0

10

APS 4

2

0

2

0

0

0

2

APS 3

7

0

7

0

0

0

7

APS 2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

APS 1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Other

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

TOTAL

79

24

103

1

0

1

104

Table 10: APS employees by full-time and part-time status, previous report period (2017–18)

Ongoing

Non-Ongoing

Total

Fulltime

Part Time

Total Ongoing

Fulltime

Part Time

Total Non-Ongoing

SES 3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

SES 2

1

0

1

0

0

0

1

SES 1

2

1

3

0

0

0

3

Principal Government Lawyer (EL 2)

2

0

2

0

0

0

2

EL 2

10

0

10

0

0

0

10

Senior Government Lawyer (EL 1)

2

0

2

0

0

0

2

EL 1

20

10

30

0

0

0

30

APS 6 – Government Lawyer

2

0

2

0

0

0

2

APS 6

20

8

28

1

1

2

30

APS 5 – Government Lawyer

3

1

4

0

0

0

4

APS 5

8

2

10

2

0

2

12

APS 4

4

1

5

0

0

0

5

APS 3

5

0

5

0

0

0

5

APS 2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

APS 1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Other

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

TOTAL

79

23

102

3

1

4

106

Table 11: APS employment type by location, current report period (2018–19)

Ongoing

Non-Ongoing

Total

NSW

0

0

0

Qld

0

0

0

SA

1

0

1

Tas

0

0

0

Vic

0

0

0

WA

0

0

0

ACT

102

1

103

Overseas

0

0

0

Total

103

1

104

Table 12: APS employment type by location, previous report period (2017–18)

Ongoing

Non-Ongoing

Total

NSW

0

0

0

Qld

1

0

1

SA

1

0

1

Tas

0

0

0

Vic

0

0

0

WA

0

0

0

ACT

100

4

104

Overseas

0

0

0

Total

102

4

106

Feature story: Liz Leiter—young lawyer of the year

Liz Leiter won the Woman Lawyer of the year – Early Career award at the 2018 ACT Women Lawyers Awards (WLA) presented at the National Gallery of Australia in October 2018. The awards recognise outstanding legal talent in the ACT. The president of the WLA said that the award winners of 2018 were not just exceptional lawyers but they all contribute to the profession in a variety of ways and are all champions of the women lawyers that surround them.

Liz has been a Senior Government Lawyer at Safe Work Australia for over two years. Liz drove the transformation of the procurement function for the agency, prepared drafting instructions for amendments to the model WHS laws and led a project team advising on the implications of the gig economy in the WHS space.

Liz has shaped the section’s profile as a trusted advisor to the agency. She is also a gender equality co-champion in the agency’s Workplace Inclusion Network, and has contributed to the Women Lawyers Association of the ACT.

Liz was nominated by her Safe Work Australia colleagues noting ‘Consistent across all of Ms Leiter's achievements is her drive for change for the better, whether it’s her impressive work or volunteering her time to improve the working experiences of women lawyers and her colleagues in the agency’.

Photo Liz Leiter
Pictured: Liz Leiter

Remuneration and other terms and conditions

Chief Executive Officer and Chair of Safe Work Australia

The remuneration and other terms and conditions of appointment of the CEO and the Chair of Safe Work Australia are set by determinations made under subsections 7(3) and (4) of the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973 (Cth).

The CEO, Ms Michelle Baxter, was appointed on a full-time basis on 1 November 2015 for a period of five years.

The Chair of Safe Work Australia, Ms Diane Smith-Gander AO, was appointed on a part-time basis on 5 February 2016 for a period of three years. Diane was reappointed Chair in February 2019 for a further three years.

Senior Executive Service employee terms and conditions of employment

SES employee terms and conditions of employment are set by way of individual determinations made under section 24(1) of the Public Service Act 1999(Cth).

SES employees received a pay increase of two per cent on 12 January 2019, in line with the pay increase provided to the agency’s non-SES employees.

Executive remuneration

During the reporting period ended 30 June 2019, Safe Work Australia had six executives who meet the definition of key management personnel (KMP).

Name

Position

Length of term as KMP

Michelle Baxter

Chief Executive Officer

Full year

Amanda Johnston

Branch Manager

Full year

Sarah Costelloe

Branch Manager

Full year

Anthea Raven

Acting Branch Manager

Part year – commenced 9 July 2018

Meredith Bryant

Acting Branch Manager

Part year – commenced 2 January 2019

Angela Wallbank

Branch Manager

Part-year – ceased 22 January 2019

Table 13: Information about remuneration for key management personnel

Short‑term benefits

Post‑employment benefits

Other long‑term benefits

Termination benefits

Total remuneration

Name

Position title

Base salary

Bonuses

Other benefits and allowances

Superannuation contributions

Long service leave

Other long‑term benefits

Michelle Baxter

CEO

376,524

0

3,026

53,947

9,708

0

0

443,205

Amanda Johnston

Branch Manager

247,036

0

6,489

41,316

8,689

0

0

303,530

Sarah Costelloe

Branch Manager

200,733

0

6,489

34,449

8,343

0

0

250,014

Anthea Raven

Acting Branch Manager

185,470

0

6,577

26,642

5,159

0

0

223,848

Meredith Bryant

Acting Branch Manager

87,855

0

3,432

12,941

1,987

0

0

106,215

Angela Wallbank

Branch Manager

94,123

0

3,144

19,333

3,258

0

0

119,858

Total

1,191,741

0

29,157

188,628

37,144

0

0

1,446,670

The reporting of remuneration for key management personnel is set by the PGPA Rule and Resource Management Guide No. 138 Commonwealth entities Executive Remuneration Reporting Guide for Annual Reports. The methodology for calculating remunerations differs from the remunerations set by the Remuneration Tribunal.

Table 14: Information about remuneration for senior executives

Short‑term benefits

Post‑employment benefits

Other long‑term benefits

Termination benefits

Total remuneration

Total remuneration bands

Number of senior executives

Average base salary

Average bonuses

Average other benefits and allowances

Average superannuation contributions

Average long service leave

Average other long‑term benefits

Average termination benefits

Average total remuneration

$370,001 - $395,000

1

90,029

0

0

18,138

2,133

0

261,511

371,811

There were no other highly paid staff for 2018–19.

Non-SES remuneration

As at 30 June 2019, all non-SES employees were covered by the terms and conditions of the Safe Work Australia Enterprise Agreement 2019–2022 (the enterprise agreement).

Performance pay

Agency employees do not receive performance bonuses or performance pay. Annual performance ratings provide non-SES employees with the possibility of pay point advancement.

Salary ranges by classification level

Table 15: APS employment salary ranges by classification level, current report period (2018–19)

Minimum Salary

Maximum Salary

Principal Government Lawyer

149,433

154,712

EL 2

125,768

150,756

Senior Government Lawyer

106,836

131,645

EL 1

106,728

118,678

APS 6 - Government Lawyer 86,876 95,774

APS 6

86,828

95,660

APS 5

77,297

82,503

APS 4

69,984

75,299

APS 3

64,340

67,008

APS 2

57,618

61,434

APS 1

29,434

53,640

Allowances and non-remuneration benefits

In 2018–19, eight Safe Work Australia employees had individual flexibility arrangements. These arrangements were used to match salaries on commencement in the agency, recognise additional responsibilities they were required to take on for specified periods, or to provide competitive remuneration for the specialised skills they bring to their roles. No employees had arrangements to receive performance pay during the reporting report.

Allowances and non-remuneration benefits provided to non-SES employees under the enterprise agreement include:

  • pay point advancement for meeting the criteria of the Performance and Development Scheme
  • access to flexible working conditions
  • temporary performance loading for performing work at a higher classification for more than three continuous weeks or more
  • flexible remuneration and salary packaging
  • Christmas close down from 12.30 pm on the last working day before Christmas Day until the first working day in January
  • time off in lieu for Executive Level employees
  • workplace responsibility allowance
  • maternity, maternal, supporting partner, primary carer, parental, adoption and foster care leave
  • community and Indigenous Australian languages allowance
  • overtime meal allowance
  • loss, damage and indemnity allowance
  • travel allowance and motor vehicle allowances
  • relocation assistance
  • access to an Employee Assistance Program
  • support for professional and personal development including the Study Assistance Scheme, and
  • emergency duty and additional child care costs.

The enterprise agreement provides a full list of non-remuneration benefits.

Employment arrangements of SES and non-SES employees

SES

Non-SES

Total

Enterprise Agreement

0

102

102

Individual flexibility arrangement

0

8*

8*

Australian workplace agreements

0

0

0

Common law contracts

0

0

0

Determinations under subsection 24(1) of the Public Service Act 1999 (Cth)

2

0

2

Total

2

102

104

Note: The Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Safe Work Australia are not APS employees.

* As at the end of the current reporting period, only one individual flexibility arrangement was in effect.

Capability development

Performance and development

We continue to drive positive employee performance and professional development through our Performance and Development Scheme which centres on setting clear and achievable goals, a shared understanding of what is expected, and ongoing feedback and recognition.

In 2018–19, we focused on streamlining our performance development scheme through the refinement of our Performance Development Agreement (PDA) tool. The refinements enhanced user experience in establishing a PDA, making performance management easier for both employees and managers.

Learning and development

The Safe Work Australia Lead and Grow Strategy 2016–2019 is in its final year of operation. The strategy has been an important mechanism for driving cultural change by actively promoting professional development and the agency’s values, particularly ‘Excellence’ and ‘People’.

All employees have access to an allocated budget for individual learning and development as part of their PDAs. We understand the importance of building the capability of our employees and we continue to participate in, and engage in, various developmental activities such as:

  • ongoing informal development through ‘Learn from others’ seminars
  • one-on-one and on-the-job training
  • access to leadership capability development through the Australian Public Service Learning Centre
  • external leadership programs to meet the specific needs of selected employees identified through the Performance and Development Scheme
  • formal study assistance
  • delivery of an internal policy development and writing course
  • opportunities for temporary transfers and secondments to other APS agencies, where available, and
  • access to external conferences and other training sessions.

Rewards and recognition

In 2018–19 we continued our Rewards and Recognition program, which is designed to foster a workplace culture that promotes and rewards exceptional performance that contributes to achieving Safe Work Australia’s objectives.

Each year our CEO awards one team and one individual an Australia Day Achievement Medallion to acknowledge outstanding performance of special projects or achievement during the previous calendar year.

In 2019, the WIN was awarded the team award for their contribution to driving cultural change by actively promoting an inclusive and diverse workplace. Dr Paul Taylor was awarded the individual award in recognition of his contribution as the vice chair of the UNSCEGHS and elevating Australia’s presence on the global stage.

Quarterly ‘Walk the talk’ awards were awarded to four employees in 2018–19. The ‘Walk the talk’ awards are designed to acknowledge the efforts of employees who personify one or more of our agency values, including those who tend to ‘fly under the radar’—who may not self-promote but achieve results— or those that go that extra step or contribute to the success of a process rather than success of the end result.

Safe Work Australia Enterprise Agreement 2019–2022

In 2018, a majority of employees voted ‘yes’ to the enterprise agreement. The enterprise agreement sets the terms and conditions of employment for all non-SES employees.

The enterprise agreement is supported by policies and guidelines that explain the terms and conditions of employment in Safe Work Australia. The enterprise agreement adheres to the requirements of the Australian Government Public Sector Workplace Bargaining Policy 2018 and has a nominal expiry date of 14 March 2022.

2019 Graduate Program

The Graduate Program is a key element of our talent pipeline and builds organisational capability. The program, now in its fifth year, engages graduates who are highly talented, motivated and who bring a diverse range of skills, knowledge and experience to the workplace.

Our 2019 Graduate Program received 198 applications, from which we engaged six graduates with degrees in health, legal, public policy and science.

Throughout the Graduate Program, graduates are provided with interesting and challenging work, multiple internal work placements and access to professional development. Our graduates participate in the Australian Public Service Commission’s Graduate Development Program, which gives them the opportunity to experience working on a major project, establish networks with fellow graduates across the APS, and participate in challenging assessment activities.

Diversity and inclusion

We recognise the rich diversity of people within the Australian community and we are committed to providing a safe and inclusive working environment to everyone regardless of their age, ethnicity, disability, social background, sexual orientation or gender identity.

In 2018–19, we continued to implement and progress our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and Action Plans 2016–2019 which provide specific and targeted action plans for six identified diversity areas:

  • gender equality
  • people with disability
  • Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders
  • people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • mature age employees, and
  • lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and questioning (LGBTIQ+).

Workplace Inclusion Network

Our employee-led WIN is the driving force behind our inclusive workplace culture. The WIN meets regularly to discuss diversity, raise issues and share experiences with diversity and inclusion. It is driven by the enthusiasm and passion of employee champions and has the support and sponsorship of our SES sponsor, Sarah Costelloe. In addition to progressing elements of the Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2016–2019, the WIN and its champions raise the profile of our diversity areas by celebrating days of significance, building our networks with external diversity groups, collaborating with other APS agencies and reviewing our internal policies and procedures through a diversity lens.

Disability reporting mechanism

Since 1994, non-corporate Commonwealth entities have reported on their performance as policy adviser, purchaser, employer, regulator and provider under the Commonwealth Disability Strategy. In 2007–08, reporting on the employer role was transferred to the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) State of the Service reports and the APS Statistical Bulletin. These reports are available at www.apsc.gov.au. From 2010–11, entities have no longer been required to report on these functions.

The Commonwealth Disability Strategy has been overtaken by the National Disability Strategy 2010–2020, which sets out a 10-year national policy framework to improve the lives of people with disability, promote participation and create a more inclusive society. A high-level, two-yearly report will track progress against each of the six outcome areas of the strategy and present a picture of how people with disability are faring. The first of these progress reports was published in 2014, and can be found at www.dss.gov.au.

Feature story: The Workplace Inclusion Network wins the APS Diversity and Gender Equality Awards 2018 – Network Award

Pictured: Representatives from Safe Work Australia
Pictured: Representatives from Safe Work Australia

The WIN was awarded the Network Award at the APS Diversity and Gender Equality Awards 2018, reflecting our standing as a leader in workplace diversity and inclusion. This award was a significant achievement for the WIN and Safe Work Australia as the award was open to all APS departmental and cross-agency employee networks that advance diversity and inclusion matters within the APS.

The WIN was commended for its unique and collaborative structure, its high percentage of employee engagement and its innovative and broad-ranging events and initiatives. Throughout 2018–19, the WIN has continued to empower and support employees by making inclusion everyone’s business, every day. Working closely with SES, corporate areas and employees at all levels, the network has made meaningful change to agency policies and procedures. The network has also ensured that diversity and inclusion is constantly on the agenda, running a combination of events, initiatives, training and social activities throughout the year.

The WIN ensures that diversity and inclusion is the norm in the agency, not the exception. While most networks operate on a membership basis, the WIN is a network led by employees, for all employees. The WIN is important to us and this was further recognised when it was awarded the Team Award at the Safe Work Australia 2019 Australia Day Achievement Awards.

Communication and consultation

Employee intranet

Recognising that regular and open communication with employees is an important feature of a positive workplace culture, we continue to use the employee intranet to boost communication and consultation across the agency. In 2018–19 there was a three per cent increase in usage of content including news, discussions, interactive calendar and noticeboard. The employee intranet provides employees with easy access to the tools and information they need to do their jobs.

Employee Consultative Forum

The ECF was established in March 2016, following the start of the previous enterprise agreement. The ECF ensures the agency meets its requirements under the current enterprise agreement, the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Cth).

The ECF is committed to communicating and consulting directly with employees, and meets at least four times per year to discuss issues surrounding the implementation of the enterprise agreement, planned changes to employment-related policies and procedures, consultation, and discussion of WHS issues.

In 2018–19 the ECF provided feedback on a range of policies to support the enterprise agreement, APS census results and agency restructure.

Work health and safety

As the national policy body for WHS, we recognise the importance of having a healthy and safe workplace. The following measures are in place to ensure employees are healthy, safe and supported at all times.

Wellbeing System 2018–2022

In November 2018, the CEO approved the agency's Wellbeing System 2018–2022. The wellbeing system takes a holistic approach to WHS and employee wellbeing, and seeks to improve our employees’ wellbeing by building on existing practices with targeted initiatives in three important, inter-related action areas:

  • WHS
  • health and wellbeing, and
  • workplace culture.

Investing in the health and wellbeing of our employees provides significant benefits to the agency, including improved employee engagement, motivation and productivity, reduced costs associated with unscheduled absences and improved culture to attract and retain good employees.

Implementation of the system’s activities will continue to 2022 with annual reviews of the initiatives.

Rehabilitation Management System

We are committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace to all employees. This includes helping employees remain at work or return to work following an injury or illness. To help fulfil this commitment, we undertook a comprehensive review of our Rehabilitation Management System (RMS), and developed a new Rehabilitation Management Policy. The RMS and the supporting policy address the requirements of Comcare’s Guidelines for Rehabilitation Authorities 2012 and explain how the agency will meet its responsibilities for workers’ compensation claims and rehabilitation under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988.

Work Health and Safety Officer

The designated WHS Officer works closely with the HSRs and Emergency Control Organisation (a structured organisation consisting of Fire Wardens, and First Aid Officers) to ensure and promote a safe working environment. Regular workplace inspections are carried out to identify and address any WHS issues. This is in addition to regular reporting of incidents and near misses. The ECF reviews WHS incidents at its quarterly meetings.

Health and Safety Representatives

The agency has two HSRs who represent the health and safety interests of our employees. HSRs along with the WHS Officer carry out biannual workplace inspections of our premises to identify any health and safety concerns. HSRs work closely with the WHS Officer and the Corporate Services section to identify and resolve issues as quickly as possible.

Mental health at work

We are committed to improving our employees’ health and wellbeing. We recognise the benefits of good mental health and wellbeing and we actively promote positive mental health practices. To build our mental health confidence, we now require our Harassment Contact Officers, First Aid Officers and Health and Safety Representatives to undertake mental health first aid training.

Employee Assistance Program

We provide all employees and their immediate families with access to free professional advice through an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The EAP offers short-term telephone and face-to-face coaching and counselling. Telephone support service is available to staff 24 hours a day, seven days per week. Online support is also available through the use of a web platform or an app available for both Android and iOS devices.

Workstation assessments

As part of our commitment to providing a safe and healthy workplace, employees are provided with ergonomic assessments of their workstations on commencement, return from long-term leave or following an injury. Sit-to-stand workstations are also provided and regular breaks are encouraged to minimise the risks associated with sedentary work. Workstation assessments are also undertaken for employees with permanent working from home arrangements and where required as part of a rehabilitation and return to work case.

Managing unscheduled absences

Unscheduled absences combine a number of forms of leave where the absence could not have been predicted. We continue to work with employees and management to understand and improve unscheduled absence rates. This financial year has seen an increase in the unscheduled absence rate within the agency to 12.34 days full-time equivalent (FTE), which is up from 11.53 days FTE in the 2017–18 financial year. The agency is focused on the wellbeing of its employees and actively encourages employees to access personal leave and carers leave when they or their family are unwell. During negotiations for the new enterprise agreement, the agency agreed to include access to personal leave for medical appointments and employees affected by family or domestic violence.

WHS and workers’ compensation claims

Under section 35 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Cth), the agency is required to notify the Commonwealth WHS regulator, Comcare, of any incidents arising out of the conduct of a business or undertaking that result in death, serious injury or serious illness of a person or involve a dangerous incident. No incidents were required to be notified in the 2018–19 period.

No new workers’ compensation claims were lodged with Comcare in the 2018–19 reporting period.

Collaboration with other agencies

Outsourcing key functions

As a small agency, Safe Work Australia leverages arrangements with other Commonwealth agencies to supplement internally resourced corporate functions.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the former Department of Jobs and Small Business (now the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business) commenced in July 2017 to deliver services including IT support, IT infrastructure and storage, telecommunications and mail services. This MoU is in place until 30 June 2020.

The Department of Finance’s Service Delivery Office, one of the providers of shared services for Australian Government departments and agencies, provides Safe Work Australia with enterprise resource planning (ERP) system services and human resource services.

The agency also has a MoU with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to sub-lease premises at Level 7, 2 Phillip Law Street in New Acton, Canberra.

Corporate governance framework

Safe Work Australia’s corporate governance framework ensures we provide strategic direction, achieve objectives, manage risks and use resources responsibly and with accountability.

The framework is dynamic and undergoes review and update, as required, to ensure whole-of-government requirements are addressed and to reflect any changes to governance arrangements within Safe Work Australia.

Leadership, ethics and culture

We recognise that leadership, culture and ethical behaviour are critical to implementing a strong corporate governance framework. These elements enable staff to:

  • understand their roles and responsibilities
  • continuously improve performance
  • enhance stakeholder and public confidence in Safe Work Australia, and
  • meet legal, ethical and public service obligations, including by upholding the Australian Public Service Values.

Planning and reporting processes

Planning underpins the work of the agency. Our corporate and operational plans are high level strategic documents developed with reference to the functions identified in our enabling legislation and the priorities agreed with our Members. These plans are supported at an operational level by the Agency Work Plan, which details specific projects and key business as usual activities that we will complete throughout the year.

We monitor our performance in delivering on the strategies, projects and activities identified in our plans, and report periodically on our progress to Members. We also prepare our Annual Performance Statement, in accordance with the PGPA Act and our enabling legislation, that detail our performance against our legislated outcome.

Risk management framework

The agency’s risk management framework and risk appetite are designed to ensure that risk is appropriately identified and evaluated, and that controls and mitigation strategies are in place.

We participate in Comcover’s Risk Management Benchmarking Survey each year. Outcomes from this survey are used as a guide when updating the risk management framework. The feedback received is a valuable tool used to identify gaps and opportunities for improvement in risk management processes.

Business continuity management

In 2018–19 we commenced a review of our business continuity planning to ensure we remain prepared to respond quickly and effectively to an emergency situation, and maintain a functioning agency.

Fraud control

Safe Work Australia complies with section 10 of the PGPA Rule and the Australian Government Fraud Control Policy by minimising the incidence of fraud through the development, implementation and regular review of its Fraud Control Plan and fraud risks. This is undertaken in the context of Safe Work Australia’s overarching risk management framework.

We provide annual mandatory fraud awareness training to all staff through an internal online system called LearnHub. In March 2019, we also organised additional mandatory fraud awareness training for all staff to assist them meet their responsibility to minimise the potential for fraud and take responsibility for reporting suspected fraud. Safe Work Australia continues to remind staff of their responsibility for the prevention and detection of fraud against the Commonwealth, both through training and as part of the induction process for new starters.

No fraud incidents or potential fraud incidents were reported in 2018–19.

Freedom of information

Safe Work Australia is covered by the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) (FOI Act) and is required to publish information to the public as part of the Information Publication Scheme (IPS). Safe Work Australia must display a plan on its website showing what information it publishes in accordance with the IPS. Our ‘IPS agency plan’ is available on our website. Safe Work Australia last reviewed its compliance with the IPS in 2017–18.

Under section 11C of the FOI Act, Safe Work Australia is required to maintain an FOI disclosure log through which information that is released under the FOI Act (excluding personal information and other sensitive information) is made publicly available. Our FOI disclosure log is available on our website.

Safe Work Australia received 17 requests under the FOI Act in 2018–19 and finalised one request that was received in 2017–18. These requests were managed in compliance with the FOI Act.

Safe Work Australia did not receive any requests for internal review under the FOI Act during 2018–19. No applications to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner or the Administrative Appeals Tribunal were made in 2018–19 with respect to any decision made by Safe Work Australia under the FOI Act.

Public interest disclosure

In accordance with the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 (Cth), Safe Work Australia has established effective and clearly articulated internal procedures for facilitating and responding to public interest disclosures. These procedures are published on our website. Safe Work Australia did not receive any disclosure requests in 2018–19.

Compliance with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules

Safe Work Australia’s approach to procuring goods and services, including consultancies, is consistent with, and reflects the principles of, the Commonwealth Procurement Rules. Information on significant procurements expected to be undertaken in 2018–19 is in our annual procurement plan, available from the AusTender website.

Privacy

Safe Work Australia did not have any Notifiable Data Breaches in 2018–19 under the Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme.

Safe Work Australia is compliant with the Privacy (Australian Government Agencies – Governance) APP Code 2017 (the APP Code). Under the APP Code, we have:

  • a designated privacy officer and privacy champion
  • an up-to-date register of personal information holdings
  • a privacy management plan, and
  • a register of privacy impact assessments.

Safe Work Australia has prepared a privacy management plan under the APP Code. The privacy management plan is a strategic planning document which identifies our privacy goals and targets and sets out how we will meet our privacy obligations under the Australian Privacy Principles and the APP Code. In 2018–19 under the privacy management plan, we have:

  • developed a privacy framework
  • developed a guide for the management of privacy enquiries and complaints, and requests for access to and correction of personal information under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)
  • developed a process for conducting privacy impact assessments, and
  • worked with staff to raise awareness of privacy compliance.

Safe Work Australia has reviewed its performance under the privacy management plan and has satisfied its objectives under this plan.

Intellectual property

In performing its functions, Safe Work Australia creates, acquires and shares a range of intellectual property (IP). We continue to review our internal and external IP practices, as we continue to receive a large number of domestic and international requests to use our copyright material. Since 2017–18, Safe Work Australia has developed guidance material to streamline its IP processes and improve its IP competencies.

Accountable Authority Instructions

In 2018–19, the Legal Services section, in consultation with the Chief Financial Officer, completed a review of Safe Work Australia’s Accountable Authority Instructions (AAIs), which enable the CEO of Safe Work Australia to meet her duties under the PGPA Act by setting out appropriate controls and direction for officials.

The new AAIs were published in October 2018. They are based on the Department of Finance’s revised model published in July 2016, and incorporate significant changes to the Commonwealth’s resource management framework, including changes to the PGPA legislation and Finance’s guidance material. They also incorporate changes to Safe Work Australia’s corporate and financial policies and guidance material.

Internal accountability

To ensure internal conformance and accountability, Safe Work Australia has in place:

  • financial and human resource delegations
  • Accountable Authority Instructions, and
  • supporting policies, procedures and guidelines.

Audit Committee

The Safe Work Australia Audit Committee operates in accordance with the requirements of the PGPA Act and PGPA Rule 17 – Audit Committee for Commonwealth Entities.

The Audit Committee provides independent assurance and assistance to the CEO on the integrity of Safe Work Australia’s:

  • financial data and processes
  • risks, controls and compliance framework, and
  • external accountability responsibilities.

The Audit Committee comprises three members—a representative from Safe Work Australia and two independent members. The members at 30 June 2019 were:

  • Mr Mathew Ford, Chair
  • Mr Alfred Bongi
  • Ms Anthea Raven.

The Audit Committee met four times during 2018–19, including a September 2018 meeting at which it endorsed Safe Work Australia’s 2017–18 financial statements.

A number of observers regularly attend these meetings, including Safe Work Australia’s Enabling Services Branch Manager and Chief Financial Officer, as well as representatives of the internal audit provider and the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO).

Internal audit

The internal audit program provides assurance to the Audit Committee and the CEO in relation to the efficiency and effectiveness of the policies and procedures of Safe Work Australia.

In 2018–19 the internal audit function was provided by RSM Australia Partners.

External accountability

Clear and consistent external reporting enables us to directly address the interests and concerns of other organisations. External conformance and accountability is acquitted through corporate plans, annual performance statements, annual reports, the PBS, Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements and Senate Estimates. Safe Work Australia is accountable to:

  • Parliament
  • ANAO
  • Department of Finance
  • Attorney-General’s Department
  • Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and
  • APSC.

External audit

The ANAO provides external audit services for Safe Work Australia. The outcome of the 2018–19 financial statements audit is in  Part 6 (Financial performance) of this report. Safe Work Australia was not subject to any other ANAO audits during 2018–19.

Judicial decisions and decisions of administrative tribunals

No judicial decisions were made by courts or administrative tribunals, and no decisions were made by the Australian Information Commissioner that affected the operations of Safe Work Australia in 2018–19.

Parliamentary committees

No adverse reports of Safe Work Australia’s operations were made in 2018–19 by the Auditor-General, a Parliamentary committee or the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

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