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Workforce management

Capability development

In 2016–17, we made a significant investment to enhance workforce capability. We introduced a new learning and performance management system, PeopleHub. The system houses corporate training schedules and courses, and enables employees to record and track individual professional development activities. It also provides a mechanism for employees to record performance expectations, along with outcomes from feedback conversations with their manager.

Other 2016–17 capability development initiatives included:

  • implementing a capability framework to define the core and leadership capabilities that underpin excellent performance within the FWO
  • piloting a talent management program with the aim of growing the long-term leadership capability of seven high-potential FWO employees from across the agency
  • delivery of 60 training courses to more than 823 participants through 238 online and face-to-face sessions nationally, amounting to approximately 14 568 training hours–this included training in decision-making, change management and stakeholder communication
  • supporting 22 employees to undertake formal accredited courses through our study assistance scheme
  • providing a continuing professional development program to maintain the technical knowledge and professional development of frontline FWO staff
  • providing all employees with access to, an online learning platform containing self-paced courses to cost-effectively enable employees to upskill at a time and place convenient to them
  • running an induction program for ROC employees to ensure their smooth transition into the agency.

Employee engagement

FWO Australian Public Service (APS) Employee Census results continue to show high engagement levels between staff, supervisors and the agency, with an overall employee engagement score of 83%. Approximately 92% of respondents indicated they’re happy to go the ‘extra mile’ at work and 74% felt FWO recognises new and innovative ways of working.

In 2016–17, activities to promote a positive and engaged workplace included:

  • recognising exceptional performance through reward programs, including our Annual Achievement Awards and team specific initiatives
  • encouraging employee feedback on workplace matters, including revisions to FWO policies, through our Agency Consultative Forum
  • facilitating employee involvement in a new project to shape our culture into the future.

Graduate program

In December 2016, five employees completed their graduate year at the FWO. These graduates have degrees in law, business and commerce.

In January 2017, five employees commenced as graduates. These graduates have degrees in law, public policy and arts.

The program is run in conjunction with the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) Graduate Development Program and helps us build capability in specialist roles and capacity in critical areas.

Ethics and values

The APS Values, Code of Conduct and Employment Principles promote responsible public administration. They underpin our positive workplace culture–one that encourages and recognises high performance, strong leadership and inclusion.

Information on the APS Values, Code of Conduct and Employment Principles is available on our intranet, included in mandatory staff training and incorporated in employee performance plans.


We value diversity and the positive contribution employees from diverse backgrounds make.

In 2016–17, our commitment to an inclusive and flexible workplace continued through:

  • the launch of our 2017–19 FWO Reconciliation Action Plan, which ensures we continue cultivating relationships and build respect, acceptance, understanding, trust and equal opportunities between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the wider Australian community
  • continued commitment to accreditation by White Ribbon Australia as a workplace which engenders a whole-of-organisation commitment to stop violence against women
  • accreditation by the Australian Breastfeeding Association as a Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace
  • a register of multilingual staff available to assist customers from diverse backgrounds
  • support mechanisms for employees experiencing family or domestic violence
  • sponsorship of employee networks including our Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Network; Women’s Forum; Indigenous Employee Network; and Disability Network
  • sustained gender equality at executive levels, with 57% female executive managers and 50% female senior executive managers at 30 June 2017
  • the practice of briefing both female and male counsel; the FWO briefed female counsel 59 times and male counsel 35 times.

Disability reporting

Since 1994, non-corporate Commonwealth entities have reported on their performance as a policy adviser, purchaser, employer, regulator and provider under the Commonwealth Disability Strategy. In 2007–08, reporting on the employer role was transferred to the APSC’s State of the Service reports and the APS Statistical Bulletin. These reports are available on the APSC’s website external-icon.png. 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 2010–20, 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 on the Department of Social Services website external-icon.png.

Remuneration and employment conditions

The FWO Enterprise Agreement 2016–19 was successfully negotiated this year, and came into effect on 19 October 2016. The agreement covers APS1-EL2 employees and provides access to a range of leave, flexible working arrangements, allowances and other benefits. It also preserves an Agency Consultative Forum, which facilitates staff consultation on workplace matters.

Information on rights and obligations under the agreement and associated policies is available on our intranet.

Table 24: Employee workplace agreements by classification, at 30 June 2017 and 30 June 2016
Classification 2017 enterprise agreement 2016 enterprise agreement 2017 common law contract 2016 common law contract 2017 individual flexibility agreement 2016 individual flexibility agreement 2017 total 2016 total
APS 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
7 7 0 0 0 0 7 7
99 102 0 0 0 0 99 102
144 141 0 0 0 0 144 141
266 267 0 0 0 0 266 267
170 149 0 0 0 0 170 149
EL 1 99 98 0 0 0 0 99 98
EL 2 33 27 0 0 3 5 36 32
SES Band 1 0 0 9 7 0 0 9 7
SES Band 2 0 0 3 2 0 0 3 2
Total 818 791 12 9 3 5 833 805

Note: Excludes the Fair Work Ombudsman and the Registered Organisations Commissioner.

Our remuneration policy operates in accordance with parameters that apply across the APS. No performance bonuses were paid to staff in 2016–17.

Table 25: Salary ranges by classification, at 30 June 2017
Classification Salary ranges
APS 1 $48 354 - $50 248
APS 2 $54 788 - $59 961
APS 3 $61 601 - $66 397
APS 4 $68 540 - $74 344
APS 5 $76 362 - $80 904
APS 6 $82 670 - $95 035
EL 1 $105 127 - $113 455
EL 2 $121 150 - $170 000
SES Band 1 $195 000 - $236 328
SES Band 2 $243 941 - $268 057

Note: Excludes the Fair Work Ombudsman and the Registered Organisations Commissioner.

Non-salary staff benefits can include:

  • professional membership fees
  • parking allocation at work
  • a mobile phone, iPad and laptop
  • airline lounge membership.

Work health and safety

In 2016–17, initiatives and outcomes of our Health and Wellbeing Strategy included:

  • sustaining a safe working environment with hazards and risks removed, minimised or managed
  • regular reviews of health and safety polices, guides and fact sheets
  • promotion of wellbeing initiatives, encouraging employees to actively look after their health
  • mental health first aid, work health and safety, and resilience training
  • an influenza vaccination program
  • a rehabilitation management system audit, with a 100% compliance result
  • workstation assessments and the provision of sit-to-stand workstations as part of our office refurbishment program to promote good ergonomic practices and prevent body stressing injuries
  • introduction of a new employee assistance provider that offers additional services, such as access to nutritionists
  • early intervention and rehabilitation case management services.

There was a decrease in accepted workers’ compensation claims during the year, resulting in a reduced Comcare premium.

Work health and safety incident reporting

Under section 38 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, we are required to inform Comcare of any notifiable accidents or dangerous occurrences arising out of work undertaken by any of our employees.

There were no notifiable accidents or dangerous occurrences reported to Comcare in 2016–17.

Under section 39 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, we are required to report any investigations conducted during the year into any of our undertakings.

No investigations were conducted in 2016–17.

Property and environmental management

In 2016–17, we reduced property expenditure and size by improving office layouts and acquiring new accommodation where appropriate.

The National Australian Built Environment Rating System was considered when approaching the market for accommodation.

Environmental performance

Our initiatives to reduce waste, energy and water consumption, and greenhouse emissions included:

  • sensor lighting in all offices, with a timer mechanism switching lighting off when rooms are not occupied
  • participating in Earth Hour 2017, which involved turning off all non-essential lights in our 23 tenancies on Saturday 25 March
  • utilising video conferencing as a sustainable alternative to travel
  • using print-on-demand, requiring staff to swipe their identification card to print, and setting default properties to print in black
  • implementing paperless processes
  • participating in programs to recycle toner cartridges and mobile phones
  • providing organic matter, recycling and general waste kitchen bins in new accommodation.