1001.0 - Australian Bureau of Statistics -- Annual Report, Report on ABS performance in 2015-16  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/10/2016   
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MANAGEMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES

INTRODUCTION

It is our people who will ensure we can meet the challenge of transforming the ABS to better engage with partners, develop responsive processes, make the best use of modern technologies, and be a high performing and accountable organisation. Preparing our people for the future will enable us to work towards achieving our vision. Human resource (HR) management is a critical function within the agency. The ABS needs employees who:

  • understand Australia’s evolving information needs, and can help the ABS meet these needs
  • recognise the changes to the ABS operating environment, and can help the ABS to adapt to these changes
  • possess professional competencies and a commitment to the Australian Public Service (APS) Values.
Good people management is the key to ensuring the engagement and retention of a workforce that can deliver the ABS work program now and into the future.

As at 30 June 2016, there were 3,586 operative and inoperative staff (60 of these are unpaid inoperative staff) employed at the ABS under the Public Service Act 1999: 1,711 males and 1,875 females.

There were also 3,482 staff employed to assist with data collection under Regulation 3 of the Statistics Regulations, and appointed as authorised officers under Section 16 of the Census and Statistics Act 1905. Of these, 3,039 were Census Field Officers and 443 were household survey interviewers.

The following tables show the profile of ABS staff by employment classification and sex, and by location and type of employment for operative and paid inoperative staff. Staff employed under the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975 (interviewers and Census field staff), and 60 unpaid inoperative staff are excluded from the tables.


EMPLOYMENT CLASSIFICATION BY SEX AND EMPLOYMENT TYPE, 30 JUNE 2015 & 2016 (a)(b)

As at 30 June 2016
As at 30 June 2015

Ongoing
Non-ongoing
Ongoing
Non-ongoing

Classification
Female
Male
Female
Male
Total
Female
Male
Female
Male
Total
Cadet
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Graduate
72
58
0
0
130
26
17
0
0
43
APS1
2
1
17
17
37
2
1
11
11
25
APS2
1
5
96
76
178
1
6
48
44
99
APS3
32
28
79
76
215
61
43
34
30
168
APS4
200
186
116
120
622
265
254
50
48
617
APS5
340
242
68
53
703
310
183
16
6
515
APS6
410
373
35
67
885
337
348
6
21
712
EXEC1
245
252
17
18
532
222
224
8
6
460
EXEC2
72
90
8
7
177
58
83
2
6
149
SES
19
24
1
3
47
7
28
1
0
36

Total
1393
1259
437
437
3526
1289
1187
176
172
2824

(a) Includes operative and paid inoperative staff.
(b) Excludes the Australian Statistician (Statutory appointment).



NUMBER OF ABS STAFF BY LOCATION, EMPLOYMENT TYPE AND STATUS, AT 30 JUNE 2015 & 2016 (a)(b)

As at 30 June 2016
As at 30 June 2015

Ongoing
Non-ongoing
Ongoing
Non-ongoing

Full-time
Part-time
Full-time
Part-time
Total
Full-time
Part-time
Full-time
Part-time
Total
Canberra
1084
183
210
71
1548
1059
195
62
24
1340
Dandenong
16
0
3
0
19
0
0
0
0
0
Geelong
111
4
10
80
205
0
0
0
0
0
Melbourne
275
56
77
14
422
250
61
15
8
334
Sydney
189
42
40
92
363
194
47
21
60
322
Darwin
31
6
23
0
60
32
8
5
0
45
Brisbane
176
28
37
5
246
154
35
22
25
236
Adelaide
142
58
43
10
253
149
51
9
5
214
Hobart
90
27
20
10
147
85
26
17
5
133
Perth
103
31
101
28
263
100
30
35
35
200

Total
2217
435
564
310
3526
2023
453
186
162
2824

(a) Includes operative and paid inoperative staff.
(b) Excludes the Australian Statistician (Statutory appointment).


NUMBER OF ABS SES OFFICERS BY LEVEL, SEX AND YEAR (a)


SES Level
Sex

Year (at 30 June)
1
2
3
Male
Female
Total

2008
33
6
3
27
15
42
2009
26
7
3
26
10
36
2010
27
6
4
29
8
37
2011
26
7
4
26
11
37
2012
23
7
4
24
10
34
2013
28
8
4
30
10
40
2014
29
7
3
30
9
39
2015
26
6
2
26
8
34
2016
29
9
3
22
19
41

(a) Includes only operative, substantive SES officers as at 30 June 2016, but excludes the Australian Statistician, who is a statutory office holder appointed under the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975. Excludes SES officers outposted to another department, i.e. one SES Officer for 2008–10 and 2011–12.

At 30 June 2016 there were 19 women in the ABS Senior Executive Service (SES), representing 46.3% of the total number of ABS SES officers.

ABS WORKFORCE STRATEGY 2015-19

The ABS recognises that our people are essential to successfully realising our transformation goals and achieving our vision and objectives. To deliver our ambitious transformation agenda, we are changing our culture, driving high performance, and building capability.

The ABS Workforce Strategy 2015–19 provides a five-year strategic outlook for transforming our workforce through driving high performance. It is aligned with the ABS Corporate Plan 2015–19, and focuses exclusively on the workforce (our people and culture) elements of transformation.

The ABS Workforce Strategy 2015–19 is implemented through annual ABS People and Culture Action Plans, which set out the national operational strategies and actions to progress us towards our desired outcomes.

The four high-level strategies outlined in the ABS Workforce Strategy 2015–19 are delivering our transformation agenda by:

  • reshaping our workforce capability
  • aligning our staffing profile and structure to a rationalised and responsive Forward Work Program
  • building a high performing culture and improving our diversity
  • improving our leadership to drive a high performing culture.

WORKPLACE DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION IN THE ABS

The ABS is committed to creating workplaces that are accessible and inclusive for all staff. The ABS recognises that valuing our employee diversity and capitalising on their unique perspectives and talents encourages an innovative, productive and fulfilling workplace that will continue to attract and retain employees and make the ABS an employer of choice.

The following plans form the ABS Workplace Diversity Program:

  • ABS Workplace Diversity Action Plan 2013–2017 (ABS cat. no. 1010.0)
  • ABS Reconciliation Action Plan 2013–2016 (ABS cat. no. 1011.0)
  • ABS Gender Diversity Action Plan 2014–17 (ABS cat. no. 1013.0).

These plans are integrated with the ABS People and Culture Action Plan 2015–16 and the ABS Workforce Strategy 2015–19. Actions that support delivery focus on:
  • recruitment of staff with diversity of backgrounds, experiences and expertise
  • embracing diversity of skills, thinking and experiences of staff
  • motivating and challenging staff
  • providing a working environment that supports productive and flexible ways of working.

In addition, the ABS demonstrated its commitment to access and equity through the ABS Agency Multicultural Plan 2013–15 (ABS cat. no. 1012.0), which has been replaced by the new Government requirements as set out in the revised Multicultural Access and Equity Policy.


WORKPLACE DIVERSITY ACTION PLAN

Through the ABS Workplace Diversity Action Plan 2013–2017, we will continue our commitment to identifying and addressing barriers to inclusion that may be experienced by some people in our community and workforce. The Workplace Diversity Action Plan 2013–2017 sets out four key strategies:

  • strengthening a respectful and inclusive work environment and culture
  • improving our ability to attract, recruit and retain people of diverse backgrounds and targeting under-represented diversity groups (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and people with disability)
  • improving our understanding of workplace diversity issues and increasing the analysis and use of workplace diversity metrics
  • as a statistical services provider, ensuring accessible services, products and data collection practices are provided for people with disability and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

RECONCILIATION ACTION PLAN

The ABS is committed to reconciliation. The ABS leads and coordinates statistical activity involving and relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The ABS Reconciliation Action Plan 2013–2016 sets out actions the ABS will take to:

  • increase the recruitment, retention and development opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the ABS (Table 6.4)
  • build the capability of ABS employees to respond effectively to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities through respect and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and culture
  • ensure ABS policies, programs and services effectively respond to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities
  • develop the statistical literacy skills of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities to enable them to make informed decisions about themselves, their families and their communities.


NUMBER OF ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PEOPLES EMPLOYED IN THE ABS, 2015–16 (a)


30 June 201530 June 2016
Ongoing employees2130
Non-ongoing employees17
Total2237

(a) Includes operative and paid inoperative office based staff as at 30 June 2016.



DISABILITY REPORTING MECHANISM

Since 1994, Commonwealth non-corporate 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 Report 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 ten-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 reports was made available in late 2014, and can be found at www.dss.gov.au.

At 30 June 2016 there were 76 staff (excluding unpaid inoperatives) who identified as having disability, representing 2.1% of the total number of office-based staff in the ABS.



NUMBER OF STAFF IDENTIFYING AS HAVING A DISABILITY EMPLOYED IN THE ABS, 2015-16 (a)

30 June 2015
30 June 2016

Ongoing employees
57
73
Non-ongoing employees
3
3

Total
60
76

(a) Includes operative and paid inoperative office based staff as at 30 June 2016.


GENDER DIVERSITY ACTION PLAN

In November 2014, the ABS Gender Diversity Action Plan 2014–17 was introduced. It sets out the organisation’s commitment to achieving gender diversity at all levels in the ABS. It aims to do this by identifying and removing barriers to allow women the same access to, and participation in, leadership roles as their male colleagues.

The ABS Gender Diversity Action Plan 2014–17 has four strategies:

  • recruiting and deploying for diverse leadership (to ensure our SES selection processes are best practice and free from unintended bias)
  • working flexibly (to support increased use of flexible job design arrangements for senior staff, both in terms of locations and working arrangements)
  • staying connected (to ease the transition of staff entering into or returning from long periods of leave, and capitalise on the talent and expertise of former ABS staff)
  • building a more inclusive corporate culture (to promote a working environment where diverse leadership styles can flourish).

ABS STAFF BY LEVEL BY SEX 2015-16


Classification
Female
Male
Total

Cadet
0
0
0
Graduate
70
60
130
APS1
19
18
37
APS2
97
81
178
APS3
113
102
215
APS4
316
306
622
APS5
408
295
703
APS6
445
440
885
EXEC1
262
270
532
EXEC2
80
97
177
SES
20
27
47

Total
1830
1696
3526

(a) Includes actual operative and paid inoperative staff.
(b) Excludes the Australian Statistician (statutory appointment).




AGENCY MULTICULTURAL PLAN

The ABS is committed to improving how we engage and respond to the needs of Australians from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. and we foster an organisation that recognises and supports them.

The ABS Agency Multicultural Plan 2013–15 was released in July 2013, under the requirements of the Australian Government Multicultural Access and Equity Policy.

Under streamlined arrangements for the implementation of the Multicultural Access and Equity Policy implemented in early 2016, departments and agencies are no longer required to develop and implement individual Agency Multicultural Plans. Instead, a single, whole-of-government plan covers the multicultural access and equity efforts of all departments and agencies, and the ABS continues to demonstrate its commitment to multicultural service delivery through strategies and policies.


KEY DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION PROGRAM ACHIEVEMENTS IN 2015-16

  • The ABS is committed to supporting the employment and career development of people with disability. In 2015–16, ABS joined the Australian Network on Disability (AND). We will work collaboratively with AND to develop and embed ABS diversity and inclusion strategies to attract, support and retain people with disability.
  • The ABS also became a member of Diversity Council Australia (DCA), which provides us with a knowledge bank of research, practice and expertise around diversity. The services and support available from DCA will help us enhance our strategies to promote diverse, inclusive and respectful workplaces.
  • In 2015–16, flexible working environments were implemented in our Brisbane, Melbourne and Geelong offices. These provide an office environment specifically designed to support the operations of the ABS and support teleworking to allow staff to work from outside the office (usually from home). Flexible working environments support diversity by providing opportunities for employees to do their work in a more flexible, collaborative and innovative way.
  • Mutually beneficial partnerships with Indigenous communities were strengthened in 2015–16 with two staff completing secondments to Indigenous community organisations as part of the Jawun Indigenous APS Community Secondment Program. The key objectives of the program were to:
  • support Indigenous organisations to deliver their own strategies and visions, and to contribute to the capability development of Indigenous people and organisations
  • provide participants with increased cultural awareness and personal development
  • benefit the ABS through greater cultural awareness and broader awareness of Indigenous matters.
  • The ABS continues to promote and support the Youmpla Network (National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employee Network). Members meet on a monthly basis in a friendly, informal environment to share knowledge, information and experiences. Youmpla Network members attended their first face to face meeting and planning session to identify individual, network and organisational goals.
  • In August 2015, the ABS engaged 14 Indigenous Australian Government Development Program (IAGDP) participants. The IAGDP is a 15-month program that combines entry level ongoing employment with structured learning.
  • A key deliverable in the Gender Diversity Action Plan 2014–17 is increased awareness of unconscious bias among ABS senior leaders and recruitment selection panels. In 2015, unconscious bias training was delivered to senior leaders (the Senior Executive Service) and recruitment selection panels, and a condensed one-hour session was presented to all other ABS staff. The seminar covered the concepts that underpin unconscious bias, its effects in the workplace, and strategies for managing unconscious bias in the ABS.
  • The Gender Diversity Action Plan 2014–17 focuses on success in improving gender balance in our senior leadership. At the end of June 2015, 21% of SES were women. This has risen to 46% following a recruitment exercise for SES conducted in late 2015 where 17 of the 19 appointments were female.
  • The ABS undertook significant recruitment activity in 2015. Prior to the assessment of applications, in an effort to reduce the effects of unconscious bias in the selection process, identifiers (including name, gender, birthdate) were redacted from applications, CVs and referee reports. A recent review of the recruitment exercise at the APS and Executive Level classifications suggests that ABS has made improvements in attracting and placing women at higher rates than in the past.
  • In November 2015, Jacky Hodges, General Manager, Industry Statistics, made the Part-Time Power List which recognises people who work in leadership positions in large organisations in a flexible or part-time role.

TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT

Training statistics from 2005–06 to 2015–16 are presented in the table below.

In line with the ABS Workforce Strategy 2015–2019 and the ABS People and Culture Action Plan 2015–16, the ABS is reshaping its workforce capability to ensure we have the right people with the right skills to transform, while continuing to deliver high quality official statistics.


KEY ACHIEVEMENTS IN 2015-16

  • A new Learning Management System (LMS), known as CapabilityPlus, has been implemented. This system facilitates design and delivery of blended learning solutions, reducing the reliance on face-to-face delivery.
  • Improvements in leadership and management development have been achieved through initiatives such as Peer Based Learning Circles for the Senior Executive Service and transformation-focused orientation for newly promoted EL1s.
  • Executive Coaching for Executive Level and SES staff is building their leadership capability, with 34 employees accessing this service this year.
  • A complete review of all ABS statistical learning and development courses was conducted, with the intent of retiring courses (internal and external) that are no longer relevant during nor after transformation.
  • Three Foundational Statistical e-learning programs are now accessible to all ABS staff through CapabilityPlus, comprising 35 separate online learning solutions/modules.
  • Sharing of these online modules has commenced with key external government stakeholders, including the ATO and the APSC, with further sharing to take place with other federal and state/territory government agencies over the next 12 months.
  • Twenty-nine ABS staff successfully completed the Graduate Certificate in Statistics Program delivered by the University of Canberra.

To enable transformation the ABS is embarking on a Statistical Transformation Learning and Development Pathway Program which focuses on upskilling and reskilling traditional processing type staff in the areas of data analysis and conceptual and critical thinking capabilities. This program will include foundational, intermediate and advanced level pathways. Staff participating in these pathways will need to graduate successfully through the relevant assessment gates in order to access the higher-end development options. The program will be a blended program with a range of online learning solutions, face-to-face master class sessions, on-the-job development opportunities and access to university accredited courses.



ABS EMPLOYEE TRAINING DAYS (a)

Total ABS operative staff (b)
Attendance days
Average training days

2005–06
2,865
16,163 (c)
5.6
2006–07
3,065
13,491 (c)
4.4
2007–08
2,733
9,907
3.6
2008–09
2,489
6,179
2.5
2009–10
2,593
7,397
2.9
2010–11 (d)
3,416
12,054
3.5
2011–12
3,213
15,541
4.8
2012–13
2,919 (g)
7,547 (e)
2.6
2013–14
2,723 (g)
5,935
2.2 (g)
2014–15
2,750 (g)
2,970 (f)
1.1 (g)
2015–16
3,446
7,689
2.2 (h)

(a) Excludes on the job and Census Data Processing training.
(b) Comprises full-time and part-time staff operative headcount.
(c) Figures revised down since first published.
(d) Increase due to Census Management Unit operations.
(e) Decrease partly due to move to e-learning approaches.
(f) Significant decrease in face to face sessions with more emphasis on e-learning/blended learning approaches.
(g) Minor correction to published numbers.
(h) Rise in average training days due to significant graduate intake, mandatory e-learning modules for new recruits and new telework arrangements, availability of new e-learning modules for self-directed learning, and focus on skills for transformation such as Agile Methodology and EL1 orientation.




RECRUITMENT KEY ACHIEVEMENTS IN 2015–16

In 2015–16 the ABS undertook a number of recruitment processes, including:

  • SESB1/2/3 recruitment processes, resulting in 19 promotions and engagements
  • finalisation of the 2015 national APS/EL recruitment exercise, resulting in over 600 promotions and over 160 transfers at level
  • the formal graduate program commencing in February 2016 with 134 graduates
  • recruiting over 170 ongoing and non-ongoing staff for the new ABS office in Geelong
  • recruitment campaigns to hire over 38,000 field staff for the 2016 Census of Population and Housing
  • commencement of recruiting over 800 non-ongoing staff for the Data Operations Centre in Canberra and the Data Capture Centre in South Dandenong to process Census data, and a further 100 for the Census Help Line in Geelong
  • recruitment of non-ongoing Transformation Support Officers.

A number of initiatives were implemented in the 2015 national APS/EL recruitment exercise to reflect best practice and provide maximum flexibility for future staffing decisions. In particular, initiatives to address potential unconscious bias (unconscious bias training for panel members and blind recruiting) resulted in an improvement in attracting and placing women in positions across the ABS at higher rates than in the past.


WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY OVERVIEW

The ABS is committed to fostering a proactive and collaborative approach to the management of work health, safety and wellbeing in the workplace. Specialist teams of work health and safety (WHS) advisors and rehabilitation specialists focus on wellbeing at work, preventing injury and illness, early intervention if injury or illness occurs, rehabilitation and return to work programs.

In 2015–16, the ABS completed the second year of its Work Health and Safety and Rehabilitation Management System Strategy (2014–17). It is underpinned by the ABS Work Health and Safety and Rehabilitation Management Statement of Commitment which focuses on:

  • a strong safety culture
  • accountable leadership
  • effective communication and consultation between the ABS, workers and their representatives
  • early identification and effective management of workplace hazards, including psychological hazards, to eliminate or reduce risk
  • continuous improvement through regular monitoring, reporting and reviewing of performance, based on measurable objectives and targets
  • ensuring all workers and other stakeholders understand their roles and responsibilities in eliminating work-related illness and injury through training, continuous education and support
  • effective and sustainable injury prevention, early intervention, injury management, rehabilitation and return-to-work processes following injury or illness.

The Senior Management Group is the senior executive forum with responsibility for oversight of the ABS WHS and Rehabilitation Management System.


KEY ACHIEVEMENTS IN 2015–16

Measures taken to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of employees during 2015–16 included:

  • a continuing focus on the health and safety of ABS field-based staff including use of technology to enhance supervision and communications while in the field
  • development of the ABS Psychosocial Health at Work Strategy (2015–20), identifying priority areas for the ABS over the next five years. and drawing on best practice principles from the APSC and Comcare guide, As One – Working Together: promoting mental health and wellbeing at work
  • ongoing review of the ABS WHS Manual, with priority on content relating to fieldwork in preparation for the 2016 Census
  • extended access to flexible work with the implementation of flexible working arrangements in five of nine ABS offices, and access to teleworking by all staff
  • a nationally broadcast seminar by Beryl Women Inc. to recognise White Ribbon Day (Australia’s campaign to stop violence against women)
  • release of a Family and Domestic Violence Information Resource and a Mental Health Information Resource to assist staff and their families
  • support for a range of health and safety initiatives including women’s and men’s health weeks, Healthy Weight Week, National Stroke Week, Mental Health Week, RUOK Day, Movember, Safe Work Month, and World Day for Safety and Health at Work
  • release of a WHS Risk Management e-learning module to help staff apply WHS risk management processes in eliminating and controlling workplace hazards
  • presentation of six nationally broadcast and video-recorded worklifeAssist™ seminars for staff as part of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • delivery of a national influenza vaccination program to 1,229 office-based staff in autumn 2016
  • conduct of the annual national hazard inspection program, with 61% fewer hazards identified than in 2014
  • ninety-seven newsletter articles and alerts on WHS matters distributed to office-based staff.

CONSULTATION AND COMMUNICATION

The ABS has one National, one Interviewer and eight Regional Health and Safety Committees. Health and Safety Committees are required to meet at least once every three months. All ABS Health and Safety Committees met at least four times in 2015–16, with 92% of meetings held three-monthly.

Revised and new WHS policies and guidelines regarding WHS Issue Resolution, Indoor Air Quality, Thermal Comfort and First Aid were released in 2015–16, following consultation with staff and their representatives.


TRAINING

WHS modules are available to all staff via the ABS e-learning system. In 2015–16:

  • 885 staff completed the Introduction to WHS module
  • 63 staff completed the WHS Risk Management module.

In the ABS there are a number of specific WHS roles filled by trained staff:
  • First Aid Officers must complete an accredited First Aid training course initially and attend a refresher course every 12 months. Fifty-six staff undertook first aid training in 2015–16
  • Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) have the option of completing a five-day training course upon commencement in the role, and the option of attending a one-day refresher course every 12 months. Eight staff undertook HSR training in 2015–16
  • Wardens are required to attend skills retention training every six months. In addition, wardens are required to participate in a trial evacuation at least once annually. One hundred and thirty-five staff undertook fire warden training in 2015–16.

PROVISIONAL IMPROVEMENT NOTICES

No Provisional Improvement Notices were issued to the ABS during 2015–16.


COMCARE INVESTIGATIONS AND INSPECTIONS

There were no Comcare investigations or inspections during 2015–16.


COMCARE PREMIUM

The ABS Comcare premium rate for 2015–16 was 2.21% of total salary (excluding GST).


COMCARE WORKERS COMPENSATION PREMIUM RATE

2012–13
2013–14
2014–15
2015–16

ABS premium rate
1.75
2.07
2.46
2.21
Overall scheme premium rate
1.61
1.65
1.93
1.85


INCIDENTS AND INVESTIGATIONS

Under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, the ABS is required to report all notifiable incidents which arise from undertaking the business of the ABS. Notifiable incidents include the death of a person, serious injury or illness, or a dangerous incident. There were eight notifiable incidents in 2015–16 (three serious injuries or illnesses and five dangerous incidents).


WORKPLACE INJURIES AND ILLNESSES

The top three mechanisms of incident resulting in injury or illness reported in the ABS during 2015–16 were body stressing, mental stress, and falls, trips and slips. In addition, there were 247 safety incidents reported that resulted in no injury or damage only to property.


WORKERS COMPENSATION

There were 11 accepted workers compensation claims with a date of injury occurring within 2015–16, compared to 28 in 2014–15.



ACCEPTED ABS COMPENSABLE CLAIMS BY DATE OF INJURY, 2012-13 TO 2015-16 (a)

Accepted claims
2012–13
2013–14
2014–15
2015–16
TOTAL

ABS office-based
27
29
14
4
74
Interviewers
13
10
10
6
39
Census
0
0
4
1
5

Total
40
39
28
11
118

(a) When comparing recent periods with previous years’ data it should be noted that the data on the current period is the least mature and may not give a definitive view of related performance.

The ABS is committed to minimising the impact of injury, illness and disease in employees. The People Management and Wellbeing Section manages Comcare compensation claims to assist in returning ill and/or injured staff to work, health and independence by providing a safe, supportive environment and setting achievable goals.

The Section developed a Rehabilitation Management System (RMS) following a Comcare audit in March 2014. The Corrective Action Plan resulting from the audit was signed off as completed in December 2015. The RMS is used to ensure the ABS has the necessary controls in place to understand and comply with relevant legislation, guidelines and corporate policy; to establish and maintain the ABS’s performance against relevant requirements; and to ensure continual improvement particularly through the implementation of any future corrective action plans.

Current priorities include addressing long-term and high-cost claims in partnership with Comcare and working towards an active case management approach through staff education and early intervention initiatives.


ATTENDANCE MANAGEMENT

In 2015–16, the average number of days of unscheduled absence per full-time equivalent (FTE) was 11.9 days (Table 6.10). This is less than the Australian Government (Large Agency) median over the previous two years (12.4 days per FTE in 2014–15 and 12.3 days per FTE in 2013–14).



UNSCHEDULED ABSENCE: DAYS PER FTE (a) (b) Unscheduled absence: days per FTE (a) (b)

2013-14
2014-15
2015-16

ABS
12.3
12.4
11.9
Australian Government (Large agency) median
12.3
12.4
n/a (c)

(a) Excludes interviewers, non-ongoing Census Data Processing Centre staff, and Census field staff.
(b) Totals do not include workers compensation due to a change in APSC reporting in the 2014-15 year. Figures may not match those contained in previous ABS reports as a result.
(c) The Australian Government (Large Agency) median for 2015–16 was not available at the time of preparing this report.


EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM UTILISATION

The EAP utilisation rate for ABS office-based staff during 2015–16 was 9.1% compared with 10.4% in 2014–15. The EAP utilisation rate for ABS Interviewer staff during 2015–16 was 5.1% compared with 5.9% in 2014–15.


CONSULTATION IN THE ABS

The ABS is committed to effective workplace relations that value communication, cooperation and effective consultation with employees and their chosen representatives, including union representatives, about matters that affect their workplace.

The ABS consultative framework comprises the following elements:

  • line managers
  • consultative forums
  • the National Forum
  • employee representatives.

A meeting of the National Forum was held in November 2015 to discuss the ABS State of the Service Census results, the ABS Workforce Strategy and the Reconciliation and Diversity Action Plans. The National Forum also met in March 2016. The Forum had a strong focus on our people and the future direction of the ABS.


AGREEMENT MAKING

The ABS has a number of industrial instruments in place to cover the employment arrangements for various ABS workforces. The instruments that apply to employees engaged under the Public Service Act 1999 are:

  • the Australian Bureau of Statistics Enterprise Agreement 2016 which covers all ABS employees employed under the Public Service Act 1999 except Senior Executive Service employees
  • individual Determinations under section 24(1) of the Public Service Act 1999 which cover Senior Executive Service employees.

The instruments that apply to employees engaged under the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975 in accordance with the Statistics Regulations are:
  • the Australian Bureau of Statistics Interviewers Agreement 2011–2014 which covers home-based ABS Interviewers
  • a collective Determination under s. 16(3) of the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975 which covers Census field employees undertaking the 2016 Census dress rehearsal and the 2016 Census of Population and Housing.

Details of the number of employees covered by an Enterprise Agreement, Individual Flexibility Arrangement, a Determination under s. 24(1) of the Public Service Act 1999 or a Determination under s. 16(3) of the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975 as at 30 June 2016 are as follows:

  • ABS employees covered by the Australian Bureau of Statistics Enterprise Agreement 2016: 3,541
  • ABS employees covered by the Australian Bureau of Statistics Interviewers Enterprise Agreement 2011–2014: 443
  • Individual Flexibility Arrangements made under the Australian Bureau of Statistics Enterprise Agreement 2016: 6
  • SES employees covered by s. 24(1) Determination: 45
  • Employees covered by s. 16(3) Determination: 3,039.


SALARY ARRANGEMENTS

The ABS Enterprise Agreement 2016 outlines the salary arrangements for non-SES ABS employees employed under the Public Service Act 1999 for the period 3 June 2016 to 2 June 2019. A general salary increase of 3% was effective from 3 June 2016. Table 6.11 shows the salary ranges for ABS employees.

Prior to 3 June 2016 the ABS Enterprise Agreement 2011–2014 outlined the salary arrangements for non SES ABS employees employed under the Public Service Act 1999.



SALARY RANGES BY CLASSIFICATION AS AT 30 JUNE 2016

Classification
Minimum ($)
Maximum ($)

Australian Public Service (APS) level

APS1
41,606
47,400
APS2
47,577
53,647
APS3
54,201
61,098
APS4
61,149
68,780
APS5
68,784
77,263
APS6
77,271
87,263

Executive Officer level (EL)

EL1
94,933
109,741
EL2
118,516
142,578

Senior Executive Service (SES) level

SES Band 1
156,704
194,511
SES Band 2
194,511
225,882
SES Band 3
225,882
N/A(a)

(a) Not applicable (as there is not a maximum level for this classification).


RECOGNITION AND REWARD

The ABS operates a Recognition and Reward Scheme that acknowledges exceptional one-off achievements by individual employees and work groups. The awards may include a certificate or medallion of commendation together with a gift voucher or in-kind award such as a work group morning tea or lunch.

Organisational guidelines have been developed to ensure consistent conduct of recognition and reward in the ABS. The current Recognition and Reward Scheme will be reviewed in 2016–17.

Total ABS expenditure for the scheme in 2015–16 was $ 67,456.

There is also an annual Australian Statistician’s Award that recognises extraordinary contributions made to the ABS by individual employees.

In January 2016, Australian Statistician’s Awards were presented to 12 staff.


PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT IN THE ABS

The ABS is committed to being a high-performing public agency, promoting a people-oriented culture through focus on leadership, communication, innovation and engagement.

The ABS Development and Performance Framework (DPF) is designed to increase organisational performance by supporting all employees to maximise their performance through individual development, job satisfaction and positive, trusted working relationships.

The ABS Development and Performance Agreement was updated to accommodate feedback from a national series of workshops. These workshops captured staff and manager experiences and perceptions of the effectiveness of performance and development in the ABS.

Where there are concerns about employee performance, ABS managers work with their employees by implementing an informal Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). ABS initiated ten PIPs for ongoing office-based staff during 2015–16. Where an employee’s performance has not improved through a PIP a formal underperformance process commences. Five employees were the subject of formal processes to manage underperformance. This resulted in a range of outcomes including employees meeting the expected level of performance, having their employment terminated or having their classification reduced. In addition, the contracts of two non-ongoing employees were terminated due to underperformance.

The DPF and the ABS implementation of it demonstrate ABS’s commitment to the APS employment principle that requires effective performance from each employee.

During 2015–16 ABS completed eight investigations into suspected breaches of the APS Code of Conduct by ABS employees. None involved privacy breaches. Where breaches were determined, a range of sanctions were implemented including formal reprimands, fines, and reduction in classification. Two employees resigned their ABS employment following a preliminary sanction decision of termination of employment.


ECOLOGICAL SUSTAINABILITY

INTRODUCTION

During 2015–16, the ABS remained committed to the principles of ecological sustainable development as outlined in the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

In accordance with the EPBC Act, which requires agencies to report on aspects of their performance relating to ecologically sustainable development, the ABS has two key roles. The first of these is the ABS’s responsibility for providing statistics on the environment and environmental issues to enable informed decision making. The second role relates to the impact of the ABS’s operations on the environment and the action being taken by the ABS to minimise that impact.

The ABS’s response to the five components of Sub-section 516A (6), as required by the EPBC Act, is described below.

516A (6) (a) how do the activities of the organisation, and the administration of legislation by the organisation, accord with the principles of ecologically sustainable development?

The ABS Environmental Policy Statement articulates our commitment to the identification and pursuit of effective environmental practices. In accordance with the principles of ecologically sustainable development, the ABS pursues environmentally positive practices by:

  • seeking to minimise adverse environmental impacts from its operations
  • complying with relevant Commonwealth and territory environment legislation and the Australian Government’s environmental policies and initiatives
  • working towards continuously improving our environmental performance.
In 2012–13, the ABS implemented an Environmental Management System (EMS), which set the environmental activities for 2015–16:
  • identifying, implementing and promoting environmentally sensitive operations
  • targeting reductions in energy usage and the generation of waste
  • complying with relevant Commonwealth and territory environment legislation and the Australian Government's environmental policies and initiatives
  • encouraging and promoting environmentally sound procurement practices
  • providing for an environmentally sound workplace and implementing environmentally sound work practices
  • monitoring our energy performance and green lease commitments and implementing processes of continuous improvement
  • supporting and promoting an environmentally responsible culture.

516A (6) (b) How do the outcomes specified in a relevant Appropriations Act contribute to ecologically sustainable development?

The ABS receives appropriation for the purpose of producing statistics that inform decision making on a wide range of social and economic matters.

The ABS works closely with the community and governments to further build information on environmental statistics, to complement the more established information bases on population, society and the economy. The focus of this development work is the integration of environmental statistics with Australia’s economic and social statistics.

For more information on ABS statistical publications and developments, please refer to the ABS website www.abs.gov.au for:

  • Agriculture
  • Rural and Regional Statistics
  • Environment
  • Energy
  • Water.

516A (6) (c) What is the effect of the organisation’s activities on the environment?

The ABS has sought to minimise its impact on the environment through a number of measures.

OPERATE IN AN ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE MANNER AND WHERE PRACTICAL, REDUCE ENERGY, WASTE AND OTHER RESOURCES

Flexible working environments have been introduced in five of the nine ABS sites across Australia, which has reduced the required tenancy footprint by 20% and staff need to attend ABS offices daily. This has reduced the environmental impact of fitout, furniture production, and necessary operational services, particularly electricity.

To reduce energy consumption and waste, fitouts have included energy efficient LED lights and smart lighting technologies in all tenanted areas.

ABS publications are available on the ABS website, reducing demand for print copies of publications.

Computer assisted interviewing is used in place of paper forms where possible.

Improvements in video conferencing equipment software and increasing the number of video conferencing facilities supports virtual teams and has reduced the requirement to travel.

Recycling services are provided to all office-based staff, including

  • recycling paper, bottles, aluminium cans, steel cans, plastic and cardboard products in all offices
  • recycling mobile phones, batteries, polystyrene in all sites where contractor packaging removal was not part of the contracts or service agreements
  • maintaining organic recycling of kitchen waste at ABS House Canberra
  • rationalising the office vehicle fleet.

COMPLY WITH RELEVANT COMMONWEALTH AND TERRITORY ENVIRONMENT LEGISLATION AND THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT'S ENVIRONMENTAL POLICIES AND INITIATIVES

An ABS ICT Energy Management Plan has been developed in alignment with requirements and targets set under the ICT Sustainability Plan 2010–2015, which includes:

  • a project to relocate the in-house data centre to an off-site commercial data centre in 2016–17, with more efficient infrastructure and economies of scale
  • a continual refresh program for desktops, servers and storage, utilising latest available technology
  • introduction of virtual desktops and replacement of desktop fleet with tablets, which should result in a reduction in power consumption of approximately 50% across the fleet
  • server virtualisation
  • utilising ’Print on Demand’ functionality on all printers and multi-function devices (MFDs)
  • utilising duplex printing and copying
  • utilising reduced standby timeout period on MFD's from 90 to 60 minutes
  • utilising 100% recycled content copy paper
  • high-level metering of data centre (located in Central Office) and communications equipment energy consumption
  • utilising an intelligent management system for data centre air-conditioners to increase efficiency
  • utilising variable speed drives in data centre condenser water pumps and cooling fans for increased efficiency
  • utilising intelligent server management system to maximise energy efficiencies.


ENCOURAGE AND PROMOTE ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND PROCUREMENT PRACTICES IN COMPLIANCE WITH COMMONWEALTH PROCUREMENT RULES

Procurement of 10% green energy as part of the whole-of-government energy contract for ABS House and 10% green energy for the Sydney, Melbourne, Geelong, Dandenong and Adelaide offices continued.

Environmental and whole-of-life-cycle clauses are included as part of the tender and evaluation process in most procurement activities.

Vehicles with 10.5 GVG rating, in accordance with the Green Vehicle Guide, are leased.

100% recycled paper is procured for general office use.


PROVIDE AN ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND WORKPLACE AND IMPLEMENT ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND WORK PRACTICES

Progressive introduction of flexible working arrangements has reduced the need for staff to work full-time in ABS offices. This has reduced staff travel to and from offices, reduced office footprint by 20%, and reduced associated office resources use such as paper and furniture.

A knowledge framework has been implemented, incorporating digital recordkeeping rather than paper records, with automatic recordkeeping facilities for ABS workgroup databases.

Environmental efficiency measures have been incorporated into the market testing process for new leases with the integration of green lease schedules in each new tenancy.

A building management system controls lighting and reduces energy use.

Re-manufactured and recycled cartridges for photocopiers, faxes and printers, and recycling used printer cartridges are used wherever possible.

White goods with heavily weighted energy ratings are purchased.


MONITOR OUR PROGRAMS AND IMPLEMENT PROCESSES OF CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT

The ABS monitors its:

  • office energy consumption for all sites
  • Canberra office waste, organic waste and water consumption
  • national staff numbers
  • national paper consumption
  • national fleet operations.


DEVELOP AN ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE CULTURE ACROSS ALL LEVELS OF OUR ORGANISATION AND CONSULT, EDUCATE, TRAIN AND MOTIVATE STAFF ABOUT THEIR ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES

ABS promotes, participates in, and celebrates environmental and energy programs around national and international events such as World Environment Day, Earth Hour and Walk and Ride to Work days.

All offices are encouraged to support local Green Teams to raise awareness and develop local initiatives.

516A (6) (d) What measures are taken by the organisation to minimise the impact of its activities on the environment?

The ABS’s activities have the potential to affect the environment through consumption of energy and water, waste production and waste sent to landfill. The ABS seeks to improve its performance by measuring and managing:

  • energy consumption and greenhouse gas pollution across its offices
  • paper consumption
  • carbon emissions in transportation
  • water usage
  • waste sent to landfill, whilst increasing recycling of packaging and waste
  • the procurement of environmentally friendly products.

516A (6) (e) What are the mechanisms for reviewing and increasing effectiveness of these measures?

The ABS implemented an EMS in 2012–13 at its largest site, ABS House in Canberra. This set a number of environmental performance objectives which continue to be used. Leases negotiated in Brisbane, Geelong, and Melbourne in 2015–16 have incorporated green lease schedules which will be used to build a collaborative approach to managing environmental impacts of the ABS and the buildings it occupies. In 2016–17, as the ABS develops the new lease and fitout of its largest office, the EMS will be revisited and used to set the future objectives of the ABS approach to environmental management and performance.