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Department of the Environment and Heritage annual report 2004-05

Volume one
Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2005
ISSN 1441 9335

Managing the department (continued)

Workforce

The Department of the Environment and Heritage manages its people to ensure the achievement of corporate goals and to meet its changing business needs.

Main results

Staff survey completed

From June–July 2004 the department conducted an independently managed staff attitude survey. This was a major undertaking with 76 per cent of staff responding. There were many positive results. Factors that indicated the health of the organisation were work team attitude, supervisory performance, job security and individual job match and recognition. Areas that needed more attention were IT systems and support, management of under-performance, individual workloads and selection processes.

Generally, the survey supported the departmental results in the State of the Service Employee Survey 2003–04 in which the department performed as well as or better than the Australian Public Service-wide result on a number of questions, including managing in accordance with the Australian Public Service Values, and individual performance feedback.

The secretary provided detailed briefings to all employees on the staff survey during 2004–05 and initiated a number of projects to address the findings at a whole-of-department level. Reviews of recruitment and selection, performance management, change management and workload management were conducted under the direction of the department’s Workforce Management Committee.

As a result of these reviews, the recruitment processes of the department have been completely redocumented and streamlined with training and quality assurance mechanisms to ensure application of the merit principle.

Building on the proven foundations of the department’s performance and development scheme, new streamlined and more user-friendly guidelines were introduced (see Performance management). Targeted training to support the scheme is planned for later in 2005.

A change management protocol was developed emphasising planning, communication and involvement of staff as key elements in successful change management. A structured workload management framework is being implemented to achieve the critical balance of workload and resources.

In response to the staff survey, two flagship training programmes are under development: a manager–supervisor programme, and a separate leadership programme for senior level staff. In addition the refresh of the department’s IT systems was brought forward.

Divisions provided improvement plans to the secretary in response to issues raised by the staff survey. The department will monitor progress in implementing these plans during 2005–06.

Together with enhanced and upgraded IT systems, and improved communication mechanisms, all the initiatives deriving from the staff survey are designed to make the department a more productive and better place to work.

Investors in People

The department’s Investors in People certification was renewed in November 2004 after a major three-yearly audit. This certification recognises the department as a leader in supporting and managing its workforce—an employer of choice.

Staff turnover and retention rates

While the department’s overall turnover rate (including promotions and transfers to other Australian Public Service agencies) for 2004–05 was 28.7 per cent, the retention rate (proportion of ongoing employees retained for the full year) was 89.8 per cent for 2003–04, closer to the Australian Public Service median. The department’s above average percentage of non-ongoing staff (primarily generated by seasonal employment needs in the Australian Antarctic Division and some of the national parks) explains the relatively high turnover rate. The turnover rate is below last year’s level.

The following table illustrates the number of changes to the department’s senior executive staff during the year.

Mobility of senior executive service employees (as at 30 June of each financial year)
Type of movement 2003–04 2004–05
Commencement 4 3
Cessation 3 6
Transfer or promotion within department 3 8
Note: Does not include movements of Australian Greenhouse or National Oceans Office senior executive employees prior to, or as a result of, the transfer of the functions of these agencies into the department.

Makeup of workforce

The department has a diverse workforce carrying out a wide range of responsibilities and tasks across Australia and in Australia’s external territories.

Key to job classification symbols in the following tables

Secretary
Secretary of the department.
PEO
Principal Executive Officer. Refers to Director of National Parks, a statutory office holder.
SES 1–3
Senior Executive Service bands 1–3. Includes Chief of Division, Australian Antarctic Division.
EL 1–2
Executive Level bands 1–2. Includes equivalent Australian Antarctic Division bands 7–8.
APS 1–6
Australian Public Service bands 1–6. Includes equivalent Australian Antarctic Division bands 1–6. Includes graduate programme recruits.
RS 1–3
Research Scientist (equivalent to APS 6 or EL 1), Senior Research Scientist (equivalent to EL 2) and Principal Research Scientist (equivalent to EL 2).
AMP 1–2
Antarctic Medical Practitioner bands 1–2.
AE 1–3
Antarctic Expeditioner bands 1–3.
LO 1–3
Legal Officer (equivalent to APS 3–6), Senior Legal Officer (equivalent to EL 1) and Principal Legal Officer (equivalent to EL 2)—new classifications created in July 2004.
PAO 1–4
Public Affairs Officer 1–2 (equivalent to APS 3–6), Public Affairs Officer 3 (equivalent to EL 1) and Senior Public Affairs Officer (equivalent to EL 2).
Job classification, gender and location - 2004 (as at 30 June 2004)
Location Gender Classification Total
Secretary PEO SES 1–3 EL 1–2 APS 1–6 RS 1–3 AMP 1–2 AE 1–3 PAO 1–4
Australian Capital Territory Female     8 159 405       17 589
Male 1 1 21 203 221 2     4 453
Jervis Bay Territory Female       2 19         21
Male       1 26         27
Northern Territory Female       8 113         121
Male     3 13 144 6       166
New South Wales Female                   0
Male                   0
Norfolk Island Female                   0
Male         5         5
Western Australia Female       1           1
Male       2           2
Indian Ocean territories Female         3         3
Male       1 14         15
Victoria Female       1           1
Male       1           1
Queensland Female       4           4
Male                   0
South Australia Female                   0
Male       3           3
Tasmania Female     1 10 82 5       98
Male     4 41 118 30 3     196
Antarctica Female             1 5   6
Male             4 54   58
Total   1 1 37 450 1150 43 8 59 21 1770
Job classification, gender and location - 2005 (as at 30 June 2005)
Location Gender Classification Total
Secretary PEO SES 1–3 EL 1–2 APS 1–6 RS 1–3 AMP 1–2 AE 1–3 LO 1–3 PAO 1–4
Australian Capital Territory Female     10 204 497       1 15 727
Male 1 1 24 263 253 2     4 4 552
Jervis Bay Territory Female       3 12           15
Male       3 16           19
Northern Territory Female       12 96           108
Male     3 13 133 5         154
New South Wales Female       2             2
Male                     0
Norfolk Island Female                     0
Male         6           6
Western Australia Female       1 2           3
Male       2 1           3
Indian Ocean territories Female         4           4
Male       1 13           14
Victoria Female       2             2
Male       1 1           2
Queensland Female       3 1           4
Male       3             3
South Australia Female       1             1
Male       3             3
Tasmania Female     1 17 98 6 1     1 124
Male     5 48 114 35 3       205
Antarctica Female             2 6     8
Male             3 38     41
Total   1 1 43 582 1247 48 9 44 5 20 2000
Full-time employees under the Public Service Act 1999 - 2004 (as at 30 June 2004)
Division Ongoing Non-ongoing Total by gender Total
Male Female Sub-total Male Female Sub-total Male Female
Parks Australia 133 63 196 39 28 67 172 91 263
Australian Antarctic Division 149 59 208 93 25 118 242 84 326
Department—other divisions 364 425 789 40 49 89 404 474 878
Department total 646 547 1 193 172 102 274 818 649 1467
Full-time employees under the Public Service Act 1999 - 2005 (as at 30 June 2005)
Division Ongoing Non-ongoing Total by gender Total
Male Female Sub-total Male Female Sub-total Male Female
Parks Australia 130 67 197 35 20 55 165 87 252
Australian Antarctic Division 150 61 211 67 29 96 217 90 307
Department—other divisions 468 563 1 031 41 57 98 509 620 1129
Department total 749 692 1 441 143 106 249 892 798 1688
Part-time employees under the Public Service Act 1999 - 2004 (as at 30 June 2004)
Division Ongoing Non-ongoing Total by gender Total
Male Female Sub-total Male Female Sub-total Male Female
Parks Australia 4 15 19 60 60 120 64 75 139
Australian Antarctic Division 4 7 11 8 11 19 12 18 30
Department—other divisions 20 86 106 10 16 26 30 102 132
Department total 28 108 136 78 87 165 106 195 301
Part-time employees under the Public Service Act 1999 - 2005 (as at 30 June 2005)
Division Ongoing Non-ongoing Total by gender Total
Male Female Sub-total Male Female Sub-total Male Female
Parks Australia 3 16 19 53 56 109 56 72 128
Australian Antarctic Division 6 7 13 5 8 13 11 15 26
Department—other divisions 30 96 126 10 20 30 40 116 156
Department total 39 118 157 68 84 152 107 202 310

Employment agreements

All senior executive service employees have Australian workplace agreements. The department offers Australian workplace agreements to all ongoing substantive Executive Level 1 and 2 employees, and to ongoing employees with equivalent classifications. Australian workplace agreements are offered to other employees on a case-by-case basis.

The department’s other Australian Public Service employees—the bulk of its workforce—are covered by either the department’s certified agreement or the Australian Antarctic Division’s certified agreement.

The independent legal status of the Australian Greenhouse Office and the National Oceans Office as executive agencies ended on 26 October 2004 and staff of both agencies became employees of the department from 27 October 2004 (see footnote, page 8). Under machinery of government arrangements, salary levels for employees moving into the department were maintained under Regulation 8 of the Public Service Act 1999. From 27 October 2004 the department’s certified agreement covered employees who were previously covered by the Australian Greenhouse Office certified agreement. The department offered new Australian workplace agreements to former Australian Greenhouse Office and National Oceans Office employees who were on Australian workplace agreements with those agencies.

Number of employees under various types of employment agreements (as at 30 June 2005)
Type of agreement Classification Total
SES non-SES
Australian workplace agreements 43 462 505
Certified agreement (department) 0 1221 1221
Certified agreement (Australian Antarctic Division) 0 272 272
Total 43 1955 1998
Notes:
  • ‘SES’ stands for senior executive service and includes the Chief of Division position in the Australian Antarctic Division.
  • These figures exclude the secretary and the Director of National Parks (classed as a Principal Executive Officer) as they are not employed under the certified agreements or an Australian workplace agreement. When these are included total number of staff is 2 000 (c.f. table on page 219 ‘Job classification, gender and location - 2005’).
  • The certified agreement (department) figure includes employees of the Australian Greenhouse Office and the National Oceans Office transferred to the department on 27 October 2004.
  • Australian workplace agreement figures include the Australian Antarctic Division, the Australian Greenhouse Office and the National Oceans Office. The figures for Australian workplace agreements do not include employees on temporary transfer to another agency who would otherwise be covered by an Australian workplace agreement.
  • All figures include staff on leave without pay and irregular or intermittent employees.
Base salaries - excluding the Australian Antarctic Division (as at 30 June 2005)
Classification Certified agreement Australian workplace agreement
Australian Public Service Level 1–2 $30 447–$39 421  
Australian Public Service Level 3 $40 267–$44 346  
Australian Public Service Level 4 $45 133–$48 704  
Australian Public Service Level 5 $49 394–$52 944  
Australian Public Service Level 6 $53 873–$62 347  
Executive Level 1 $67 552–$75 059 $67 519–$86 331
Executive Level 2 $77 913–$91 285 $77 913–$100 706
Public Affairs Officer 1 $45 133–$52 945  
Public Affairs Officer 2 $57 505–$63 559  
Public Affairs Officer 3 $71 060–$88 331 $71 060–$88 331
Senior Public Affairs Officer 1–2 $91 285–$95 865 $91 285–$98 865
Legal Officer $41 290–$62 347  
Senior Legal Officer $67 552–$82 194 $67 552–$82 194
Principal Legal Officer $88 331–$93 617 $88 331–$96 617
Research Scientist $57 505–$75 059 $57 505–$75 059
Senior Research Scientist $77 913–$92 839 $77 913–$95 839
Principal Research Scientist $94 395–$105 706 $94 395–$108 706
Senior Principal Research Scientist $111 720–$121 817 $111 720–$124 817
Senior Executive Service 1   $101 000–$117 012
Senior Executive Service 2   $121 000–$143 827
Senior Executive Service 3   $156 909–$182 140
Notes:
  • Includes salaries offered in the Australian workplace agreements of the National Oceans Office and the Australian Greenhouse Office.
  • Senior executive service employees may access a further salary point, subject to continuing high performance.
  • Does not include salaries for Principal Executive Officer position or the secretary, as they are not employed under the certified agreement or an Australian workplace agreement.
Base salaries - Australian Antarctic Division (as at 30 June 2005)
Classification Certified agreement Australian workplace agreement
Australian Antarctic Division Band 1 $31 564–$34 491  
Australian Antarctic Division Band 2 $35 526–$41 027  
Australian Antarctic Division Band 3 $41 182–$43 688  
Australian Antarctic Division Band 4 $45 001–$49 174  
Australian Antarctic Division Band 5 $50 650–$53 345  
Australian Antarctic Division Band 6 $55 345–$62 290  
Executive 1 $70 110–$74 380 $70 801–$75 124
Executive 2 $81 275–$97 050 $82 088–$98 021
Research Scientist $55 345–$74 380 $64 801–$75 124
Senior Research Scientist $76 610–$97 050 $77 376–$98 021
Principal Research Scientist $99 961–$109 230 $100 961–$110 322
Senior Principal Research Scientist $115 884–$126 630 $117 043–$127 896
Antarctic Medical Practitioner Level 1 (Head Office) $91 480–$102 959 $92 395–$103 989
Antarctic Medical Practitioner Level 2 (Head Office) $106 049–$115 884 $107 109–$117 043
Expeditioner Band 1 $43 527–$58 285  
Expeditioner Band 2 $53 571–$72 299  
Expeditioner Band 3 $74 406–$85 320  
Antarctic Medical Practitioner Band 1 $105 161–$117 809  
Senior Executive Service 1   $101 000–$117 012
Senior Executive Service 2   $121 000–$143 827
Senior Executive Service 3   $156 909–$182 140
Note:
  • Senior executive service employees may access a further salary point, subject to continuing high performance.
Certified agreements

The certified agreement for staff (excluding the Australian Antarctic Division) began operating on 1 July 2004 with a nominal expiry date of 30 June 2006. At 30 June 2005, the agreement covered 1 221 employees.

The agreement continues to support staff in balancing their work and personal lives and includes a competitive remuneration framework of pay and conditions. Under the agreement staff received a 4 per cent pay increase in July 2004, in recognition of improved productivity.

Following extensive negotiations with staff and unions, the certified agreement for employees in the Australian Antarctic Division was certified and commenced operation on 24 December 2004. The agreement covers 272 staff, the majority of the division’s employees, and has a nominal expiry date of 24 December 2006. In recognition of productivity measures introduced in the agreement, staff received a 4.45 per cent pay increase from certification. The new agreement also includes a commitment to assist employees to enhance their health and well-being.

Australian workplace agreements—executive level

Most agreements for executive level employees feature:

Australian Antarctic Division agreements for executive level employees and medical practitioners include specific provisions covering:

Performance pay for employees up to Executive Level 2
Performance pay statistic Classification
APS 1–6 Executive Level 1 Executive Level 2
2004–05 2003–04 2004–05 2003–04 2004–05
Number of performance payments 11 148 194 86 154
Average performance pay $2 597 $4 621 $4 533 $6 201 $5 580
Range of performance pay $1 135–$3 715 $210–$8 404 $491–$9 519 $1 176–$10 586 $999–$10 893
Total paid $28 562 $683 987 $879 341 $533 327 $859 299
Notes:
  • ‘APS’ stands for Australian Public Service.
  • Performance pay bonuses for the 2002–03 appraisal cycle were paid during 2003–04. Performance pay bonuses for the 2003–04 appraisal cycle were paid during 2004–05.
  • Payments shown for executive level employees in 2003–04 do not include payments made to employees of the National Oceans Office and the Australian Greenhouse Office, which were then not part of the department.
  • Payments for Australian Public Service 1–6 employees apply only to employees of the Australian Greenhouse Office and National Oceans Office who were paid in 2004–05 prior to those agencies being brought into the department.
Australian workplace agreements—senior executive level

The department’s Australian workplace agreements for its senior executive service employees are comprehensive agreements that normally last two years. To ensure it remains competitive with other employers, the department reviews its senior executive service remuneration framework prior to renewing these agreements. The department uses the Mercer Senior Executive Service Remuneration Survey and other remuneration sources to determine the framework.

Agreements for senior executive service employees provide base pay, performance pay and other benefits, such as a maintained vehicle and home-based computing.

The nominal expiry date for current senior executive service Australian workplace agreements is 30 June 2005. A revised agreement, including a revised remuneration framework, will be offered to all ongoing senior executive service employees and employees on long-term temporary reassignment of duties.

Remuneration for senior executive service employees is based on the following principles:

From time to time the secretary reviews this remuneration framework.

The payment of a performance bonus is based on the individual’s performance during an appraisal cycle. All senior executive service employees are eligible for the payment of a bonus but payment is subject to continuing high performance. The current Senior Executive Service Performance Pay Guidelines provide for a percentage of base salary bonus to be paid. This is calculated after the assessment of the employee and is usually paid in the first quarter of the following financial year.

Performance pay for senior executive service employees
Performance pay statistic Classification
SES Bands 2 and 3 SES Band 1
2003–04 2004–05 2003–04 2004–05
Number of performance payments 12 10 25 31
Average performance pay $10 791 $11 455 $7 303 $7 932
Range of performance pay $5 144–$13 566 $7 156–$14 658 $1 549–$8 897 $2 309–$11 277
Total paid $129 495 $114 553 $182 585 $245 898
Notes:
  • ‘SES’ stands for senior executive service.
  • Performance pay bonuses for the 2002–03 appraisal cycle were paid during 2003–04. Performance pay bonuses for the 2003–04 appraisal cycle were paid during 2004–05.
  • Some payments were made on a pro-rata basis as employment did not span the full appraisal period.
  • Payments shown for 2003–04 do not include payments made to employees of the National Oceans Office and the Australian Greenhouse Office, which were then not part of the department.
  • Payments shown do not include the Principal Executive Officer or the secretary.

Performance management

In response to the staff survey results the department reviewed its performance and development scheme. Key immediate changes include:

Further issues arising from the review will be considered by the Workforce Management Committee during the coming year.

The revised scheme will be implemented from 1 July 2005.

Judy Lai

Judy Lai is one of the department’s graduate recruits for 2005. She has a postgraduate degree in environmental and resource management but has previously worked in the fields of financial management and management consulting.

Judy writes: ’One of the key attractions of the department is the range of issues it covers. After joining the graduate programme I worked on marine reef protection, governance structures and hazardous wastes. I am very excited about the ongoing challenge of working on diverse environmental matters, and the learning opportunities this presents.’ Judy is now working on inland waters issues.

Learning and development

Effectiveness of ongoing strategies

Graduate programme: Each calendar year the department recruits graduates from various academic disciplines, offering them a year of professional development through training programmes and work rotations. Existing departmental employees also have the opportunity to participate in this programme. In 2004 15 graduates participated in the programme and the majority were placed in positions. In 2005 18 graduates were recruited. The programme continues to increase the diversity and depth of talent in the department’s workforce while introducing fresh ideas and attitudes to the workplace. The department is exploring options to increase the number of law, economics and commerce applicants for the graduate programme.

Online learning: The department continued to use online learning to assist employees in learning to use computer applications. The department will extend this strategy during 2005–06 to include its orientation and occupational health and safety programmes. In early 2005 the department began an online security awareness training programme. All employees who apply for a security clearance must complete and pass the training before they receive their clearance.

Cultural diversity programmes: The department has cross-cultural and cultural diversity development programmes to enhance the appreciation of cultural diversity. Employees participating in these programmes can broaden their understanding of Indigenous and other cultural groups and gain experience in collaborating with these groups.

New strategies

Individual learning: As part of the department’s performance and development scheme, individual employees must complete learning plans with their supervisor, to identify learning needs and solutions related to the work they are required to complete under their performance agreement. The staff survey raised some concerns about the lack of links between the learning plans and the wider divisional and departmental development programmes. As a result, the learning plans have been redesigned to clearly identify both the learning needs and the solutions. In addition, procedures have been put in place to ensure the agreed learning solutions are passed on to the support units within each division and the department’s learning and development team, to be taken into account in their planning for both divisional and departmental development programmes.

Leadership and management: To prepare employees for leadership or managerial roles the department is creating two programmes based on the Integrated Leadership Strategy developed for the Australian Public Service: the Management Supervisory Model and the Leadership Model. These models define the department’s expectations of its managers and leaders and will be implemented in 2005–06.

Mobility and development: A mobility and development programme for the department’s Executive Level 2 employees was implemented with eight participants in 2004–05. The programme aims to broaden the leadership skills, experience and opportunities of employees at this level.

Work–life balance

The department remains committed to the work–life balance of its employees. The department’s certified agreements offer a range of leave provisions which assist employees to meet work and outside work commitments.

As part of the 2004–2006 Certified Agreement the department is conducting a feasibility study into the provision of childcare services for employees located in Canberra and Darwin.

The department involves its staff in decision-making processes through informal and formal mechanisms such as workshops, surveys, the department’s Consultative Committee and relevant sub-committees.

Occupational health and safety

This section is presented in accordance with the requirements of section 74 of the Occupational Health and Safety (Commonwealth Employment) Act 1991.

The department is committed to preserving the health, safety and welfare of its staff and any other persons at or near work sites.

The department’s Occupational Health and Safety Policy aims to provide and maintain a safe and healthy workplace in line with the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety (Commonwealth Employment) Act 1991. The department works to achieve high standards of occupational health, safety and rehabilitation in all its work locations and operations by providing a safe system of work to prevent work-related injuries and illnesses.

Under its Rehabilitation Policy and guidelines, the department supports injured and ill employees and provides an early return to work programme.

The department’s Canberra-based Occupational Health and Safety Committee meets regularly to address a wide range of issues. Each of the mainland national parks, other departmental offices on the mainland and in Tasmania, and the Antarctic stations maintain local occupational health and safety committees to address site-specific issues.

A network of health and safety representatives looks after the health and welfare of employees within designated workgroups throughout the department. On appointment, all health and safety representatives undergo Comcare-approved training to enable them to fulfil their roles.

Agreements with employees

During the year the department developed a new Occupational Health and Safety Policy and Agreement for its non-Antarctic operations. The Australian Antarctic Division has a separate Occupational Health and Safety Agreement.

The new agreement was developed through consultation with management and the involved unions. The agreement recognises a sharing of responsibilities and the commitment of all parties to maintaining health and safety in the workplace, with the aim of minimising the human and financial costs of injury and illness through active prevention strategies.

Routine support for employees

The following measures undertaken during the year are routine support that the department provides for its employees.

Measure Results

Orientation sessions to inform new employees of occupational health and safety legislation, responsibilities and procedures

Australian Antarctic Division: conducted 7 orientation sessions

Rest of the department: 193 employees attended sessions

Training for those employees who become first aid officers and health and safety representatives

Australian Antarctic Division: no new first aid officers required; all wintering Antarctic expeditioners attended first aid training; 6 health and safety representatives received appropriate training

Rest of the department: 44 first aid officers and 97 park rangers trained in first aid; 22 health and safety representatives received appropriate training

Ergonomic and work station assessments by in-house and external occupational therapists

Australian Antarctic Division: 102 assessments conducted—2 were in-house

Rest of the department: 184 assessments conducted—8 were in-house

Reimbursement of the costs of having eyesight tests for using screen-based equipment

Australian Antarctic Division: 37 tests paid for

Rest of the department: 41 tests paid for

Reimbursement of the costs of being screened for skin cancer and hearing loss, for field-based employees

Australian Antarctic Division: all Antarctic expeditioners have hearing tests undertaken as part of their recruitment medical, with no reimbursement involved

Rest of the department: reimbursement of $192

Employees Assistance Programme, which is also available to the families of employees

Australian Antarctic Division: 36 people used the service provided by consultants (OSA Group)

Rest of the department: 306 appointments made with Davidson Trahaire Corpsych, the provider, from 1 March 2004–28 February 2005 (Davidson Trahaire’s reporting cycle)

Testing and tagging of electrical equipment in the Canberra offices

793 items tested and tagged

Compensation and rehabilitation

Under the rehabilitation policy and guidelines, the department continued to provide support for injured and ill employees and provided an early return to work programme. The following table summarises activity in this area.

Measure Results

Return to work plans in place for injured staff

Australian Antarctic Division: 7 plans in place; 6 plans ceased

Rest of the department: 6 plans in place; 0 plans ceased

Response to workers compensation claims

Australian Antarctic Division: 21 new claims responded to; 26 ongoing claims in progress

Rest of the department: 54 new claims responded to; 82 ongoing claims in progress

Other measures taken during the year

The department undertook other measures during the year to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of employees and contractors as follows:

Number of reports under section 68 of the Act

Section 68 of the Occupational Health and Safety (Commonwealth Employment) Act 1991 relates to the requirement for employees to report to Comcare accidents or incidents that cause death or serious personal injury, incapacity, or that are otherwise dangerous. The following table illustrates the number of accidents or occurrences that were reported to Comcare under section 68 of the Act.

Workplace Number of reports
Canberra-based workplaces 5
Parks Australia remote workplaces 40
Australian Antarctic Division 6
Investigations conducted during the year

Two internal investigation reports relating to the department’s Antarctic operations were provided to Comcare; one remains outstanding. No directions were issued under section 45 of the Occupational Health and Safety (Commonwealth Employment) Act 1991, nor were any notices given under sections 29, 46 or 47 of the Act.

Commonwealth Disability Strategy

In the employer role, employment policies, procedures and practices of the department comply with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 . Recruitment information is available in electronic formats and contact details are provided should special assistance be required (www.deh.gov.au/jobs). The principle of reasonable adjustment (accommodating the additional needs of a person who can perform the inherent requirements of a job, where reasonable—such as providing a large computer screen for a person with impaired vision) is applied within the department. Learning and development programmes are accessible to employees with disabilities and, where appropriate, contain information on disability issues. Complaints and grievance mechanisms are in place and available to all employees.

The following table presents results against key performance indicators from the Commonwealth Disability Strategy. The department will implement an action plan on disability in 2005–06. The plan will apply to all employees and clients of the department.

Performance indicator Result

Recruitment information for potential job applicants is available in accessible formats on request

Applicants are requested to advise whether they require accessible formats when applying, and also asked to advise whether special arrangements are required for them during the recruitment process

Agency recruiters and managers apply the principle of reasonable adjustment

The department’s Recruitment and Selection Policy to be implemented on 1 July 2005 will require recruiters and managers to apply this principle

Training and development programmes consider the needs of staff with disabilities

All managers are responsible for ensuring the training and development needs of their staff are appropriately met

Training and development programmes include information on disability issues as they relate to the content of the programmes

Relevant information is included in cases where the department contracts training services from providers. Managers are responsible for monitoring whether information on disability issues is provided when referring staff to individual programmes provided on the private market

Complaints or grievance mechanisms, including access to external mechanisms, are in place to address issues and concerns raised by staff

The certified agreement sets out complete processes for complaints and grievances

These processes apply to all employees and situations