Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2011-15

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Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2011–15
“Our Government’s vision is that all Australians have the opportunity to participate in our society
and contribute to our nation”
The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP
Minister for Human Services and Minister for Social Inclusion
www.socialinclusion.gov.au
Foreword
I am pleased to introduce the Department of Human Services Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Strategy
2011–15.
This strategy is our formal commitment to a workplace culture that builds respect, fosters inclusiveness,
promotes diversity and embraces the unique skills and qualities of all our employees. The strategy is a clear
statement of the importance workplace diversity and inclusion plays in ensuring we adopt a citizen-centric
approach to everything we do. It defines the department’s direction and priorities for workforce diversity
and inclusion through until 2015.
The strategy reflects the Government’s Social Inclusion, Participation and Closing the Gap agenda and aims
to build a truly diverse and inclusive workplace which recognises the significant diversity within our
Australian community.
We hold a responsibility as a department of state that encompasses almost a quarter of the Australian Public
Service and have a unique opportunity to make a positive contribution in this area.
When it comes to workplace diversity and inclusion we must remain focussed upon driving change within
our department and beyond. We must continue to recognise the diversity of our customers and the capability
a diverse workforce provides us. It is good business practice to develop and invest in an inclusive workplace
that enables an organisation to achieve its goals and objectives.
The strategy sets the foundations for us to build an inclusive workplace culture where all employees are
valued and recognised for their unique qualities, ideas, voices and perspectives. This will enable us to fully
benefit from the significant skills and talent that exists within our workforce and ‘empowering everyone to
make their mark’.
I commend this strategy and look forward to working with you to achieve its objectives. Our ultimate
success will depend on everyone’s commitment to creating a truly inclusive working environment.
Kathryn Campbell
Secretary
Department of Human Services
6 October 2011
Introduction
The statement ‘empowering everyone to make their mark’ represents the overarching principles and
objectives of the Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2011–15. This strategy is for all employees
and aims to provide an environment which embraces diversity and fosters a workplace which is inclusive of
all Australians.
The strategy also reflects the importance the department places on harnessing the potential of all employees
and ensuring our workforce reflects and understands the backgrounds of our customers and the broader
Australian community.
A number of key government initiatives set the context within which this strategy has been developed:
•
the Government’s Social Inclusion, Participation and Closing the Gap Agenda
•
the Government’s commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with
Disabilities
•
the National Disability Strategy 2010–2020
•
the Australian Public Service (APS) Management Advisory Committee’s report Employment of
People with Disability in the APS
•
the National Mental Health and Disability Employment Strategy
•
the Access and Equity Strategy (coordinated by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship)
•
National Multicultural Policy.
Each person brings an array of immense knowledge and skills to our organisation. It is these qualities and
skills that enable us to adopt a citizen-centric approach to the development and delivery of quality services
to the community we serve. Workforce diversity provides organisations with a broader range of ideas and
insights into decision making, policy development and service delivery.
Organisations that value and capitalise on workplace diversity have productive and fulfilling workplaces that
assist them to attract and retain employees. This leads to savings in recruitment and training costs as well as
maintaining corporate knowledge and expertise. It also reduces the high costs associated with workplace
exclusion such as increased turnover, absenteeism and reduced productivity.
What is Workplace Diversity and Inclusion?
Workplace Diversity and Inclusion encompasses many positive aspects of life. It is about acknowledging the
diverse skills and perspectives that people may bring to the workplace because of their gender, age,
language, ethnicity, cultural background, disability, religious belief, sexual orientation, working style,
educational level, professional skills, work and life experiences, socio-economic background, job function,
geographical location, marital status and family responsibilities.
Workplace Diversity and Inclusion is about removing barriers to ensure all employees enjoy full
participation in a workplace which supports the development and achievement of well informed and
culturally appropriate business outcomes. It also involves recognising the value of individual differences and
managing them in the workplace.
We aspire to recognise and embrace the diversity each person brings to their workplace, creating an
environment of trust, mutual respect and appreciation which allows all employees to collaborate effectively
in the ongoing development and delivery of citizen-centric services to the Australian community.
Key outcomes
Increasing the diversity of our workforce
The department is committed to increasing the ratio of staff it employs from the following diversity groups:
•
•
•
•
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (employment target of five per cent by 2015)
People with disability
Mature age workers
People from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
Employee Plan for each of these groups will be developed during the first 12 months of this strategy. In
addition, specific recruitment strategies will also be developed for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and
people with disability. These documents will outline how our department will increase the ratio of staff
employed from these diversity groups. Given the government’s closing the gap agenda, the department has
continued to work towards a target of five per cent for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff by 2015.
Targets for other groups may be developed in the plans over the next 12 months.
Committing to action
The department is committed to workplace diversity and inclusion that reflects the significant diversity of
the community we serve and ‘empowering everyone to make their mark’. The actions our department will
implement to ensure we achieve this goal are outlined within this strategy.
Celebrating Workplace Diversity and Inclusion
We will take the time to acknowledge workplace diversity and inclusion and embrace the diversity each
person brings to their workplace. A calendar of key dates has been included within this strategy which
highlights opportunities for our department to reinforce the importance of workplace diversity and inclusion.
These events will be acknowledged and celebrated within our department.
Monitoring and reporting our performance
Our department will release an annual workplace diversity and inclusion report which summarises key
achievements and areas for improvement against this strategy.
Our guiding principles
The following principles underpin and guide the development and implementation of the Department of
Human Services Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2011–15:
Principle one—our employees are able to be the best they can be
We embrace the unique diversity, skills and qualities of our employees to assist us in developing a culturally
appropriate, safe, equitable and inclusive working environment. We strive for excellence and to be seen as
an ‘employer of choice’ for all Australians.
Principle two—our employees are treated fairly and with respect
We treat everyone fairly and equitably and we acknowledge our employees have a wealth of knowledge,
skills and ideas. We demonstrate appropriate workplace behaviours, we listen, engage, and understand our
employees and respond appropriately to their individual needs
Principle three—we are all responsible for workplace diversity and
inclusion
Workplace diversity and inclusion is everybody’s responsibility and we expect all staff to foster and
promote a work environment that is inclusive and reflects the significant diversity within the Australian
community we serve.
Principle four—we are accountable and monitor and measure
performance
Our accountability is our promise to ensure all employees understand the role they play in workplace
diversity and inclusion. Managers and leaders will be required to demonstrate this commitment through their
behaviours, the possible inclusion of actions within performance agreements, and also, through annual
workplace diversity and inclusion reports.
Serving a diverse community
Australia is a multicultural society of more than 21 million people from around 200 different countries. A
large number of these people will have contact with one or more of our services at some point during their
lives. Being one of the largest Australian Government service providers strengthens our responsibility to
workplace diversity and inclusion and a workforce which reflects the significant diversity within the
Australian community. This provides the capability to build and maintain effective connections with our
customers and their communities.
•
Australia’s population is ageing. The proportion of working age people is projected to fall, with only
2.7 people of working age to support each Australian aged 65 years and over by 2050 (compared to
five working aged people per aged person today and 7.5 in 1970)
•
Only 55 per cent of Indigenous peoples aged 15 years and over are participating in the workforce
•
Around 2.5 million Australians 15 years and over are caring (to a limited extent or as a primary
carer) for someone at home because of disability or old age
•
16.2 per cent of the population speak a language other than English at home
•
23.9 per cent of Australians are born overseas. With current and future migration, diversity will
continue to be a feature of the Australian population
•
Disability affects about one in five Australians to varying degrees and in various ways
The above statistics are from the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006 Census and “Australia to 2050: future
challenges” - 2010 Intergenerational Report (p8)
How we compare to the Australian Public Service
The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) reports annually on the representation of diversity
groups among ongoing and non-ongoing employees in the Australian Public Service (APS). The table below
compares our department to the broader APS:
Employment Group
APS
(as at 30 June 2010)
Department of
Human Services
(as at 31 May 2011)
Mature age workers (ongoing employees)
43.4%
34.8%
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
(ongoing and non-ongoing employees)
2.3%
3.1%
People with disability
(ongoing and non-ongoing employees)
3.1%
3.7%
Reporting our performance
The Public Service Act 1999 and Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 1999 require all APS agencies to
establish workplace diversity programs and report on these annually. To meet this requirement, the department
will develop an annual Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Report which summarises key achievements against
this strategy. The report will be based on input provided by work groups across our organisation.
Legal framework
The legal framework applying to agencies that employ staff under the Public Service Act 1999 reflects the
expectations of the Government and the community about a fair, inclusive and productive public service.
The general legal framework is as follows:
Age Discrimination Act 2004 – makes it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of age.
Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 – provides an avenue of redress for those alleging
discrimination and provides for the rights of these persons.
Disability Discrimination Act 1992 – makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person on the grounds of
disability (including a disease).
Equal Employment Opportunity Act 1987 (Commonwealth Authorities) – includes the requirement to
collect statistics for four target employment groups: women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,
people from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds and people with disability.
Fair Work Act 2009 – provides a safety net of minimum terms and conditions of employment through the
National Employment Standards (NES)..
Occupational Health and Safety (Commonwealth Employment) Act 1991 – all employers and employees
must maintain a secure, healthy and safe working environment. An employer must take practicable
precautions to prevent harassment.
Public Service Act 1999, Public Service Regulations 1999 and Public Service Commissioner’s Directions
– defines the scope and application of the APS Values, Code of Conduct and also, require Agency Heads to
establish workplace diversity programs and report on these annually.
Racial Discrimination Act 1975 – makes it unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of race, colour, national
or ethnic origin.
Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 – sets out the safety requirements for employers in
respect of their employees and also provides for compensation and rehabilitation for employees injured in
the workplace.
Sex Discrimination Act 1984 – makes it unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of a person’s sex, marital
status, pregnancy or potential pregnancy or to sexually harass another person.
Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2011–15: Action
Plan
Objective one: Workplace Diversity and Inclusion becomes everyone’s
responsibility
Outcome
Initiative / deliverable
Leadership
accountability
Workplace Diversity
and Inclusion is
integrated within the
department’s goals,
business strategy and
workforce planning
activities
Organisational workforce plans include diversity
employment measures
People Capability
Division
Workplace diversity and inclusion will be reflected within
organisation business planning processes
People Capability
Division
SES functional statements will reinforce the department’s
diversity and inclusion priorities
People Capability
Division
The department’s awards program will recognise
inspirational achievements relating to Workplace Diversity
and Inclusion
People Capability
Division
Workplace Diversity and Inclusion will be included within
induction, team leader and middle management training
People Capability
Division
A Workplace Diversity and Inclusion intranet page will be
developed
Communication
Division in
partnership with
People Capability
Division
Managers and staff will have access to diversity and
inclusion training including:
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Awareness
Disability Awareness and Confidence
Sexual Orientation Awareness
Assistive Technology Training
Cultural and Linguistic Diversity Awareness
People Capability
Division in
partnership with
People Services
Division
Communication plan developed to celebrate and
acknowledge the benefits of Workplace Diversity and
Inclusion
Communication
Division in
partnership with
People Capability
Division
We maintain corporate memberships with relevant not-forprofit employer organisations which provide access to
specialist knowledge on matters relating to Workplace
Diversity and inclusion
People Capability
Division
Workplace Diversity
and Inclusion is
embedded within our
day to day operations
Objective two: we promote our organisation as an employer of choice for
people from diverse backgrounds and improve our ability to attract, develop
and retain staff from these groups
Outcome
Initiative / deliverable
Entry level programs
provide open, fair and
transparent
opportunities for all
groups in the
community to apply
We provide career pathways for staff from diverse
backgrounds through mechanisms such as scholarships,
cadetships, apprenticeships and graduate program
placements and include employment targets for these
diversity groups
Leadership
accountability
People Capability
Division in
partnership with
business areas
We actively seek out potential candidates from key
diversity groups
We develop and retain
staff from key diversity
groups at all levels
Employee plans are developed which outline support
strategies and programs for the following employment
groups:
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
People with disability
Mature-age workers
People from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds
People Capability
Division
Our recruitment policy
and processes reflect
the needs of applicants
from diverse
backgrounds
Career websites, policies and processes are accessible
and reasonable adjustments are made during interview
and upon commencement
People Services
Division
Recruitment policies promote the use of Identified
Positions and Special Measures provisions in
recruitment exercises
People Capability
Division
We market our
organisation as an
employer of choice to
candidates from diverse
backgrounds
People from diverse backgrounds are highlighted on our
career pages, promotional literature and recruitment
publications and a diversity statement is included within
recruitment advertisements and job application kits
Communication
Division and Business
Solutions and Online
Strategy Branch in
partnership with
People Capability
Division
We advertise employment opportunities through a
variety of media sources, educational units and
community organisations to attract a broader pool of
candidates from diverse backgrounds
People Capability
Division and People
Services Division in
partnership with
business areas
Objective three: we support and empower employees to be able to make
their mark in the workplace
Leadership
accountability
Outcome
Initiative / deliverable
We place an
importance on codesigning workplace
diversity and inclusion
strategies with staff
We will maintain employee networks for staff with
disability, mature age workers and Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander peoples
People Capability
Division
We endeavour to have
a harassment and
discrimination free
workplace
We maintain a Harassment Contact Officer Network and
supporting policies, procedures, training and reporting
mechanisms
People Services
Division
An effective employee complaints handling procedure is in
place
People Services
Division
We provide staff with ready access to an Employee
Assistance Program
People Services
Division
Reasonable adjustment processes and associated support
material are developed and implemented and we
investigate and implement reasonable adjustments in a
timely manner
People Capability
Division and People
Services Division in
partnership with
business areas
We implement and promote an Injury Prevention and
Management Plan and relevant Occupational Health and
Safety policies
People Services
Division
Users of assistive technology are supported through a
dedicated Accessibility Support Unit
People Capability
Division
Graduates from key diversity groups will have access to
specific mentoring programs and the ability to participate
in mainstream programs
People Capability
Division
We work with the Australian Breastfeeding Association to
determine requirements for future accreditation
People Capability
Division
Employment provisions are included within our Enterprise
Agreement which support work/home balance and which
acknowledge and support individual cultural obligations
People Services
Division
We provide access to a Community Language Allowance
which recognises the specific skills staff from diverse
cultural and linguistic backgrounds bring to our
organisation when working in defined roles
People Capability
Division
We ensure all
employees receive
appropriate and timely
support and training in
order to undertake the
inherent requirements
of their job
Our workplace
environment provides
staff with the ability to
meet their cultural
obligations and
balance work and life
responsibilities
Objective four: we monitor and report the success of our Workplace
Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2011–15
Outcome
Initiative / deliverable
Leadership
accountability
Staff share their
diversity information
with our organisation
and trust us to use this
information
appropriately
Diversity indicators are included within our human
resources systems and processes. We build an
understanding of the reasons why this information is
required and manage it in accordance with the relevant
privacy laws
People Services
Division in
partnership with
People Services
Division
We conduct an annual diversity census which
encourages staff to disclose their diversity information
People Capability
Division
We conduct regular reviews of our separation rates for
key diversity groups including:
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
People with disability
Mature-age workers
People from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds
We publish an annual
report which outlines
the success of our
strategies and highlights
areas where we can
improve
Achievements will be acknowledged within the annual
Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Report, and reported
annually to the Australian Public Service Commission
People Capability
Division
We monitor
performance against
this strategy and
provide regular updates
to our Senior Executive
Diversity data is included within senior executive
workforce reports and employment targets could be
established if required and approved
People Capability
Division
The department’s annual People Survey and the APS
State of the Service report will be used to monitor and
measure our performance
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