The Commission's workforce

Management of human resources

The Commission directs its staffing resources to where they will deliver the greatest benefit.

2014–15 saw new opportunities for innovative service delivery by Commission staff.

As part of the ongoing Future Directions change program administrative staff participated in a pilot program under which they assessed a portion of enterprise agreement applications in a small number of industries to provide assistance to Members regarding whether to approve an agreement.

Following an external review, from 1 July 2015 a greater range of enterprise agreement approval applications will be progressively referred to the pilot.

Similarly, adopting the established model used for unfair dismissal applications, Commission staff participated in a pilot program for conducting preliminary conciliations for general protections applications involving dismissal.

These initiatives were in addition to the new anti-bullying jurisdiction which commenced on 1 January 2014 and which had its first full year of operation in 2014–15.

To create efficiencies, including the greater use of online forms, compliance with superannuation processing changes, enhanced reporting capability and freeing up time for payroll staff to concentrate on more value-added human resources functions, on 30 June 2015 the Commission transitioned its payroll function to an external service provider.

The interim arrangements for recruitment in the APS, introduced in October 2013, continued to impact upon the Commission's ability to engage ongoing staff. The number of non-ongoing staff grew to 68 as at 30 June 2015 (up from 40 as at 30 June 2014). The majority of staff members engaged in 2014–15 had tertiary qualifications in law, helping to build a more agile workforce with skills that were in demand across all four branches.

In the next reporting period the Commission will undertake a systematic review of its structure, roles and responsibilities in line with APS frameworks to ensure a contemporary and agile workforce which is best placed to support the delivery of its functions into the future.

This will be followed in future years by the development and ongoing implementation of a workforce plan with particular emphasis upon development of skills and capabilities through training, learning and development and talent management.

Commission staffing

At 30 June 2015, the Commission employed a total of 328 staff (ongoing and non-ongoing). This is an increase of 22 staff from the total number of ongoing and non-ongoing staff at 30 June 2014, reflecting in part the number of initiatives under which Commission staff undertook work previously performed by Commission Members. Also an increased number of staff, included in the Table 38 totals, were on paid or unpaid long-term leave arrangements.

Table 38: Geographic deployment of staff
Location 30 June 2014 30 June 2015
Victoria 208 226
New South Wales 55 54
Queensland 16 18
Western Australia 11 11
South Australia 8 10
Tasmania 3 3
Australian Capital Territory 3 4
Northern Territory 2 2
Total 3061 3282
  1. Includes the General Manager (a statutory appointee under the Fair Work Act), 14 employees on long-term leave with or without pay and one employee on a temporary movement to another APS agency.
  2. Includes the General Manager (a statutory appointee under the Fair Work Act), and at 30 June 2015 22 employees on long-term leave with or without pay.

During 2014–15, 75 new employees (ongoing or non-ongoing) commenced employment and 53 employees (ongoing or non-ongoing) departed the Commission.

Of the new employees, two were ongoing movements from other APS agencies, five were temporary movements of ongoing employees from other APS agencies and 68 were non-ongoing engagements. New employees in 2014–15 were spread across the branches, with the largest number of new staff being recruited by Victorian Registry, the Member Support Team, the Unfair Dismissals Case Management Team and New South Wales Associates Team.

Table 39: Recruitment activity during 2014–15
Type No. State No.
Ongoing (including ongoing movements from other APS agencies) 2 VIC 2
Temporary moves from other APS agencies 5 VIC 2
NSW 1
SA 2
Non-ongoing 68 VIC 41
NSW 15
QLD 6
ACT 3
WA 1
SA 1
NT 1
Total 75    

Separations

During 2014–15, a total of 53 employees left the Commission – 15 ongoing employees and 38 non-ongoing employees. The reasons for separation are indicated in Table 40.

Table 40: Staff reason for separation
Reason for separation Ongoing Non-ongoing Total %
Resignation 12 15 27 50.9
Retirement on the grounds of ill-health 1 1 1.9
Return to other APS agency after completion of a temporary move 1 1 1.9
Ongoing movement to other APS agency 1 1 1.9
Cessation of non-ongoing engagement n/a 23 23 43.4
Total 15 38 53  

Flexible work

The Commission provides flexible working arrangements to help employees balance work and other responsibilities including:

  • Part-time work – at 30 June 2015, 34 ongoing employees and two non-ongoing employees worked part-time. This was an increase of one on the number of part-time employees as at 30 June 2014.
  • Home-based work – during 2014–15, six employees had home-based work agreements to combine ongoing work commitments with parental responsibilities and/or personal circumstances. This was the same figure as for the 2013–14 year.
Table 41: Employment status and gender by APS Level
Classification Salary range
(as applicable from FWA Agreement)
Ongoing
full-time
Ongoing
part-time
Non-ongoing1 Total
  $ Male Female Male Female Male Female  
General Manager Remuneration Tribunal 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
SES Band 1 Individual 2 2 0 0 0 0 4
Executive Level 2 116,094–135,869 17 16 3 6 2 2 46
Executive Level 1 100,688–108,694 2 10 0 3 2 1 18
APS Level 6 79,094–90,983 40 62 1 13 3 0 119
APS Level 5 73,029–77,397 6 14 0 4 8 17 49
APS Level 4 65,508–71,089 20 26 1 3 6 20 76
APS Level 3 58,836–63,446 0 4 0 0 2 5 11
APS Level 2 52,284–57,259 2 2 0 0 0 0 4
Total   89 137 5 29 23 45 328
  1. Two non-ongoing employees work part-time.

Staff demographics

Indigenous employment

The Commission currently has one staff member who identifies as Indigenous. During the reporting period this staff member was on secondment from another agency, however they have since become an ongoing staff member.

Table 42: Senior executive and executive level employees by classification and gender
Classification Female Male Total
Executive Level 1 14 4 18
Executive Level 2 24 22 46
SES Band 1 2 2 4
Total1 40 28 68
  1. Fair Work Commission has 31 conciliators employed at EL2 and EL1 levels (6 part-time) with specialist skills but the role is not in a management capacity.
Table 43a: Location and gender by classification – female
Female VIC NSW QLD WA SA TAS ACT NT Total
General Manager 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
SES Band 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
Executive Level 2 14 5 1 1 2 1 0 0 24
Executive Level 1 11 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 14
APS Level 6 50 12 5 4 1 1 1 1 75
APS Level 5 19 9 4 1 2 0 0 0 35
APS Level 4 43 3 0 2 0 1 0 0 49
APS Level 3 0 1 2 2 1 0 2 1 9
APS Level 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
Total 141 31 14 10 7 3 3 2 211
Table 43b: Location and gender by classification – male
Male VIC NSW QLD WA SA TAS ACT NT Total
General Manager 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
SES Band 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
Executive Level 2 14 5 1 1 1 0 0 0 22
Executive Level 1 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 4
APS Level 6 38 5 0 0 1 0 0 0 44
APS Level 5 8 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 14
APS Level 4 19 5 2 0 1 0 0 0 27
APS Level 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 2
APS Level 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
Total 85 23 4 1 3 0 1 0 117