Annual Report 2016-17

Annual performance statement

 

https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/documents/annual_reports/ar2017/fwc_annual_report_1617_part_3_1.pdf

I, Bernadette O'Neill, as the accountable authority of the Fair Work Commission, present the 2016–17 annual performance statements of the Fair Work Commission, as required under paragraph 39(1)(a) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act). In my opinion, these annual performance statements are based on properly maintained records, accurately present the performance of the entity in the reporting period, and comply with subsection 39(2) of the PGPA Act.

Signature: Bernadette O'Neill (General Manager)

21 September 2017

Bernadette O'Neill
General Manager

Purpose

As Australia's national workplace relations tribunal, the Commission's primary purpose is to exercise its functions and powers in accordance with the Fair Work Act. The Commission must do so in a manner that:

  • is fair and just
  • is quick, informal and avoids unnecessary technicalities
  • is open and transparent
  • promotes harmonious and cooperative workplace relations.

Activity one: Powers and functions are exercised in accordance with the Fair Work Act 2009

Intended results:

  • The community understands the role of the Commission and recognises it as an independent and expert workplace relations tribunal.
  • The Commission is accessible to all Australians, recognising the community's diverse needs and expectations.
  • The Commission is efficient, accountable and transparent.

Results against performance criteria

Table 2 shows the results against the performance criteria and targets set out in the Commission's 2016–17 portfolio budget statements and the 2016–17 corporate plan.

Table 2: Annual performance statements—results for Activity One
Performance criteria Target Result
Survey all parties to individual matters following a staff conference or conciliation Survey 80% of parties Achieved.
At least 80% of survey respondents in individual matters, following a staff conference or conciliation, are satisfied that their conference conciliator was even-handed At least 80% of survey respondents satisfied 84% of survey respondents satisfied.
Report on the activities that involved consultation with users about improving service delivery Report on activities Report completed.
At least 80% of survey respondents in individual matters, following a staff conference or conciliation, found the information easy to understand At least 80% of survey respondents agree 80% of survey respondents agree.
At least 80% of survey respondents in individual matters, following a staff conference or conciliation, are satisfied with the relevance of information provided by the Commission At least 80% of survey respondents satisfied 84% of survey respondents satisfied.
At least 75% of survey respondents in individual matters, following a staff conference or conciliation, are satisfied with information provided by the Commission about its processes At least 75% of survey respondents satisfied 79% of survey respondents satisfied.
Establish a report on use of technology that improves access to the Commission's services, including hearings and conferences Establish a report Report established.
Improve or maintain the time elapsed from lodging applications to finalising conciliations in unfair dismissal applications 34 days 34 days.
Annual wage review to be completed to enable operative date of 1 July Publication by 30 June Completed on 6 June 2017.
Improve or maintain the agreement approval time 32 days 32 days.

Analysis of performance against intended results

In 2016–17, the Commission surveyed 80 per cent of parties to individual matters following a staff conference or conciliation. Survey responses consistently met or exceeded targets, with 84 per cent of respondents being satisfied that their conference conciliator was even-handed, 80 per cent finding information easy to understand and 84 per cent being satisfied with the relevance of the information provided by the Commission. Some 79 per cent of survey respondents were satisfied with the Commission's information about its processes.

The Commission has improved the way in which it reports on its key technology services, including the new telephony system, video conferencing services and the website that was launched on 8 July 2016. Improved internal reporting will assist the Commission in continuing to enhance access to its services through technology.

In 2016–17, the Commission met the target of a median of 34 days between lodgment and conciliation of unfair dismissal applications. In 2016–17, 14,135 unfair dismissal applications were lodged and Commission staff conducted 13,172 conciliation conferences, 310 more conferences than in 2015–16. The 34-day target was maintained in 2016–17, despite the modest increase in the number of conciliation conferences.

The Commission completed the annual wage review on 6 June 2017, more than three weeks before the target date of 30 June 2017.

In 2016–17, the Commission met the target of a median of 32 days for enterprise agreement approval times. In 2016–17, the Commission finalised 5,606 applications for approval of an enterprise agreement, an increase of 157 applications from the previous year.

The increase in approval times in 2016–17, compared to 2015–16, is partly attributable to the rigorous process undertaken by the agreement triage team for determining whether statutory requirements are met. One impact is that a significantly higher number of enterprise agreements are being approved with written undertakings than in previous reporting periods. It takes the Commission longer, on average, to approve agreements with written undertakings, which often involve extensive communication with the applicant. In addition, internal resourcing pressures for staff who assist the Commission in assessing enterprise agreement approval applications contributed to delays in the approval process, but these issues have now been addressed.

The delay in the passage of the Fair Work Amendment (Repeal of 4 Yearly Reviews and Other Measures) Bill 2017 has also adversely impacted the Commission's timeliness in approving agreements. In anticipation of the Commission being given retrospective capacity to remedy some non-compliant applications, the Commission has given applicants the option of deferring its consideration of an application where it identifies minor or technical errors in the application. This has meant that, in some cases, the Commission has deferred consideration of applications since early May 2017.

In the year ahead, the Commission will focus on improving our timeliness performance in agreement approval applications.

Activity Two: Powers and functions are exercised in accordance with the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009

Intended result:

  • The Commission is an effective and proactive regulator of registered organisations.

Results against performance criteria

Table 3 shows the results against the performance criteria and targets set out in the Commission's 2016–17 portfolio budget statements and the 2016–17 corporate plan. These measures are for the first 10 months of the reporting period: 1 June 2016 to 30 April 2017. Detailed information and analysis on the results achieved is reported in the Fair Work Ombudsman 2016–17 annual report.

Table 3: Annual performance statements—results for Activity Two
Performance criteria Target Result
95% of financial reports required to be lodged under the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 are assessed for compliance within 40 days 95% assessed within 40 days 100% assessed within 40 days.
Registered organisations demonstrate high levels of compliance with legislative obligations High levels of compliance

98% of financial reports lodged within statutory timeframes.

99% of annual returns lodged within statutory timeframes.

The Commission meets performance targets set out in the Regulator Performance Framework Regulator Performance Framework targets met Performance targets met.

Analysis of performance against intended results

The most significant change to the Commission's operating environment in 2016–17 was the transfer of functions and staff from the Regulatory Compliance Branch to the Fair Work Ombudsman as a result of the establishment of the ROC on 1 May 2017. Many functions that were previously exercised by the Commission's General Manager under the Registered Organisations Act, including conducting investigations into the finances and financial administration of registered organisations and the commencement of associated proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia, are now exercised by the ROC.

The functions that were transferred to the ROC are reported in the Fair Work Ombudsman 2016–17 annual report.

The Commission exceeded its target for assessment of financial reports in 2016–17. The Commission's effectiveness in assisting registered organisations to achieve high levels of voluntary compliance was demonstrated by the high number of financial reports and annual returns lodged by registered organisations within statutory timeframes.

Activity Three: Organisational capability is enhanced

Intended result:

  • The Commission is a highly skilled and agile organisation in which its people, processes, systems and technology are aligned to deliver high-quality, efficient and effective services to the community.

Results against performance criteria

Table 4 shows the results against the performance criteria and targets set out in the Commission's 2016–17 corporate plan.

Table 4: Annual performance statements—results for Activity Three
Performance criteria Target Result
90% of performance and development plans specify individual and/or organisational professional development goals 90% 94%
Majority of registry staff have completed the required learning management system modules Majority of registry staff

97% completed the communication skills module.

88% completed the anti-bullying jurisdiction module.

At least 30% of staff are provided with an opportunity to experience work outside their usual role, participate in a cross organisational project or be involved in a service improvement project At least 30% of staff provided with an opportunity 46% of staff were provided with an opportunity.

Analysis of performance against intended results

Activity Three underpins the Commission's effective performance of its functions and powers under legislation, through the enhancement and ongoing development of the Commission's people, culture, systems and processes.

As part of our employee performance management framework, employees develop an annual performance and development plan in consultation with their managers.

In 2016–17, the Commission developed new communications and technical learning modules to ensure that Registry staff continue to provide high-quality frontline services to members of the public, including parties to matters and their representatives. The completion rates for both training modules were high.

In 2016–17, nearly 50 per cent of the Commission's staff had the opportunity to expand their skills and take on new challenges by working in, or with, other parts of the Commission—opportunities which encourage innovation, collaboration and service excellence.

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