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Chapter 9 People Management



This chapter provides an overview of people management activities within the ARC including the following:

  • a profile of ARC staff, as at 30 June 2015
  • workforce planning
  • flexible conditions of employment
  • access to training and development opportunities
  • safe and healthy work environment
  • development of a supportive workplace culture.

The ARC strives to constantly foster a highly performing and productive workforce that achieves results. In managing its human resources, the ARC aims to provide its employees with a workplace where:

  • they know what is expected of them
  • the workplace is safe and they are treated fairly
  • their skills and contribution are recognised and valued
  • training and development support career progression
  • they can work harmoniously with others.

2014–15 highlights


During the year the ARC:

  • received the results of the 2013–14 State of the Service census which showed that there was increased satisfaction in several areas of work compared to the previous year
  • introduced an e-Learning capability
  • launched the ARC Workplace Diversity Programme
  • had no work health and safety notifications or investigations.

Operating context

During the year:

  • there were specific staff hire arrangements in place for the Australian Public Service
  • a new Public Sector Workplace Bargaining Policy was in place to guide preparation of new enterprise agreements across the Australian public service.

Staff statistics

Detailed staff statistics are provided in Part 5, Appendix 10, including: ARC employees by classification level, full-time/part-time status, gender and employment arrangements; and staff separations by classification level and employment category.

At 30 June 2015 the ARC had 115 staff, of which:

a chart showing staff statistics


Workforce planning

The ARC undertakes a workforce planning exercise each year as part of internal budget deliberations. While the ARC is a small agency, it endeavours to maximise opportunities for staff by enabling staff rotations within the organisation, providing targeted training opportunities, ensuring relevant knowledge management and sharing processes are in place and succession planning. In 2014–15 staff turnover figures continued to improve with 10 separations compared to 16 in 2013–14 (Table A 10.4).

Employment arrangements

During 2014–15 the ARC employed staff under a range of different arrangements.

Non-SES staff

Enterprise agreement

The current ARC Enterprise Agreement expired on 30 June 2014. The Australian Government Public Sector Workplace Bargaining Policy was released in March 2014. Consultation with staff is currently underway in preparation for a new Enterprise Agreement.

Australian Workplace Agreements

At 30 June 2015, four non-Senior Executive Service (SES) staff continued to be covered by Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs). These AWAs were in place prior to the changes to the Workplace Relations Act 1996, which stipulated that no new AWA may be entered into on or after 13 February 2008.

Individual flexibility arrangements

Employees covered by the ARC Enterprise Agreement 2011–14 may agree to make an Individual Flexibility Agreement (IFA) to vary the effect of terms of the agreement. IFAs within the ARC generally deal with retention allowances or remuneration allowing the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to remunerate specialised employees based on market forces and experience.

Section 24(1) determinations

Under Section 24(1) of the Public Service Act 1999, the CEO can make determinations to offer staff remuneration or conditions that supplement those available under an enterprise agreement or AWA in order to avoid disadvantage. Section 24(1) determinations used in the ARC are individual arrangements and in general provide for a specified retention allowance. The ARC Enterprise Agreement 2011–14 obviates the need for new determinations, although existing determinations will continue.

SES staff

Common law contracts

Employee arrangements under common law contracts set the terms and conditions for SES staff. As at 30 June 2015 there were four Common Law Contracts in place for SES staff.


Non-SES staff

Salary ranges for non-SES staff reflect the various workplace arrangements outlined above. The 2014–15 salary ranges are listed in Table 9.1.

Table 9.1: Salary ranges of non-SES staff by classification (at 30 June 2015)


Salary range

Executive Level 2

$111 082 – $166 794

Executive Level 1

$92 557 – $122 003


$72 483 – $84 186


$65 467 – $71 951


$60 261 – $63 682


$53 604 – $56 646


$47 997 – $52 142


$45 730 – $46 900

SES staff

Individual common law contracts determine the nature and amount of remuneration provided to SES employees. Remuneration is reviewed annually taking into account the individual's personal skills, knowledge, experience and capabilities as well as achievements against goals set in the preceding performance cycle.

At 30 June 2015 the notional salary range for SES Band 1 and Band 2 officers was between $170 000 and $285 000. In the Financial Statements, Note 15 provides additional information on executive remuneration in 2014–15 (see Part 4).

Performance pay

The ARC does not provide access to performance pay.

Non-salary benefits

The ARC offered a range of non-salary benefits in 2014–15 including: flu vaccinations, a health allowance, superannuation advice, and access to salary packaging arrangements.

Training and development


During the year all new employees were required to attend three induction programmes: Introduction to the ARC; Introduction to the APS; and Introduction to Administrative Law. The ARC also provided in-house training to staff on:

  • financial management in the APS
  • project management
  • planning and managing change
  • coaching and developing others
  • Public Interest Disclosure
  • security.

In May 2015 the ARC introduced eLearning, using a system called LearnHub created by the Australian Government's Shared Services Centre. More information about the LearnHub is provided in the case study below.


The ARC spent a total of $110 400 on learning and development activities, including formal training programmes and studies assistance, in 2014–15 (Table 9.2). On average the ARC spent $961 per person (based on 115 employees) on training and development—with an average attendance of two days face to face training per person. The ARC spent a total of $8 799 on studies assistance for 11 staff members to undertake studies approved under the ARC Studies Assistance Guidelines during 2014–15.

Table 9.2: Training and development by classification, 2014–15




Days used







1 871

Executive Level 1–2



66 481

APS 1–6



33 249




101 601

Safe and healthy work environment

Under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act), agencies are required to report in their annual report on the following matters:

  • initiatives taken during the year to ensure the health, safety and welfare of workers who carry out work for the ARC
  • health and safety outcomes achieved as a result of the initiatives mentioned
  • statistics of any notifiable incidents of which the ARC became aware during the year that arose out of the conduct of businesses or undertakings by the agency
  • any investigations conducted during the year that related to businesses or undertakings conducted by the ARC, including details of all notices given to the entity during the year under Part 10 of the WHS Act
  • such other matters as are required by the guidelines approved on behalf of the Parliament by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit.

Health and safety initiatives

The ARC held Work Health and Safety Committee meetings and continued to provide: first aid training to nominated first aid officers within the ARC; employer-subsidised eyesight testing for screen-based work; training for fire wardens and health and safety representatives; influenza vaccinations to employees and contractors; workstation assessments; mental health awareness training; and health checks.

Health and safety outcomes

One incident was reported to the Director, People and Services, in accordance with the department's incident notification and reporting procedures.

Notifiable incidents

Under the WHS Act, a notifiable incident is one involving death of a person, serious injury or illness of a person, or a dangerous incident. The ARC had no notifiable incidents during 2014–15.

Investigations including details of all notices

Under the WHS Act, improvement, prohibition or non-disturbance notices may be issued to the agency. The ARC was not issued with any notices and there were no investigations undertaken during 2014–15.

Any other matters

There are no other matters required by the guidelines.

State of the Service census results

icon people

Each year the Australian Public Service Commission publishes a State of the Service report. The report draws on a range of information sources including a survey sent to all Australian Public Service (APS) agencies employing 20 or more staff under the Public Service Act 1999 and the results of an APS employee survey.

The results of the 2014 census highlighted the ARC's strengths and weaknesses compared to other APS agencies. The profile of staff, together with the results of the survey, provided the ARC with a valuable resource to assist in staff planning.

Eighty-three per cent of ARC staff participated in the 2014 State of the Service census. At the time the survey was conducted 76 per cent of staff indicated that they felt they were valued for their contribution (compared to an APS-wide percentage of 44).


The ARC performed more strongly than the overall APS in most areas, but particularly in the following:

  • 90 per cent of ARC respondents considered the ARC to provide access to effective learning and development (compared to an APS-wide average of 62 per cent)
  • 73 per cent of ARC respondents felt that communication between senior leaders and employees was effective (compared to an APS-wide average of 42 per cent)
  • 88 per cent of ARC respondents regarded the ARC's workplace culture supports people to achieve a good work-life balance (compared to an APS-wide average of 66 per cent)
  • 79 per cent of ARC respondents believed ARC senior leaders engaged with staff on how to respond to future challenges (compared to an APS-wide average of 47 per cent).

Opportunities for improvement

The 2014 census identified the following areas for improvement in the agency:

  • supervisor training
  • time management.

ARC Workplace Diversity Programme

icon people

A key priority in the ARC Strategic Plan for 2014–15 to 2016–17 was to build a positive, forward thinking and sustainable agency, including by: recognising and valuing staff skills and contributions.

The ARC Workplace Diversity Programme (WDP) 2015–19 was published on the ARC intranet in February 2015. It is an overarching programme that incorporates the ARC's diversity policies and plans, including the Discrimination and Harassment-free Workplace Policy, Reconciliation Action Plan and Agency Multicultural Plan.

Implementation of the ARC's WDP and its strategies is the responsibility of all ARC employees. The three key strategies are:

  • improve our ability to attract, recruit and retain people of diverse backgrounds and targeted under-represented diversity groups
  • strengthen a respectful and positive work environment and culture through awareness, promoting diversity events and work life balance
  • improve our understanding of workplace diversity issues through consultation, leadership and teamwork.

In February 2015, the ARC made significant progress in addressing each of the above strategies when it launched its REFLECT Reconciliation Action Plan. The plan recognises the value of the diverse skills and backgrounds of ARC employees, consultants, suppliers and the Australian community, including those of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent.

The official launch was celebrated at an ARC all-staff meeting where Aunty Agnes Shea, Ngunnawal elder and traditional custodian of the ACT and surrounding region, conducted an official Welcome to Country. At the event the ARC CEO Professor Aidan Byrne discussed the details of the REFLECT Reconciliation Action Plan and guest speaker, Mr Russell Taylor, Principal of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, discussed the importance of the plan to our community.

As a part of the celebrations, ARC staff were invited to contribute to creating a memento by placing their hand print on a canvas to represent their commitment to diversity. Greg Joseph, an artist from the Yidinji Peoples, completed the memento by adding a painting overlay of 'The Dance of the Brolga' and 'Corroboree'. The two artworks were unveiled during National Reconciliation Week and now hang in two meetings rooms of the ARC.


icon people

A key priority in the ARC Strategic Plan for 2014–15 to 2016–17 was to build a positive, forward thinking and sustainable agency, including by: providing training and development to support career progression.

In May 2015, the ARC introduced a new Learning Management System called Learnhub.

Learnhub is an APS-wide initiative created by the Shared Services Centre (Australian Government Department of Education and Training/Department of Employment partnership) that provides a suite of APS focused e-Learning, approved where possible by the relevant policy agency and accredited via the Open Badges Standard of recognition.

Learnhub has allowed the ARC to access a highly customisable and cost effective solution to deliver a range of training courses electronically. Learnhub is also cloud hosted, so it is readily accessible to ARC staff from any device in any location.

Through Learnhub, the ARC can now:

  • deliver essential modules on APS and ARC policies and processes as part of a suite of APS Core Skills Corporate training
  • use e-learning to support the ARC's Corporate Training Workshops
  • deliver training to meet APS compliance obligations
  • provide staff with access to a range of APS endorsed training resources.