Chapter Five > Performance against People Matter Priorities for 2003-04 > page 2 of 4

Performance against People Matter Priorities for 2003-04

Develop a Civilian Certified Agreement to replace the Defence Employees Certified Agreement 2002-03

Achieved

The Defence Employees Certified Agreement 2004-06 was finalised prior to the expiry of the 2002-03 agreement and commenced on 1 January 2004. The agreement provides for a 10 per cent increase in pay over the period.

The agreement builds on the principles-based employment framework introduced in the previous certified agreement, with particular focus on:

  • improving the linkages between individual performance and organisational outcomes;
  • strategies to attract and retain employees in identified critical employment categories;
  • work-life balance initiatives, including encouraging employees to take credited leave; and
  • support for ongoing reform, particularly in relation to travel and administrative support.

Where appropriate, the Defence Employees Certified Agreement 2004-06 and the ADF Workplace Remuneration Arrangement 2004-06 were developed simultaneously, in order to achieve productivity savings across Defence. Travel reform, both arrangements and allowances, and remote locality entitlements were particularly suited to this unified approach.

Develop a Replacement Workplace Remuneration Arrangement for the ADF

Achieved

The Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal set in place a new workplace remuneration arrangement for the ADF in March 2004. The new arrangement is effective from May 2004 to November 2006 and will provide for a 10 per cent increase in pay during this period.

Review of Australian Defence Force Remuneration

Achieved

In 2001, the Review of Australian Defence Force Remuneration 2001 (the Nunn Review) was undertaken. The review resulted in a report, Review of Australian Defence Force Remuneration 2001, for consideration by the Minister for Defence and the Minister for Finance and Administration. Following a period of further consultation within Defence, the Government considered the Defence response to the report in March 2004. Recommendations in the response were accepted, including that essential pay reform continue to be progressed through the Defence Remuneration Reform Project. The intended outcomes of the project are broadly consistent with the major recommendations in the Nunn Review, regarding the reform of allowances in the nature of pay and the introduction of more flexible pay structures for ADF members.

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Develop a Phased Approach to Remuneration Reform in the ADF

Partially Achieved

Remuneration reform is being progressed in three phases:

  • Phase 1, the identification of the components of complex environmental allowances was completed in February 2003;
  • Phase 2 arrangements completed to superannuate the qualification and skill elements of specified allowances; and
  • Phase 3, the development of a flexible pay structure for officers in association with the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal and the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations.

Develop a Whole-of-Defence Strategic Occupational Health and Safety Plan

Achieved

The Defence Occupational Health and Safety Strategic Plan was completed in February 2004 and funds were allocated for its implementation over the next ten years. The plan, which is now being implemented, sets out Defence's occupational health and safety policy and establishes priority areas for action. Defence occupational health and safety is discussed in detail later in this chapter.

Develop an Occupational Health and Safety Management System

Partially Achieved

Development of the Occupational Health and Safety Management System is guided by the Strategic Occupational Health and Safety Management Plan. The system will improve Defence's ability to systematically manage occupational health and safety. The Behavioural Baseline Research Project, which is the first step in the development of the system, is well advanced. Analysis of the project results will provide Defence with a picture of influences on occupational health and safety behaviour and where intervention will have the most impact.

Introduce the New Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Scheme

Achieved

The Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 was passed by Parliament and received Royal Assent in April 2004. The Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Scheme, administered by the Department of Veterans' Affairs, provides rehabilitation and compensation coverage under one scheme for all forms of ADF service from 1 July 2004.

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Promote Family Friendly Policies:

Implement Policies to Generate Awareness of Work-Life Balance

Achieved

Following the Government's consideration of the recommendations of the Nunn Review, provision was made in March 2004 for ADF members to choose to take maternity leave at rates of 24 weeks on half pay, 12 weeks on full pay, or a mixture of both.

Measures have been put in place to ensure that ADF members use their annual leave each year so they can spend time with family and friends away from the workplace.

The Defence Employees Certified Agreement 2004-06 continues to provide family friendly policies for APS employees, including:

  • access to flexible working hours;
  • access to part-time and home-based work;
  • flexible leave provisions, including parental leave;
  • stronger encouragement for employees to utilise their annual leave each year;
  • assistance with costs for dependant care where job demands impose additional dependant-care costs;
  • access to the use of childcare provided by Defence, where places are not taken by the ADF; and
  • the continued availability of the employee assistance program where employees, and in some instances their immediate families, can access counselling services.

Introduce a Trial ADF Spouse Employment Assistance Program

Achieved

The 'Services Workforce Access Program for Partners' trial was launched in October 2003 and includes five initiatives:

  • workforce access through a national recruitment agency;
  • assistance through local transition to work providers;
  • funding of childcare costs;
  • funding of up to $1,000 per partner for training; and
  • very remote locality internet access.

Services Workforce Access Program for Partners initiatives were accessed on 522 occasions and feedback about the program has been positive. An evaluation of the program will be presented to the Defence People Committee in April 2005.

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Access of Families to the Defence Library Service via the Internet

Achieved

The Defence library website was launched in September 2003 and provides 24-hour access for Defence employees and their families from work, home and overseas. The website connects the Defence community with information addressing work, study and special interest needs, access to information of interest to Defence families and support for education studies by family members. Since its launch, 1,371 Defence families have accessed the website.

Implement Recommendations from Research on the Impact of Mobility of the ADF on Education Outcomes of Children

Partially Achieved

Following completion of the report Changing Schools: Its Impact on Student Learning, Defence and the Department of Education, Science and Training agreed in 2002 to jointly commission two further studies on student mobility: one to consider approaches to improve the transfer of student information between schools and the other to identify best practice approaches to supporting students who change schools. The studies were completed in 2004.

Establish more Childcare Centres in Areas of High Need within Australia

Partially Achieved

A five-year childcare expansion initiative was developed in 2001-02 to increase the number of childcare centres and places in areas where the local communities are unable to support Defence childcare needs. Plans were developed in 2002-03 for new centres in East Sale, Williamtown, Puckapunyal and Holsworthy. Construction is planned to commence in 2004-05.

The Community Centre Program

Achieved

A new community centre at the Royal Military College of Australia, Duntroon, was opened in November 2003. The centre provides improved facilities to help families of Defence personnel access services such as childcare, adult education and information about postings, health, housing and employment.

Initiatives to Improve Accommodation for ADF Members

Partially Achieved

A review of housing standards for ADF members with dependants was undertaken in February 2004 and recommendations regarding the new standards will be made to the Government later in 2004. The Single Living Environment and Accommodation Precinct project has been initiated to deliver quality accommodation on bases. Funding of $113.1m for the next four years has been provided for this project. The Rental Allowance Scheme is being extended with additional funding of $243.3m, thus enabling 10,600 ADF members without dependants to live off-base by 2006.

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