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Chapter 7 - Strategic Workforce Management


Workforce summary

Defence budgets for its Australian Defence Force (ADF) workforce on a ‘funded strength’ basis and the Australian Public Service (APS) workforce on a full-time equivalent (FTE) basis. Defence uses actual FTE as the most accurate indicator of current staffing levels. By contrast, workforce planning is based on average funded strength (for the ADF) and average FTE (for the APS workforce) for the financial year. These averages, while suitable for planning and budgeting purposes, are lag indicators against the actual end-of-year figures.

Defence also records some statistical data by headcount, in which all personnel are counted equally, regardless of the number of hours worked, and the figures include all personnel recorded as on duty or on leave, full-time or part-time, and with or without pay. This statistical basis is used for gender information, employment categories and location. Defence does not base its workforce planning on headcount figures.

Implementation of First Principles Review recommendations

The First Principles Review recommended that Defence be clear and deliberate about its workforce requirements and ensure that staff are appropriately skilled. To support implementation of the First Principles Review and Defence White Paper capabilities, key workforce initiatives in 2016–17 included:

  • the development of the Defence Strategic Workforce Plan 2016–2026, which provides the strategic direction and defines the system for the future Defence workforce. It outlines initiatives to address risks and other issues that were identified after analysis of the environment and workforce
  • the completion of Group and job family workforce plans, which was informed by a skills census across the 20 job families in the APS. These plans will assist in driving recruitment, learning and development, and succession planning and talent management, including in occupations involving science, technology, engineering and mathematics
  • the review of ADF positions in non-Service Groups. The purpose of the review was to ensure Defence employs ADF personnel in non-Service roles only when it is critical to achieving capability.

A core theme of the First Principles Review was leadership accountability, with an emphasis on the organisation being ‘One Defence’. Over the past 12 months, the focus has been on embedding the One Defence leadership behaviours within the Senior Leadership Group (Figure 7.1).

Figure 7.1: One Defence leadership behaviours

Figure 7.1: One Defence leadership behaviours


Key achievements include:

  • a new approach to Senior Executive Service performance appraisals, which places greater emphasis on leadership behaviour, particularly people management and the demonstration of the One Defence leadership behaviours
  • Senior Leadership Group role charters, which articulate the accountabilities for every senior leadership position in Defence, and when mapped out across the organisation, align to form a complete picture of what Defence needs to do in order to deliver on Government requirements
  • a 360-degree feedback program for senior leaders, which provides feedback against the One Defence leadership behaviours, including an individual development plan to assist the leader in focusing on specific areas requiring development
  • an annual upward feedback process for the Senior Leadership Group, so that direct reports provide feedback to their second-level supervisor on the performance and people leadership of their first-level supervisor over the performance period
  • a leadership ‘climate scan’, which provides workforce data specific to each senior leader’s team, to support conversations around organisational performance. The tool is used by senior leaders and their managers to discuss areas that warrant further focus in terms of improving organisational performance.

The One Defence leadership behaviours have been incorporated into all enterprise leadership and development programs to instil stronger accountability for delivering One Defence outcomes.

Over the next 12 months, Defence will maintain the focus on continuing organisational change to achieve a stronger performance culture. This includes building on the Pathway to Change cultural reform program and the First Principles Review reforms through a new cultural intent statement and six enterprise priorities for driving cultural reform from 2017 through to 2022.

Workforce planning

This section provides information on average workforce strength during 2016–17. Like other Commonwealth agencies, Defence uses average workforce strength figures for planning and budgeting purposes.

Australian Defence Force

ADF staffing figures for 2015–16 and 2016–17 are shown in Table 7.1.

Table 7.1: Australian Defence Force staffing figures, 2015–16 and 2016–17

ADF staffing measure 1,2
2015–16
2016–17
Variation
For workforce planning purposes:
Actual funded strength (paid strength as at 30 June)
58,578
58,612
+34
Average funded strength (over the financial year)
58,061
58,680
+619
For other statistical data:
Permanent headcount (on duty/leave and paid/unpaid)
58,014
58,206
+192

Notes:

  1. Funded strength figures include the ADF Gap Year. For consistency with other tables in this chapter, the headcount figures do not include the ADF Gap Year, which had 395 participants on 30 June 2016, rising to 457 participants on 30 June 2017.
  2. Funded strength figures do not include the Reserve workforce other than those on continuous full-time service, who are paid through the same mechanism as Permanent Force members. For consistency with other tables in this chapter, the headcount figures do not include Reserve members.

Table 7.2 details ADF Permanent Force average funded strength for 2016–17, which includes Reserves on continuous full-time service. ADF strength was 58,680 in 2016–17, an increase of 619 from 2015–16. Average funded strength for Reservists on continuous full-time service was 823 (comprising Navy 290, Army 447 and Air Force 86)—a decrease of 103 from 2015–16.

Table 7.2: ADF Permanent Force, and Reserves undertaking continuous full-time service, average funded strength, 2015–16 and 2016–17

 
2015–16 actual
2016–17 budget estimate 1
2016–17 revised estimate
2016–17 actual
Variation (2016–17 revised estimate and actual
 
No.
%
Navy
14,232
14,394
14,219
14,077
−142
−1.0
Army
29,635
30,430
30,309
30,314
+5
0.0
Air Force
14,194
14,385
14,295
14,289
−6
0.0
Total average funded strength
58,061
59,209
58,823
58,680
−143
−0.2

Note: Figures in this table are average strengths; they are not a headcount. Reservists undertaking continuous full-time service are included in the figures. Members on forms of leave without pay are not included.

Notes:

  1. As published in the Portfolio Budget Statements 2016–17.
  2. As published in the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2016–17.

ADF enlistments and separations

The permanent ADF headcount increased by 192 in 2016–17; this reflects the net difference between enlistments and separations.

The ADF enlisted 5,462 permanent members, made up of 3,927 men and 1,535 women, for the 12 months to 30 June 2017. This was 33 more enlistments than in 2015–16.

ADF enlistments can be categorised as ab initio (those with no prior military service) or prior service enlistments. Of the 5,462 ADF permanent members enlisted, 936 entrants had prior military service in either the Reserves, the Gap Year program, another Service or another country, or had previous Permanent Force service. There were 4,526 ab initio entrants.

Tables 7.3 and 7.4 provide comparative information about ADF Permanent Force separations over the last two years.

Table 7.3: ADF Permanent Force, 12-month rolling separation rates, as at 30 June 2016 and 30 June 2017

12-month rolling separation rate (%)

30 June 2016

30 June 2017

Navy

7.7

9.6

Army

10.1

10.2

Air Force

5.3

6.0

Total ADF Permanent Force

8.3

9.0

Table 7.4: ADF Permanent Force separations, 2015–16 and 2016–17

Voluntary separations1
Involuntary separations2
Age retirement
Trainee separations
Total
2015–163
Navy Officers
117
32
7
51
207
  Other ranks
477
182
2
211
872
Army Officers
251
67
26
117
461
  Other ranks
1,303
661
14
538
2,516
Air Force Officers
140
54
16
41
251
  Other ranks
324
106
21
61
512
Total ADF
Permanent Force
Officers
508
153
49
209
919
  Other ranks
2,104
949
37
810
3,900
  Total
2,612
1,102
86
1,109
4,819
2016-17
Navy Officers
144
37
12
64
257
  Other ranks
607
304
3
170
1,084
Army Officers
225
90
5
94
414
  Other ranks
1,312
804
17
525
2,658
Air Force Officers
160
53
9
33
255
  Other ranks
381
147
28
46
602
Total ADF
Permanent Force
Officers
529
180
26
191
926
  Other ranks
2,300
1,255
48
741
4,344
  Total
2,829
1,435
74
932
5,270

Note: Figures in this table show Permanent Force headcount numbers (substantive headcount). Reserves undertaking continuous full-time service are not included. Classifications are not mutually exclusive, and an individual is placed in only one group. ADF members commencing leave or leave without pay are not included.

Notes:

  1. ‘Voluntary’ includes voluntary redundancies and resignations.
  2. ‘Involuntary’ primarily comprises members who are medically unfit, unsuitable for further duty, who died while serving or who were part of ‘management-initiated early retirement’, which is now called ‘command-initiated transfer to the Reserve’.
  3. Data for 2015–16 does not match the data provided in the Defence Annual Report 2015–16 due to retrospective transactions.

ADF Reserves

The number of days each ADF Reserve member works in a year can vary substantially, depending on personal circumstances and organisational need. To reflect this, Table 7.5 shows both the total number of days served by Reserve members in 2016–17, and the number of Reservists who rendered paid service.

During 2016–17, there was a decrease of 22,455 days’ service over 2015–16 to a total of 967,063 (104,445 Navy, 653,458 Army and 209,160 Air Force), while the number of Reservists undertaking service increased by 296 to 19,634 (1,777 Navy, 14,579 Army and 3,278 Air Force).

As Table 7.5 shows, the number of days served by both Navy and Air Force Reserve members was higher than forecast (by 4.4 per cent and 2.5 per cent respectively), while the variation for the Army was minimal.

Table 7.5: ADF Reserve paid strength, 2015–16 and 2016–17

 
2015–16 actual: days served (members paid)

2016–17 budget estimate1: days served (members paid)

2016–17 revised estimate2: days served (members paid)

2016–17 actual: days served (members paid)

Variation (2016–17 revised estimate and actual)

 
No.
%

Navy

101,729
81,000
100,000
104,445
+4,445
4.4
(1,803)
(1,760)
(1,800)
(1,777)
−23
−0.0

Army

684,673
700,000
660,000
653,458
−6,542
−1.0
(14,402)
(14,250)
(14,500)
(14,579)
+79
0.5

Air Force

203,116
190,000
204,000
209,160
+5,160
2.5
(3,133)
(3,100)
(3,100)
(3,278)
+178
5.7
Total paid Reserves
989,518
971,000
964,000
967,063
+3,063
0.3
(19,338)
(19,110)
(19,400)
(19,634)
+234
1.2

Note: As the number of days or hours worked by Reserve members can vary greatly, figures in this table show the total number of days’ service rendered, with a headcount of members rendering paid service in brackets. Reservists undertaking continuous full-time service in the Permanent Force are not included in this table; they are included in Table 7.2.

Notes:

  1. As published in the Portfolio Budget Statements 2016–17.
  2. As published in the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2016–17.

Australian Public Service workforce

APS staffing figures for 2015–16 and 2016–17 are shown in Table 7.6.

Table 7.6: Australian Public Service staffing figures, 2015–16 and 2016–17

APS staffing measure
2015–16
2016–17
Variation
For workforce planning purposes:
Actual full-time equivalent (paid strength as at 30 June)
17,423
17,308
−115
Average full-time equivalent (over the financial year)
18,071
17,269
−802
For other statistical data:
Headcount figure (on duty/leave, full-time or part-time, paid/unpaid)
18,577
18,397
-180

Note: Figures include both ongoing and non-ongoing APS employees.

Table 7.7 shows details of the APS workforce average strength, expressed as average FTE, for 2016–17. The APS average strength was 17,269 in 2016–17. This was a decrease of 802 from the 2015–16 figure of 18,071. As Table 7.8 shows, there was a decrease in the APS workforce, as measured on the last payday in 2016–17, of 192 FTE staff compared to the 2016–17 revised estimate of 17,500—the lowest workforce level since 2001–02.

The reduction occurred through continuing reforms to Defence’s business practices and service delivery model, which laid the foundation for a rebalancing of the workforce through 2016 Defence White Paper initiatives, and to meet the recommendations of the First Principles Review.

Table 7.7: APS workforce, average full-time equivalent, 2015–16 and 2016–17

 
2015–16 actual

2016–17 budget estimate1

2016–17 revised estimate2
2016-17 actual
Variation (2016–17 revised estimate and actual)
   
No.
%

Total APS

18,071
17,950
17,350
17,269
−81
−0.5

Note: These figures are average full-time equivalent; they are not a headcount.

  1. As published in the Portfolio Budget Statements 2016–17.
  2. As published in the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2016–17.

Table 7.8: APS workforce, end-of-year full-time equivalent, 2015–16 and 2016–17

 
2015–16 actual

2016–17 budget estimate1

2016–17 revised estimate2
2016-17 actual
Variation (2016–17 revised estimate and actual)
 
No.
%

Total APS

17,423
18,200
17,500
17,308
−192
−1.1

Note: Figures in this table are actual full-time equivalent for the last payday of 2016–17. Employees on forms of leave without pay are not included. The figures differ from Table 7.7, as that table shows the average full-time equivalent across the full year.

  1. As published in the Portfolio Budget Statements 2016–17.
  2. As published in the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2016–17.

Contractor workforce

Defence’s contractor workforce was 2,037 as at 30 June 2017.

APS recruitment and separations

Defence recruited 1,366 APS employees during 2016–17, including 284 as part of the graduate program.

The APS headcount decreased by 180, which reflects the net difference between recruitment and separations (Table 7.9). The majority of separations were due to resignation or retirement from Defence.

Table 7.9: APS separations, 2015–16 and 2016–17

 

Voluntary redundancy1
Involuntary separations2
Resignation/ retirement3
Transfers4
Total
2015–165
Senior Executive Service
2
32
4
38
Executive Levels 1 and 2
573
22
278
121
994
Other levels
74
63
854
238
1,229
Total APS
649
85
1,164
363
2,261
2016–17
Senior Executive Service
1
9
6
16
Executive Levels 1 and 2
50
13
265
58
386
Other levels
127
71
816
130
1,144
Total APS
178
84
1,090
194
1,546

Note: Figures in this table show ongoing and non-ongoing headcount numbers (substantive headcount).

Notes:

  1. Voluntary redundancies are those that are program initiated.
  2. Involuntary figures include breach of code of conduct, invalidity retirement, involuntary redundancies, lack of qualifications, non-performance, term probation and death.
  3. Resignation/retirement figures include resignation, retirement (minimum age and Senior Executive Service) and completion of non-ongoing.
  4. Transfers are those who have transferred to other government departments.
  5. Some 2015–16 figures have been adjusted from what was reported in the Defence Annual Report 2015–16 to account for retrospective transactions.

Actual staffing

This section provides workforce information as at 30 June 2017 and outlines changes in the workforce that occurred during 2016–17. Tables 7.10 to 7.16 include numbers of people, employment categories, locations and gender information. The information is based on headcount.

At 30 June 2017, Defence had a permanent workforce of 76,470, comprising 58,206 permanent ADF members and 18,264 ongoing APS employees (Table 7.10). An additional 133 APS employees were employed on a non-ongoing basis.

The Reserve headcount increased by 320 to 21,694 (including those members on continuous full-time service). The total ADF workforce was 79,900, and included 16,480 Navy permanent and Reserve members, 43,962 Army permanent and Reserve members, and 19,458 Air Force permanent and Reserve members. At 30 June 2017, 995 Reservists were also Defence APS employees.

Table 7.10: Defence workforce headcount, as at 30 June 2016 and 30 June 2017

 
Navy
Army
Air Force
ADF1
APS2
Headcount 30 June 2016
14,023
29,652
14,339
58,014
18,577
Additions
975
3,581
906
5,462
1,366
Separations
1,341
3,072
857
5,270
1,546
Headcount 30 June 2017
13,657
30,161
14,388
58,206
18,397
Change
−366
509
49
192
−180

Note: Figures in this table show headcount numbers (substantive headcount)

  1. ADF figures are for permanent members and do not include Reserves, Reservists undertaking continuous full-time service, or ADF Gap Year participants.
  2. APS figures include paid and unpaid employees, which covers full-time, part-time, ongoing and non-ongoing employees.

Table 7.11: Defence workforce by employment location, as at 30 June 2017

NSW
VIC1
QLD
SA
WA
TAS
NT
ACT2
O/S3
Total
Permanent Force4
Navy
6,635
1,274
788
154
2,407
18
578
1,627
176
13,657
Army
5,290
3,285
12,779
1,585
884
60
3,175
2,832
271
30,161
Air Force
4,599
982
3,152
2,028
288
11
949
2,048
331
14,388
Subtotal
16,524
5,541
16,719
3,767
3,579
89
4,702
6,507
778
58,206
Reserves5
Navy
791
251
353
104
227
104
77
911
5
2,823
Army
3,600
2,509
3,209
1,244
1,457
428
418
932
4
13,801
Air Force
1,214
420
1,433
482
269
60
124
1,068
5,070
Subtotal
5,605
3,180
4,995
1,830
1,953
592
619
2,911
9
21,694
Total ADF
22,129
8,721
21,714
5,597
5,532
681
5,321
9,418
787
79,900
APS6
Total APS
2,746
3,582
1,315
2,034
476
69
267
7,865
43
18,397

Note: Figures in this table show headcount numbers (substantive headcount).

  1. Victorian figures include individuals located in Albury, NSW.
  2. ACT figures include individuals located in Jervis Bay (Commonwealth), Queanbeyan (NSW) and Bungendore (NSW).
  3. Individuals posted overseas for reasons including long-term duty, training, exchange and liaison.
  4. Includes paid and unpaid members.
  5. Includes Reserves on continuous full-time service.
  6. Includes paid and unpaid employees, which covers full-time, part-time, ongoing and non-ongoing employees. The 30 June 2017 figures for the APS include 995 APS employees who are also counted as Reserve members.

Figure 7.2: ADF and APS workforce snapshot, as at 30 June 2016 and 30 June 2017

Figure 7.2: ADF and APS workforce snapshot, as at 30 June 2016 and 30 June 2017

Note: ADF figures are actual funded strength as at 30 June. APS figures are actual full-time equivalent as at 30 June.

Table 7.12: Star-ranked officers, as at 30 June 2017

  Star-ranked officers 2016–17 promotions 2016–17 separations
 
Men
Women
Total
Men
Women
Total
Men
Women
Total
Four-star
Navy
Army
Air Force
1
1
Three-star
Navy
3
3
Army
1
1
Air Force
1
1
Two-star
Navy
10
10
1
1
2
2
Army
20
2
22
2
1
3
Air Force
12
2
14
4
4
1
– 1
 
One-star
Navy
32
5
37
8
1
9
8
1
8
Army
47
10
57
8
3
11
11
11
12
Air Force
38
42
42
15
15
43
1
5
Total
165
23
188
38
5
43
26
3
28

Notes:

  1. Includes separation of one Reserve brigadier on continuous full-time service.
  2. Includes one Reserve air commodore on continuous full-time service.
  3. Includes separation of one air commodore relinquishing temporary rank.

Table 7.13: APS Senior Executive Service employees, as at 30 June 2017

  Total SES1 2016–17 engagements2,3 2016–17 separations2,4
 
Men
Women
Total
Men
Women
Total
Men
Women
Total
Senior Executive
Secretary
1
1
Band 3
6
2
8
2
2
Band 25
21
7
28
2
2
1
1
Band 16
58
33
91
5
4
9
7
2
9
Chief of Division
Grade 2
6
2
8
2
1
3
Grade 1
2
2
Senior Executive
Relief staff7
17
8
25
Total
110
52
162
7
4
11
13
3
16

Notes:

  1. Figures in this table show actual employee numbers at their substantive level, but not staff on long-term unpaid leave.
  2. Gains and losses do not reflect movement of officers between levels in each of the Senior Executive Service and Chief of Division streams.
  3. Engagement figures include new engagements and transfers from other agencies only.
  4. Separation figures include resignations, retirements, redundancies, and promotions and transfers to other departments.
  5. Senior Executive Service Band 2 includes Medical Officer Grade 6.
  6. Senior Executive Service Band 1 includes Medical Officer Grade 5.
  7. Relief staff indicates non-SES employees on long-term acting arrangements in SES/Chief of Division positions that are vacant, or where the incumbents are taking leave, acting in higher positions or undertaking other duties.

Table 7.14: APS Executive Level employees and below, by gender and classification, as at 30 June 2017

  30 June 2017 headcount 2016–17 engagements 2016–17 separations
 
Men
Women
Total
Men
Women
Total
Men
Women
Total
Executive Level
Executive Level 2
1,240
385
1,625
38
21
59
94
45
139
Executive Level 1
2,368
1,221
3,589
83
67
150
168
79
247
Subtotal
3,608
1,606
5,214
121
88
209
262
124
386
Other staff
APS Level 6
3,128
1,888
5,016
136
117
253
280
148
428
APS Level 5
1,797
1,332
3,129
104
82
186
186
95
281
APS Level 4
897
1,076
1,973
47
87
134
73
90
163
APS Level 3
547
1,038
1,585
31
81
112
41
93
134
APS Level 2
479
600
1,079
187
151
338
59
53
112
APS Level 1
148
112
260
62
61
123
10
16
26
Subtotal
6,996
6,046
13,042
567
579
1,146
649
495
1,144
Total APS
10,604
7,652
18,256
688
667
1,355
911
619
1,530

Note: Figures in this table show ongoing and non-ongoing employee numbers (substantive headcount). Figures include paid, unpaid, full-time and part- time employees. Figures exclude employees who do not exclusively identify as either male or female. Figures exclude SES employees.

Table 7.15: APS employees by gender, as at 30 June 2016 and 30 June 2017

  30 June 20161 30 June 2017
 
Full-time
Part-time2
Total
Full-time
Part-time2
Total
Ongoing employees
Men
10,624
221
10,845
10,392
229
10,621
Women
6,518
1,103
7,621
6,540
1,102
7,642
Unspecified3
1
1
1
1
Total ongoing
17,142
1,325
18,467
16,932
1,332
18,264
Non-ongoing employees
Men
70
13
83
69
9
78
Women
26
1
27
53
2
55
Unspecified3
Total non-ongoing
96
14
110
122
11
133
Total APS employees
Men
10,694
234
10,928
10,461
238
10,699
Women
6,544
1,104
7,648
6,593
1,104
7,697
Unspecified3
1
1
1
1
Total
17,238
1,339
18,577
17,054
1,343
18,397

Notes: Figures in this table show headcount numbers (substantive headcount). Figures include paid and unpaid employees.

  1. Some 30 June 2016 figures have been adjusted from what was reported in the Defence Annual Report 2015–16 to account for retrospective transactions.
  2. Part-time employees are those with weekly hours less than the standard hours.
  3. Figures include employees who have identified as indeterminate, intersex or unspecified.

Table 7.16: ADF permanent, Gap Year and Reserve forces and APS by gender, as at 30 June 2016 and 30 June 2017

 

30 June 20161
30 June 2017

 

Men
%
Women
%
Men
%
Women
%
Navy permanent2
Trained force
Officers
2,053
14.6
488
3.5
2,030
14.9
509
3.7
Other ranks
7,462
53.2
1,738
12.4
7,424
54.4
1,777
13.0
Training force
Officers
593
4.2
158
1.1
600
4.4
168
1.2
Other ranks
1,242
8.9
289
2.1
814
6.0
335
2.5
Total Navy
11,350
80.9
2,673
19.1
10,868
79.6
2,789
20.4
Army permanent2
Trained force
Officers
4,480
15.1
821
2.8
4,547
15.1
844
2.8
Other ranks
18,493
62.4
2,254
7.6
18,556
61.5
2,362
7.8
Training force
Officers
761
2.6
212
0.7
810
2.7
242
0.8
Other ranks
2,327
7.8
304
1.0
2,270
7.5
530
1.8
Total Army
26,061
87.9
3,591
12.1
26,183
86.8
3,978
13.2
Air Force permanent2
Trained force
Officers
3,397
23.7
906
6.3
3,428
23.8
945
6.6
Other ranks
7,147
49.8
1,476
10.3
7,107
49.4
1,593
11.1
Training force
Officers
533
3.7
188
1.3
550
3.8
187
1.3
Other ranks
507
3.5
185
1.3
342
2.4
236
1.6
Total Air Force
11,584
80.8
2,755
19.2
11,427
79.4
2,961
20.6
ADF permanent2
Trained force
Officers
9,930
17.1
2,215
3.8
10,005
17.2
2,298
3.9
Other ranks
33,102
57.1
5,468
9.4
33,087
56.8
5,732
9.8
Training force
Officers
1,887
3.3
558
1.0
1,960
3.4
597
1.0
Other ranks
4,076
7.0
778
1.3
3,426
5.9
1,101
1.9
Total ADF permanent
48,995
84.5
9,019
15.5
48,478
83.3
9,728
16.7
ADF Gap Year
Navy
36
9.1
33
8.4
22
4.8
53
11.6
Army
158
40.0
53
13.4
183
40.0
85
18.6
Air Force
58
14.7
57
14.4
69
15.1
45
9.8
Total ADF Gap Year
252
63.8
143
36.2
274
60.0
183
40.0
Reserves3
Navy
2,451
11.5
690
3.2
2,168
10.0
655
3.0
Army
11,629
54.4
1,910
8.9
11,792
54.4
2,009
9.3
Air Force
3,752
17.6
942
4.4
4,028
18.6
1,042
4.8
Total Reserves
17,832
83.4
3,542
16.6
17,988
82.9
3,706
17.1
APS4,5
Total APS
10,928
58.8
7,648
41.2
10,699
58.2
7,697
41.8

Note: Figures in this table show headcount numbers (substantive headcount). Percentage figures for each overall section (shown in bold) add to 100 per cent for each year. Percentage figures for the separate categories within a section may not sum to the provided total due to rounding.

  1. Some 30 June 2016 figures have been adjusted from what was reported in the Defence Annual Report 2015–16 to account for retrospective transactions.
  2. Permanent Force headcounts do not include ADF Gap Year participants, who are reported separately in this table.
  3. Reserves include all active members (training, deployed and other part-time military work commitments) and Reservists undertaking continuous full-time service.
  4. Figures include paid, unpaid, full-time, part-time, ongoing and non-ongoing employees. The 30 June 2017 figures for the APS include 995 APS employees who are also counted as Reserve members.
  5. Figures exclude employees who do not exclusively identify as either male or female.

ADF Gap Year program

The ADF Gap Year program was expanded to include the Navy in 2016, and a total of 445 participants enlisted in the program that year (78 Navy, 250 Army and 117 Air Force) (Table 7.17). In 2017, a total of 495 participants were enlisted in the program (75 Navy, 300 Army and 120 Air Force). As at 30 June 2017, two members from the 2016 program and 455 members from the 2017 program were still participating, totalling 457.

Table 7.17: ADF Gap Year participants, 2016 and 2017 programs

 
Navy
Army
Air Force
ADF
Total
 
Men
Women
Men
Women
Men
Women
Men
Women
 
2016 program
Participants
39
39
190
60
60
57
289
156
445
Status after program completion
Separated or transferred to inactive Reserves
21
25
64
10
5
2
90
37
127
Transferred to permanent ADF
17
14
89
45
25
39
131
98
229
Transferred to active Reserves
36
5
30
16
66
21
87
Still participating in 2016 program (at 30 June 2017)
1
1
2
2
2017 program
Participants
21
54
209
91
70
50
300
195
495
Status after program completion
Separated or transferred to inactive Reserves
1
25
6
1
5
26
12
38
Transferred to permanent ADF
0
Transferred to active Reserves
2
2
2
Still participating in 2017 program (at 30 June 2017)
21
53
182
85
69
45
272
183
455

Project Suakin

A new ADF Total Workforce Model, designed to enhance the attraction and retention of ADF capability through workforce flexibility, was delivered under Project Suakin in 2015–16. The transition to the new service continuum has occurred throughout 2016–17.

The ADF Total Workforce Model provides Defence with the ability to meet changes in the workforce environment, and provides individuals with enhanced access to a range of service arrangements. The model strengthens the opportunity for longer-term ADF careers by providing flexible ways to serve, which in turn will help to attract and retain skilled personnel. Rather than ‘Permanent Force’ or ‘Reserves’, the Total Workforce Model features a continuum of service categories that better reflect the type of service provided. From 2017–18, the ADF workforce information will be presented in a manner that explains the transition from ‘Permanent Force’ and ‘Reserve’ service to the Total Workforce Model’s service continuum.

During 2016–17, the Navy, Army and Air Force began implementation of the Total Workforce Model and introduced all but one of the new categories of service available under the model. The three Services continued the cultural and business reforms to facilitate optimal application of the Total Workforce Model. These reforms will enable members of the ADF to move across the service category continuum, which includes full-time and part-time arrangements for both Permanent Force and Reserve members and an innovative dual employment option to be delivered in partnership with industry.

The implementation of the permanent part-time category will be completed in 2017–18.

Job families project

The Defence APS job families framework provides a whole-of-department view of APS capability and is used to assist with workforce planning, skilling, education and training. The job family framework also informs strategy development for recruitment and retention.

Job families are used to describe similar workforce functions and occupations. The job families are aligned to the framework developed by the Australian Public Service Commission, and to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations. This standardised and externally relevant framework helps to identify gaps in the workforce and pressures in related areas of the Australian labour market.

The Defence Strategic Workforce Plan 2016–2026 used the job family framework to identify areas of risk across the Defence workforce. One of the recommendations from the strategic workforce plan was to review the job family framework to ensure that it continues to support the changing workforce environment. The framework will be reviewed over the coming two years.

As recommended by the First Principles Review of Defence, and linked to the Defence Strategic Workforce Plan 2016–2026, workforce plans have been developed for 15 Groups/Divisions and 20 job families. Initiatives that have been identified from these plans will be implemented from 2017–18.

Recruitment activities

Improvements to attraction and recruitment for the military and civilian components of the Defence workforce are specific action areas of focus in the Defence Strategic Workforce Plan 2016–2026. As part of the implementation of the plan, Defence commenced work to improve the efficiency of recruitment processes through upgrades to information systems and streamlined processes, and enhanced the way that Defence engages with candidates, such as through improved online testing and a candidate self-service portal.

Recruitment priorities are informed by Service workforce plans. Marketing is used to improve the attraction of personnel to ADF priority workforce segments. During 2016–17, brand campaigns were launched for Indigenous recruits, the Navy and the Air Force, while a campaign was developed for the Army. A new campaign, titled ‘The ADF Surprised Us’, was developed and is aimed at attracting individuals from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. These campaigns aim to identify the ADF as a technologically advanced employer of choice and a career option for previously untapped markets, and to dispel misperceptions about the ADF.

Defence uses a number of initiatives to attract the workforce that it requires, particularly in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. These initiatives include STEM cadetships, Defence technical scholarships, Defence university sponsorship and the ADF Gap Year program.

Remuneration and benefits

Defence remuneration is a key component of the Defence employment package. The diverse remuneration structures and non-salary benefits of the ADF and APS are explained further in this section.

ADF remuneration

The independent Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal, established under section 58H of the Defence Act 1903, is responsible for setting pay and pay-related allowances for ADF members.

The ADF Workplace Remuneration Arrangement 2014–17 is a key component of the ADF remuneration framework, and has provided a 6 per cent increase to the pay and pay-related allowances of ADF members. The arrangement is part of the ADF remuneration framework aimed at attracting and retaining military personnel, and forms a significant part of ADF members’ total employment package. Other conditions of service are determined by the Minister for Defence under section 58B of the Defence Act.

The development of the next Workplace Remuneration Arrangement commenced during 2016–17, including engagement with ADF members as part of the consultation process. The current arrangement expires on 1 November 2017.

Table 7.18 details salary ranges for permanent ADF members as at 30 June 2017.

Table 7.18: Permanent ADF salary ranges, as at 30 June 2017

Rank Salary range ($)
 
Minimum
Maximum
Officer of the Permanent Force
General (equivalent)1
814,700
814,700
Lieutenant General (equivalent)1
390,024
574,470
Major General (equivalent)2
230,975
281,674
Brigadier (equivalent)2,3
161,628
257,581
Colonel (equivalent)2,3,5
144,875
245,908
Lieutenant Colonel (equivalent)2,5
123,216
233,998
Major (equivalent)2,5
86,313
210,792
Captain (equivalent)2,5
67,603
200,075
Lieutenant (equivalent)4
56,197
117,798
2nd Lieutenant (equivalent)4
52,505
109,969
Other rank of the Permanent Force
Warrant Officer Class 1 (equivalent)
76,552
117,821
Warrant Officer Class 2 (equivalent)
70,508
109,173
Staff Sergeant (equivalent)
68,143
105,320
Sergeant (equivalent)
60,927
100,723
Corporal (equivalent)
52,649
92,103
Lance Corporal (equivalent)
48,430
85,607
Private Proficient (equivalent)
47,429
84,606
Private (equivalent)
46,448
83,629

Note: This table lists ADF salary ranges by Army rank. The same salary ranges also apply to the equivalent ranks in the Navy and Air Force.

  1. General (equivalent) and some Lieutenant General (equivalent) rates are set by the Remuneration Tribunal.
  2. Includes rates for medical officers.
  3. Includes rates for chaplains.
  4. Includes transitional rates for other rank appointed as officer.
  5. Excludes medical procedural specialist.

ADF benefits

In addition to remuneration, ADF members receive a range of conditions of service, including leave, flexible work arrangements, home purchasing and housing assistance, medical and dental, deployment support, family support, career opportunities, nationally recognised qualifications, childcare support, access to base facilities, education and training, and transition management services. Further information is available online at the Defence Pay and Conditions site at www.defence.gov.au/PayAndConditions.

ADF superannuation arrangement

From 1 July 2016, all new military members are covered by the ADF superannuation arrangement. The employer contribution rate under the superannuation arrangement is 16.4 per cent per annum.

ADF Super is the default employer superannuation fund for all new permanent ADF members and members of the Reserves on continuous full-time service. Members can elect to join ADF Super or another superannuation fund of their choice.

The ADF superannuation arrangement is underpinned by a death and invalidity scheme called ADF Cover. ADF Cover benefits are consistent with those provided by the Military Superannuation and Benefits Scheme, which was closed to new members from 1 July 2016.

Support to ADF families

Defence provides support to ADF members and their families through the Defence Community Organisation. Support services range from crisis and bereavement support through to assistance to help families adjust to some of the challenges of military life.

Initiatives for partners of ADF members to gain skills to help secure employment are provided, as is advice, information and resources to help reduce the effects that mobility can have on a child’s education. Members who have a dependant with special needs may also receive assistance.

In 2016–17, Defence provided a range of support services, practical assistance and resources to support Defence families when a member is deployed or absent from home for service reasons. This support includes community events to foster a sense of connectedness, absence-from-home support calls delivered by the Defence Family Helpline, short-term funding for practical assistance in emergencies, and programs and resources for partners and children.

The Defence Community Organisation developed a mental health training program to upskill all Defence Community Organisation frontline staff on mental health issues, including risk assessments, safety planning, and practical strategies for assisting families in living with a member with mental health issues.

An individual case management service was launched in 2016–17 to assist with childcare arrangements. Defence families can request assistance at any time through this service to review their childcare requirements or seek an alternative childcare centre.

In 2016–17, a total of 229 schools and approximately 12,000 Defence children were provided with support under the Defence School Transition Aide Program. In addition, 57 not-for-profit community organisations received grant funds under the Family Support Funding Program, and 26 paid Defence Community Centre coordinators were supported through the Community Support Coordinator Program. These programs assist Defence families with challenges relating to mobility and absence from home, and improve resilience, strengthen relationships and improve children’s wellbeing.

Transition management

ADF Transition Support Services ensure that members and their families are well informed regarding transition from military to civilian life. Members are encouraged to access educational, financial and other government services to facilitate sound transition planning.

The reform of ADF Transition Support Services commenced in 2016–17, with the transition process moving from an administrative model to one of coaching and mentoring with a focus on developing a post-transition plan, particularly around employment. When fully implemented, the new model will assist ADF members and their families to be more prepared for the transition to civilian life, both during transition and for 12 months after leaving the ADF.

In 2016–17:

  • all ADF Transition Support Services staff commenced training for a Certificate IV in Career Development, with additional competencies in coaching and mentoring
  • three launch sites (Adelaide, Holsworthy and Townsville) began trialling the transition coaching model
  • the individual transition plan was improved to assist members leaving the ADF with their administration requirements, including leaving with all appropriate documentation, such as medical services and records
  • a new two-day Job Search Preparation course was designed and implemented to specifically assist those ADF members leaving with less than 12 years of service
  • a new post-transition survey was trialled to assess the effectiveness of transition programs and inform future initiatives, with full implementation scheduled for 2017–18.

ADF transition seminars can be attended by ADF members and their families at any time during their career to help them prepare for their transition.

APS remuneration—workplace agreements

The Defence Enterprise Collective Agreement sets out most of the terms and conditions of employment, including remuneration, performance management and working arrangements for the Defence APS workforce, excluding the Senior Executive Service (SES). In addition, the agreement enables for conditions, including remuneration, to be varied through the use of a Building Defence Capability Payment or individual flexibility arrangement. The legal framework that underpins the agreement includes the Fair Work Act 2009 and the Public Service Act 1999. The agreement is developed through consultation with employees and their representatives and is negotiated in a manner consistent with legislation and the Government’s bargaining policy.

A new enterprise agreement was agreed by a majority vote of the non-SES workforce on 20 June 2017, and will come into effect on 16 August 2017.

Table 7.19 shows the types of employment arrangements covering SES and non-SES employees in Defence as at 30 June 2017.

Table 7.19: Number of SES and non-SES employees by employment arrangement, as at 30 June 2017

Employment arrangement Non-SES SES
Enterprise agreement (Defence Enterprise Collective Agreement 2012–2014)1
18,284
Section 24(1) determination and common law agreement2
137

Notes:

  1. Includes 212 employees covered by a Building Defence Capability Payment or individual flexibility arrangement that varies the terms of the Defence Enterprise Collective Agreement.
  2. SES remuneration is set by a single determination made under subsection 24(1) of the Public Service Act 1999 covering terms and conditions of employment, and is supplemented on an individual basis by a common law agreement covering remuneration.

Table 7.20 shows Defence APS salary rates as at 30 June 2017. While the majority of Defence employees receive salaries within the standard ranges, the Defence Enterprise Collective Agreement has provision to vary remuneration and other benefits so that Defence can develop, attract and retain selected employees with the necessary skills and knowledge to deliver capability. These individual arrangements are referred to as Building Defence Capability Payments.

Table 7.20: APS salary ranges, as at 30 June 2017

Classification Minimum ($) Maximum ($) Individual flexibility
arrangements1($)
SES pay arrangements
SES Band 3
240,245
286,456
525,300
SES Band 22
193,349
241,583
367,710
SES Band 13
159,339
203,889
281,923
Non-SES pay arrangements4
Minimum ($)
Maximum ($)
Special pay points ($)
Executive Level 2
111,559
133,905
179,2765
Executive Level 1
96,084
108,382
133,9056
APS Level 6
76,023
86,844
89,4637
APS Level 5
69,395
74,331
74,9048
APS Level 4
63,236
69,038
APS Level 3
55,825
61,512
APS Level 2
49,009
55,096
55,6639
APS Level 1
43,306
48,613

Notes:

  1. Maximum salary paid under an individual flexibility arrangement shown.
  2. Includes rates for Chief of Division Grade 2 and Medical Officer Class 6.
  3. Includes rates for Chief of Division Grade 1 and Medical Officer Class 5.
  4. Salary ranges provided under the Defence Enterprise Collective Agreement.
  5. Maximum rate for Executive Level 2.1, Executive Level 2.2, Legal and Science specialist structures and Medical Officer Class 3 and 4.
  6. Maximum rate for Public Affairs and Legal specialist structures and Medical Officer Class 1 and 2.
  7. Maximum rate for Public Affairs Grade 2 retained pay point.
  8. Maximum rate for Senior Technical Officer Grade 1 retained pay point.
  9. Maximum rate for Technical Assistant Grade 2 retained pay point.

APS benefits

All Defence APS employees receive a range of non-salary benefits, including access to flexible work arrangements and various types of leave. These benefits are outlined in the Defence Enterprise Collective Agreement and in Defence’s APS People Policy. Defence invests heavily in the training and development of its staff and has a range of formal and informal recognition schemes to recognise exemplary performance and achievement.

Senior Leadership Group remuneration

ADF: All ADF senior officers (excluding statutory office holders) are remunerated under the ADF Workplace Remuneration Arrangement 2014–17. Other non-pay-related conditions of service are determined by the Minister for Defence under section 58B of the Defence Act 1903.

Statutory officers: Statutory office holders, including the Secretary and the Chief of the Defence Force, are remunerated under determinations decided by the independent Remuneration Tribunal, under the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973.

APS: SES remuneration is set by a single determination made under subsection 24(1) of the Public Service Act 1999 covering terms and conditions of employment, and is supplemented on an individual basis by a common law agreement covering remuneration.

Managing and developing staff

In 2016–17, Defence continued to focus on APS leadership and core skills development and building accountability in people management.

The One Defence leadership behaviours identify the types of behaviours that Defence requires its people to demonstrate in order to drive the cultural change needed to become a higher performing organisation. The initial focus has been on the Senior Leadership Group through activities such as the role charters, a leadership ‘climate scan’ and a 360-degree feedback program. Efforts have now moved to engaging and embedding the required behaviours within the wider workforce, including through Defence leadership programs aimed at APS 5 through to Executive Level 2 staff.

The Defence Leading for Reform program, which aims to enhance and invigorate the leadership and management skills of executive-level employees, continued to be implemented. In 2016–17, this program was opened to all executive-level employees, as well as ADF members who manage integrated teams. A further 16 cohorts, comprising 40 executive-level employees in each cohort, commenced the program.

An increased number of staff have attended internal Defence leadership programs such as the Gateway and Catalyst programs, and Australian Public Service Commission leadership, core and foundational skills programs. In 2016–17, Defence offered 13 Gateway and 10 Catalyst courses, resulting in 269 Gateway and 135 Catalyst completions. Two of the Catalyst courses had not concluded as at 30 June 2017, and will result in an additional 31 completions.

In 2016–17, professionalisation pathways for each of the 20 APS job families were established. The pathways are the mechanism by which learning and development needs are identified for each APS occupation. The professionalisation pathways and related guidebooks provide APS employees with the tools to identify occupational levels of competencies and skills, and training options to develop their skills. The pathways will be revised in 2017–18 in line with the job family renewal project, and incorporated into job family workforce plans.

The development of the skills of all personnel continued through a range of modes and programs in 2016–17:

  • Defence’s education assistance programs for both APS employees and ADF members encourage personnel to gain tertiary qualifications. Support is provided in the form of capped reimbursement for approved study expenses and/or work release for study purposes.
  • Fully funded postgraduate places at the master’s level are available through the University of New South Wales Canberra at the Australian Defence Force Academy, with study undertaken through intensive or distance education modes.
  • Scholarships are offered annually through the Chief of Defence Force Fellowship for ADF members, and the Secretary of Defence Fellowship and the Sir Roland Wilson Foundation PhD Scholarship schemes for high- performing executive-level staff.

Performance pay

Under the current Defence Enterprise Collective Agreement, non-SES employees move through their salary range subject to fully effective or better performance. Employees at the top of the range receive a 1 per cent lump sum bonus. This bonus is considered a form of performance pay.

An SES employee may be paid a performance bonus at the discretion of the Secretary either as reward for exceptional performance or as a retention incentive to remain in an identified role.

Table 7.21 shows SES and non-SES employee performance payments for 2016–17.

Performance-based pay is not a feature of any existing ADF remuneration framework. Career development opportunities, including promotion, are the key recognitions of performance.

Table 7.21: SES and non-SES employee performance payments for 2016–17

Classification
No. of employees
Aggregated amount ($)
Average amount ($)
Trainee
27
21,387.50
792.12
APS Level 1
71
49,693.82
699.91
APS Level 2
768
551,048.36
717.51
APS Level 3
1,447
1,023,369.06
707.24
APS Level 4
1,625
1,133,613.77
697.61
APS Level 5
2,576
1,894,993.87
735.63
APS Level 6
4,192
3,441,302.85
820.92
Executive Level 1
2,970
3,236,056.39
1,089.58
Executive Level 2
1,240
1,785,600.28
1,440.00
SES Band 1
2
46,627.52
23,313.76
SES Band 2
1
28,833.59
28,833.59

Note: The annual performance cycle is 1 September to 31 August.

Work health and safety

The health and safety of Defence personnel remained a key priority in 2016–17.

The Defence Work Health and Safety Committee continued its focus on strategic issues, including the development of the Defence Work Health and Safety Strategy 2017–2022. This strategy builds on the progress of earlier strategies through strengthening the health and safety culture and influencing workforce behaviours. The new strategy is expected to improve work health and safety management and performance, ensuring hazards and risks are actively managed with the entire workforce engaged in hazard identification and risk management.

A range of information and support tools have been delivered to support people who may be experiencing mental stress, along with increased education and support for commanders, managers and supervisors. Key initiatives in 2016–17 included:

  • developing the Defence Family and Domestic Violence Strategy 2017–2022
  • introducing a mental health speaker series and mental health toolkit to help raise awareness about mental health issues and to make people aware of the different support services available
  • in partnership with Beyondblue, trialling a new stress and anxiety coaching service for personnel called NewAccess. This is in addition to Defence’s Employee Assistance Program.

During 2016–17, Defence continued work to revise the Defence Work Health and Safety Policy Manual to simplify and streamline the structure and content. Policy and guidance materials have been restructured to remove duplication of legislation and codes of practice, and consolidated into more comprehensive documents. The process has resulted in more user-friendly policies and a reduction in the number of policies.

In 2016–17, the Work Health and Safety Branch conducted 40 work health and safety audits across Defence. This comprised 21 safety management system audits and 19 compliance audits in the risk areas of hazardous chemicals and the joint special licence for the operation of plant.

Defence continues to maintain a strong relationship through working collaboratively with Comcare. The biannual Defence–Comcare liaison forum and Comcare representation on the Defence Work Health and Safety Committee aim to improve work health and safety performance.

In 2016–17, Comcare undertook 330 investigations across Defence based on known high-risk areas, and issued four notices (Table 7.22). In addition to partnering with Comcare on investigations, Defence actively investigates safety incidents. Investigations focused on psychosocial factors, hazard exposures and safety systems. Defence used these interventions to develop and refine associated hazard reduction programs and improve work health and safety performance.

Table 7.22: Number of Comcare work health and safety notices, 2014–15 to 2016–17

Type of notice
2014–15
2015–16
2016–17
Improvement notice1
3
3
Prohibition notice2
1
Non-disturbance notice3

Notes:

  1. Improvement notices are based on incidents and occurrences that contravene work health and safety legislation.
  2. Prohibition notices are issued to remove an immediate threat to the health and safety of workers.
  3. Non-disturbance notices are issued for a specific period of time to remove a threat to the health and safety of personnel.

The number of notifiable work health and safety events or incidents continued to decline in 2016–17, as shown in Table 7.23. Figure 7.3 provides a breakdown of the types of work health and safety incidents that occurred in 2016–17.

Table 7.23: Number of work health and safety incidents and involved persons, 2014–15 to 2016–17

 
2014–15
2015–16
2016–17
 
Number of incidents2
Number of people involved in an incident3
Number of incidents2
Number of people involved in an incident3
Number of incidents2
Number of people involved in an incident3
Fatality1
12
12
9
9
8
8
Serious injury or illness1
442
449
318
359
248
283
Dangerous incident1
253
603
226
405
213
388
Minor injury
10,918
10,980
10,197
10,329
9,279
9,374
Near miss
1,114
1,256
1,197
1,450
1,116
1,340
Exposure
1,152
1,864
1,016
3,266
888
2,809
Total
13,891
15,164
12,963
15,818
11,752
14,202

Note: Incidents are recorded on the date of the event. A single event can include multiple individuals. Numbers can vary from previous annual reports as reports can be made for incidents occurring in previous years and severity statuses can be updated. Data as at 11 July 2017.

  1. Fatalities, serious injury or illness, and dangerous incidents are notifiable to Comcare.
  2. The ‘Number of incidents’ columns show the number of incidents occurring in that financial year; however, a single event can include multiple individuals.
  3. The ‘Number of people involved in an incident’ columns show the number of employees harmed or at risk in the event. One event may result in multiple injuries or none.

Figure 7.3: Types of work health and safety incidents, by severity, 2016–17

Figure 7.3: Types of work health and safety incidents, by severity, 2016–17

Note: Components do not sum to 100 per cent due to rounding.

Work health and safety and culture

A positive Defence safety culture is the primary focus of the Defence Work Health and Safety Strategy 2017–2022. In 2016–17, Defence continued its efforts to mainstream work health and safety as an embedded element of business effectiveness across the organisation. Defence’s YourSay survey measures the attitudes of staff to aspects of work health and safety. The 2016–17 results are consistent with those of previous years, as shown in Table 7.24.

Table 7.24: Attitudes to work health and safety, results of YourSay survey, 2014–15 to 2016–17

 
ADF
APS
Attitude survey statement
2014–15
Agree (%)
2015–16
Agree (%)
2016–17
Agree (%)
2014–15
Agree (%)
2015–16
Agree (%)
2016–17
Agree (%)
Health and safety is treated as an important issue in my workplace
92
90
88
86
85
84
I know how/where to obtain safety information relevant to my workplace
92
92
91
89
88
89
When I report an accident/injury/incident/hazard, I believe that appropriate action will be taken
85
84
84
82
81
81

Cultural reform

The Pathway to Change: Evolving Defence Culture strategy was launched in March 2012, with an initial implementation period of five years. The cultural reform program included 175 key actions and recommendations and advice from seven reviews into aspects of Defence culture and other reform directions. All key actions and review recommendations were finalised as at December 2016.

Results from the Defence 2017 YourSay survey support the organisation’s commitment to cultural reform, with approximately two-thirds of respondents reporting that they, and their supervisors, were committed to Pathway to Change. In addition, over 80 per cent of respondents felt that their supervisor’s leadership and behaviour was in accordance with Defence values.

Although much has been done since 2012 to strengthen the best in Defence culture, workforce and survey data shows that there is more work to be done. The next evolution of cultural reform has been informed by a deliberate and significant Defence-wide consultation effort held in 2016. Staff at all levels agreed on the importance of building on the Pathway to Change: Evolving Defence Culture strategy.

A refreshed statement of cultural intent was seen as important, encompassing the principles of Pathway to Change: Evolving Defence Culture, but also giving weight to the progress made since 2012 and providing a platform to sustain a more positive culture. The 2016 consultation showed that a more positive and inclusive culture is understood by many to be a key part of Defence capability. Across the workforce, leadership accountability for delivering reform was also seen as critical, as was working more collaboratively as One Defence.

Based on feedback from the Defence-wide consultation, a refreshed statement of cultural intent, including six priorities for future cultural reform focus, was developed, and is being incorporated into Defence business planning and reporting frameworks. The priorities being worked on across Defence are:

  • leadership accountability
  • capability through inclusion
  • ethics and workplace behaviours
  • health, wellness and safety
  • workplace agility and flexibility
  • leading and developing integrated teams.

During 2016–17, Defence also completed its third year of collaboration with the Australian Human Rights Commission. This collaboration has included visits by the commission to 18 Defence establishments to examine particular aspects of culture and how effective particular strategies have been, and to provide input into more specific reform initiatives. The findings from these visits informed wider reform efforts and are being implemented by the respective Services, with oversight provided by Defence’s Gender Equality Advisory Board.

Removal of gender restrictions on ADF combat role employment categories

The removal of gender restrictions on ADF combat role employment categories has been instrumental in a significant and ongoing shift in the ADF culture. Defence is creating an environment that supports the aspiration of all members to contribute fully to ADF capability.

Since January 2016, all ADF employment categories have been open to women currently serving in the ADF, as well as those applying to join the ADF for the first time. The decision to remove gender restrictions was about maximising capability by opening up a wider recruitment pool of talent for combat roles. This decision provides equal opportunity for both men and women wanting to apply for these roles and provides an avenue for ability, not gender, to be the deciding factor when determining which roles ADF members can serve in.

In 2017, Defence supported the withdrawal of Australia’s reservation to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and the repeal of section 43 of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984. Defence’s support for these actions reflects the removal of gender restrictions on ADF combat roles, which has played an important role in enabling a more diverse and inclusive culture.

Defence continues to assess and refine its training and combat-specific processes, policies and systems to ensure that the environments in which members are trained and undertake combat roles provide the opportunity for all members to contribute fully to ADF capability.

Complaint handling and resolution

Defence personnel have the right to complain if they are aggrieved by matters relating to their employment. ADF members may apply for redress of grievance under the Defence Regulation 2016. APS employees may seek a review of actions under the Public Service Act 1999.

APS review of actions

Section 33 of the Public Service Act 1999 establishes a ‘review of actions’ scheme and allows non-Senior Executive Service APS employees to seek review where they have a complaint about an action or a decision relating to their employment. Defence received 67 applications for review of actions in 2016–17, which is a small reduction from the previous year (Figure 7.4). In 2016–17, 74 applications were finalised, including several received in the previous year. The following areas continue to feature most regularly in the applications for review:

  • performance management, assessment and reporting
  • management of unacceptable behaviour complaints by line management
  • security clearance decisions
  • staff selection and the allocation of duties
  • access to leave or other employment conditions.

Figure 7.4: APS review of actions applications received and finalised, 2012–13 to 2016–17

Figure 7.4: APS review of actions applications received and finalised, 2012–13 to 2016–17

Unacceptable behaviour

Defence personnel can make a complaint about any incident of unacceptable behaviour that they have experienced or witnessed in the workplace. Complaints of unacceptable behaviour are reported and recorded in a central database. Guidance and support is available to ensure that complaints are managed and resolved appropriately.

All Defence personnel are required to undertake annual workplace behaviour training, which includes information about expected behaviours and guidance on making and managing complaints.

In 2016–17, 668 complaints of unacceptable behaviour were recorded in the Defence complaints management, tracking and reporting system (Figure 7.5). This continues a trend of decreasing complaint numbers and reflects ongoing efforts across Defence to reduce the incidence of unacceptable behaviour.

In 2016–17, 714 complaints were finalised, including those received in previous years. While the majority of complaints are expected to be finalised within three months, some complaints remain open for extended periods, such as when the matter is subject to an inquiry or investigation. In the past two years, the higher number of complaints finalised compared to the number received reflects efforts to finalise longstanding open complaints, as well as improvements made to the self-service functionality of the Defence complaints management, tracking and reporting system.

On average, between 80 and 90 per cent of unacceptable behaviour incidents are of a level where local management is the most appropriate course of action. However, between 10 and 20 per cent are of a seriousness that results in a formal disciplinary or administrative outcome. Defence encourages the use of alternative dispute resolution, and the majority of complaints continue to be resolved at the lowest practical level. The number of complaints of alleged unacceptable behaviour represents complaints from less than 1 per cent of the Defence workforce.

Figure 7.5: Unacceptable behaviour complaints received and finalised, 2012–13 to 2016–17

Figure 7.5: Unacceptable behaviour complaints received and finalised, 2012–13 to 2016–17

Reporting on sexual misconduct

Defence’s Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office (SeMPRO) provides personnel with victim support, case management services, including assistance through formal reporting, investigation and legal processes, and educational programs and resources.

Victim services encompass a 24/7 telephone response service for Defence personnel seeking help with their experiences of sexual offences and sexual harassment. The service also offers assistance for commanders, managers and colleagues managing sexual misconduct incidents. In 2016–17, 488 clients were assisted with support and case management; incident management advice and information; debriefing and other mental health support; and information on available services, civilian assaults, and other behaviour management systems in Defence. SeMPRO is also a primary data collection point for sexual misconduct incidents formally reported to Defence.

The Sexual Ethics Education in Defence learning strategy was developed as a primary prevention program that aims to ensure all military personnel have the appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to make sound ethical decisions in their sexual relationships. The learning strategy elements are designed to target different audiences to engender a zero tolerance culture towards sexual misconduct and create a Defence workplace that is respectful of the sexual safety of all.

There is increased awareness and understanding of the services of the Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office. Education programs have been implemented, including the rollout of bystander awareness training. During 2016–17, SeMPRO provided awareness briefings to over 29,000 Defence personnel.

The SeMPRO Supplementary Report 2016–17 contains detailed information on client service provision and formally reported incidents in Defence during 2016–17. The report is available online at www.defence.gov.au/annualreports/16-17.

Diversity in Defence

The Defence Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2012–2017 outlines the commitment to creating an inclusive and progressive organisation that maximises capability through capitalising on a diverse and inclusive workforce. This aim is further supported through the recently endorsed statement of cultural intent and the key priority ‘capability through inclusion’.

Creating a diverse and inclusive workforce continued to be a key priority for Defence in 2016–17, with achievements made against the five strategic goals within the Defence Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2012–2017, which is available at www.defence.gov.au/diversity.

Defence implemented a range of initiatives to increase the number of women in both the ADF and the APS workforce. This includes attracting, recruiting and retaining women, removing the barriers to career progression, and facilitating career development through mentoring and leadership opportunities.

Women in the Defence APS workforce

Defence developed an action plan to support implementation of Balancing the Future: The Australian Public Service Gender Equality Strategy 2016–19, which sets out actions for addressing the gender imbalance across the APS.

Initiatives implemented to support women in achieving their full potential included:

  • increased representation of women in Executive Levels 1 and 2 talent management programs
  • partnerships with industry and academia aimed at attracting and retaining women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics
  • developing an unconscious bias awareness package, which includes specific modules for recruitment and selection, and commanders and managers who have supervisory responsibilities
  • implementing a flexible work education campaign to identify and challenge potential barriers to implementing a mainstream, Defence-wide approach to flexible work
  • developing a range of interventions to address domestic and family violence.

There has been an increase in the representation of women at all levels within the Defence APS workforce. Since 30 June 2016, the representation of women in the Defence APS ongoing workforce increased from 41.2 per cent to 41.8 per cent over the last 12 months (Table 7.15). A particular increase has been seen at the Senior Executive Service level, with women now representing 32.6 per cent of the Defence Senior Executive Service, an increase of 2.8 per cent. While the representation of women at the APS 1 to 6 levels and Executive Levels 1 and 2 showed a slight improvement, there is more to be done. Gender representation recruitment targets have been established for the graduate program and for executive and senior executive levels. This is reinforced through the action plan under the Defence Gender Equality Strategy.

Women in the ADF

Defence is conducting a range of activities to increase the number of women in the ADF, including by setting female workforce participation targets for each Service. The ADF is also implementing options for greater flexibility in the Services’ career models to ensure women’s advancement is supported—and not impacted adversely—when taking career breaks or seeking location stability.

The Women in the ADF report is published as an online supplement to the Defence annual report. The report is a mechanism for the Services to report against achievements that address elements of the recommendations from the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Review into the treatment of women in the Australian DefenceForce—Phase 2 report (2012). This includes recommendation 3—women’s participation, women’s experience and access to flexible work; recommendation 6—promotional gateways; recommendation 9—recruitment targets; and recommendation 13—flexible work arrangement targets.

The report presents a range of workforce and attitudinal data and compares the current year’s data with that of the previous year to gain an indication of the progress Defence has achieved. This is the fifth year of the Women in the ADF report and, in addition to comparing the current and previous year, this year’s report also conducts a five-year comparison to 2012–13 to provide an overview of long-term progress. Over the last five years, the scope of the report has evolved and expanded to provide a view of gender inclusion across the Defence people system.

The Women in the ADF Report 2016–17 shows that, since the commencement of the Pathway to Change: Evolving Defence Culture strategy and the implementation of the recommendations from the Phase 2 report, the ADF has put considerable effort into growing and advancing the female ADF workforce. As at 30 June 2017, the participation rate of women in the ADF reached 16.7 per cent, an increase of 1.2 per cent from 15.5 per cent as at 30 June 2016 (Table 7.16). The number of women serving in the ADF is 709 more than at the same time last year. As at 30 June 2017, there were also 79 women in senior officer positions in the ADF, seven more than at the same time last year.

The report also highlights areas that require more comprehensive analysis, allowing Defence to prioritise further research on gender diversity.

The Women in the ADF Report 2016–17 will be available online from December 2017 at www.defence.gov.au/annualreports/16-17.

Indigenous participation and engagement

The Defence Reconciliation Action Plan 2015–2018 commits Defence to a range of activities to increase cultural awareness, representation and procurement opportunities for Indigenous Australians.

By 2018, Defence is aiming for an Indigenous workforce representation of 2.7 per cent. Indigenous ongoing APS employees increased from 1.8 per cent on 30 June 2016 to 2 per cent on 30 June 2017, while Indigenous ADF permanent members increased from 2 per cent on 30 June 2016 to 2.3 per cent on 30 June 2017 (Figure 7.6 and Table 7.25).

Defence engaged 55 new Indigenous APS employees through entry-level programs managed by the Department of Human Services and the Department of Employment.

Defence introduced a new Indigenous ADF pathway model, providing more tailored pre-recruit and development programs to better prepare candidates for recruit school and ADF employment. In excess of 150 Indigenous Australians completed Indigenous ADF pre-employment programs.

Defence doubled this year’s target of domestic contracts to Indigenous businesses from 210 to 420 contracts, bringing forward to 2016–17 the 3 per cent target initially set for 2019–20. Defence was recognised as the Government Member of the Year at the 2017 Supply Nation Connect Awards for its contribution to increasing economic opportunities for Indigenous Australians.

The Defence Reconciliation Action Plan 2015–2018 is available at www.defence.gov.au/Diversity/Indigenous/strategic/drap/Default.asp.

Figure 7.6: Defence Indigenous personnel, as at 30 June 2016 and 30 June 2017

Figure 7.6: Defence Indigenous personnel, as at 30 June 2016 and 30 June 2017

Table 7.25: Defence Indigenous personnel, as at 30 June 2016 and 30 June 2017

 

30 June 20161
30 June 2017
ADF
Number
% of total
Number
% of total
Permanent
1,152
2.0
1,358
2.3
ADF Reserve 2
412
1.9
420
1.9
Navy
Permanent
364
2.6
404
3.0
ADF Reserve 2
22
0.7
21
0.7
Army
Permanent
625
2.1
776
2.6
ADF Reserve 2
341
2.5
346
2.5
Air Force
Permanent
163
1.1
776
2.6
ADF Reserve 2
49
1.0
53
1.0
APS
Ongoing
335
1.8
363
2.0
Non-ongoing
1
0.9
1
0.8

Note: Data for this table is reliant on self-identification on the Defence human resources system; therefore, the data is likely to under-report actual participation rates.

  1. Data for 30 June 2016 does not match the data provided in the Defence Annual Report 2015–16. Ethnicity is self-reported in Defence’s human resources system. If a person first identified their Indigenous heritage during 2016–17, then this is retrospectively applied to their status for 30 June 2016.
  2. This table includes permanent Australian Defence Force personnel and Active Reserve personnel. The Reserve figures include Reservists on continuous full-time service.

People from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds

Defence continues to develop specific initiatives to attract, recruit, develop and retain people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

During 2016–17, Defence developed a new recruitment and marketing campaign aimed at attracting individuals from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to work in the ADF. The campaign promotes Australian Defence Force careers to people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and also encourages increased engagement with local communities.

During 2016–217, marketing material for Australian Public Service recruitment, including for graduate programs, was developed to attract greater representation of people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

People with disability

Defence continued to deliver programs to increase the representation of people with disability and to reduce workplace barriers.

A focus during 2016-17 has been on implementing an improved, client-centric approach to support people with disability and managers in accessing workplace adjustments and assistive technology to eliminate workplace barriers.

In 2016, Defence undertook the Australian Network on Disability’s Access and Inclusion Index comprehensive self-assessment. The focus of the assessment was to determine Defence’s understanding of access and inclusion practices across a wide range of areas and to provide guidance on enhancing accessibility for people with disability.

Through this assessment, Defence was identified as one of the top five leading organisations in maturity of access and inclusion practices.

In addition, Defence was one of the first APS agencies to be recognised by the Australian Network on Disability as a Disability Confident Recruiter. This recognition demonstrates that Defence is an industry leader in the recruitment of people with disability.

During 2016–17, Defence expanded its programs for people with disability through a range of dedicated programs, including:

  • the Inclusive Employment Program, which provides an employment pathway for people with intellectual disability to begin their work journey and to build a career with Defence and the public service. To date, 16 individuals have been engaged through this program
  • the Dandelion@Defence program, which provides employment to nine people with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder to deliver technology and cyber capability in Defence
  • the Defence Administrative Assistance Program, where Defence partners with local Australian Disability Enterprises to provide meaningful employment for people with disability. The program establishes corporate support teams for the provision of low-complexity administrative assistance to Defence. To date, the program has been established at eight Defence sites across Australia and has engaged 98 people.

Defence is also improving support mechanisms in the workplace for employees with disability, and building manager confidence for staff who supervise people with disability.

Disability reporting mechanisms

The 2015 Defence census indicates 20.3 per cent of Defence APS employees have at least one form of disability or chronic medical condition. However, official Defence data shows the percentage of Defence APS employees who have self-identified as having a disability is 3.7 per cent.

Reporting of the number of employees with disability or chronic illness relies upon individuals self-identifying. One of the ongoing challenges is the reluctance to report for fear of stigma, discrimination and negative stereotypes associated with disability in the workplace.

The increased level of reporting in the Defence census reflects the anonymity as well as the broader definition of disability to include chronic illness or injury, which may be more temporary in nature.

Defence’s focus on removing barriers for people with disability includes strategies to address stigma in the workplace, which should increase the willingness of individuals to share information regarding their disability.

Additional information is available at www.defence.gov.au/defencecensus.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people

Defence seeks to create an inclusive workplace by driving greater awareness of, and developing support structures for, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people.

Defence renewed its membership with Pride in Diversity, Australia’s only not-for-profit employer support program for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex workplace inclusion, to deliver targeted education, awareness and support sessions. In 2016–17, Defence saw an increase in the demand for these sessions across the organisation.

Defence participated in the Australian Workplace Equality Index, which is a benchmarking initiative that assesses an organisation’s commitment to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex workplace practices. In 2016, Defence was awarded bronze tier status and maintains its place as one of the top 20 employers in Australia for workplace inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people.

On Base Advisory Service

The On Base Advisory Service was established in 2011 and provides advice on Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) services and benefits to currently serving ADF personnel. This service is another way for ADF personnel to contact DVA to receive information about services and benefits and/or to make a claim.

DVA and Defence provide a support continuum performance report on a quarterly basis to the Defence – Department of Veterans’ Affairs Links Steering Committee. This report, which is collated and managed by DVA, includes a summary of key performance areas across the support continuum for serving and former ADF members and their families. The report statistics specific to the On Base Advisory Service include the number of users of the service, how many claims have resulted from contact with the service, who in Defence is accessing the service, who is referring Defence personnel to the service, and where the service users are being referred.

Mental health programs

Defence continues to provide ongoing reporting of its mental health programs, including through the online publication of an annual ADF health review. The Joint Health Command Annual Review 2015–16 is available at www.defence.gov.au/health/home/healthupdates.asp. The 2016–17 review is expected to be published in November 2017.

In addition, data collection for a longitudinal ADF study evaluating resilience (LASER-Resilience) commenced in 2009, and a final report from the study will be finalised in 2018.

Recognising the need to also focus on mental health issues for Defence APS personnel, a number of initiatives commenced in 2016–17 that focus on the Defence APS workforce, including:

  • delivery of the Defence mental health speaker series
  • development of a mental health awareness training program for members of the Senior Executive Service and military equivalents, plus a separate program for managers and supervisors
  • establishment of an APS mental health working group with representatives from all Groups. This working group will help ensure all areas of Defence’s APS workforce can provide input into the APS component of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2017–2021.

Physical employment standards

In 2016–17, Defence continued to explore ways to enhance and increase the participation of diverse groups in the Australian Defence Force, while recognising the unique nature, and sometimes strict parameters, of ADF requirements.

Defence’s physical employment standards enable the preparation of appropriate physical tests for entry into, and continued employment in, various employment categories, and the selection of personnel who are best suited to the demands of the different categories of employment. The selection of personnel who meet appropriate physical standards helps to contribute to a reduction in injuries, with a consequent increase in personnel availability for operations and training, and a reduction in healthcare and compensation costs.

The application of physical employment standards to roles within the Army, Navy and Air Force is subject to ongoing trials and evaluation.

Army

The Army’s physical employment standards define the minimum level of physical capacity required by Army members to perform their duties. These task-based assessments are gender and age neutral. Regular Army recruits must now meet the All Corps Soldier requirements prior to entering the trained force. Where the physical demands of a particular employment category are higher than All Corps Soldier requirements, trainees must pass the physical assessment for their employment category as an initial employment training graduation requirement. Within the trained force, the force generation cycle dictates when personnel must achieve the relevant physical employment standards.

Navy

A ‘whole-of-ship’ baseline for physical employment standards is under development for delivery by the end of 2017. The physical employment standards for remaining employment categories are to be reviewed from late 2017 to late 2019.

Air Force

The physical employment standards for the Air Force’s high- and medium-priority employment categories are under review and are scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2017.