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Chapter 7 - Strategic workforce management


Workforce summary

Defence continued to build an integrated Australian Defence Force (ADF) and Australian Public Service (APS) workforce with the skills needed to deliver capability, with a particular focus on the intelligence, cyber, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics workforce. A key focus in 2017–18 was implementation of the Defence Strategic Workforce Plan 2016–26 and the ADF Total Workforce Model, along with several reforms to ADF transition services. Two key initiatives used to manage and develop Defence APS employees were the Job Families Renewal Project and a new APS skills framework.

The Defence cultural reform program, Pathway to Change, and reforms under the First Principles Review remained a priority, with an emphasis on behaviour and accountability. On 20 November 2017, the Secretary and Chief of the Defence Force launched Pathway to Change: Evolving Defence Culture 2017–22.

Defence has attracted and retained a broader range of talent, with the diversity profile improving for women and Indigenous Australians. Defence continues to implement programs and initiatives that harness the knowledge, skills and attributes of its people, including at the most senior levels.

A summary of key initiatives and achievements is below.

First Principles Review reforms

During 2017–18, Defence implemented a number of initiatives under the Behaviours and Workforce streams of the First Principles Review. This included a new performance management framework for APS employees and improvements to the senior leadership performance processes to enhance accountability and development.

Project SUAKIN (Total Workforce Model)

The ADF Total Workforce Model introduced a contemporary workforce framework for the ADF by offering increased ways to serve that enable new strategic workforce options in delivering capability, while providing flexibility for individuals across their careers.

Job Families Renewal Project

During 2017–18 Defence undertook a Job Families Renewal Project as part of the Defence Strategic Workforce Plan. This project will update existing occupations and more closely align Defence with the updated Australian Public Service Commission’s Job Family Model framework, providing a further foundation for APS skilling, recruitment and training.

Recruitment activities

Defence Force Recruiting and the Services implemented a suite of initiatives to improve the recruiting process and to broaden recruiting pools. A Culturally and Linguistically Diverse influencer campaign, entitled ‘The ADF Surprised Us’, was launched in July 2017. This and the three Service brand campaigns of ‘What Will You Bring?’ (Navy), ‘Discover Your Army’ (Army) and ‘What Is Up?’ (Air Force) all launched in 2016–17, and other niche campaigns continued to be marketed throughout 2017–18.

Remuneration and benefits

In October 2017, the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal agreed to the 2017–2020 Australian Defence Force Workplace Remuneration Arrangement, which took effect on 2 November 2017. As a result, ADF members received a 6 per cent increase to salary and salary-related allowances over a three-year period with no loss in conditions of service to offset the new arrangement. Increments are paid annually in November in instalments of 2 per cent.

The Defence Enterprise Agreement 2017–2020 commenced on 16 August 2017 for all Defence non-Senior Executive Service employees, providing a 6 per cent pay increase. The first pay rise of 3 per cent took effect on 24 August 2017.

Support services

Defence capability is enhanced by providing support to ADF members and their families through the Defence Community Organisation. Support services range from crisis and bereavement support and assistance to help families to adjust to some of the challenges of military life through to support to members and their families when members transition to civilian life.

Defence continued to support APS employees through various mechanisms as part of the Employee Assistance Program. These mechanisms include critical incident debriefing and trauma counselling and group awareness sessions to support education and training.

Managing and developing staff

In 2017–18, Defence developed a skills framework to enhance professional development of all employees. In addition, Defence developed learning strategies for key business areas, to grow capability and core skills for specialised functions. These learning strategies include continuing to provide tertiary education assistance, fully funded master’s level postgraduate places through the University of New South Wales Canberra, and scholarships through the Chief of the Defence Force for ADF members and Secretary of Defence fellowship for APS employees.

Work health and safety

Health and safety remained a key priority for 2017–18. Key activities were directed towards achieving the objectives of the Defence Work Health and Safety Strategy 2017–2022. The strategy’s supporting Implementation Plan is focused on embedding work health and safety practices across all Defence business and management systems.

Cultural reform

In November 2017 the second iteration of Pathway to Change was launched. Pathway to Change: Evolving Defence Culture 2017–22 includes a refreshed cultural intent statement and six key priorities to drive an inclusive culture and high performance workplace.

Diversity

With a continued focus on broadening diversity to advance capability and performance, Defence implemented a range of initiatives to secure the best possible talent available. In doing so, Defence built diversity in the backgrounds and experiences of its workforce to help enable broader thinking in the development of policy and capability options and conduct of operations.

Defence has fostered a supportive and inclusive work culture through initiatives such as an awareness campaign to normalise flexible working arrangements. Positive changes to the representation of the workforce have been made through considered and targeted attraction, recruitment and retention strategies. Defence further progressed government initiatives such as the whole-of-government Closing the Gap strategy and the commitment to the goal of women holding 50 per cent of government board positions overall.

Complaint handling and resolution

In 2017–18, Defence has focused efforts on reducing the incidence of unacceptable behaviour and implementing improvements to complaint management.

Defence has streamlined and simplified the Defence instructions dealing with complaints to reduce the number of instructions and to ensure the instructions use plain English. Defence has also modernised and strengthened the Mandatory Workplace Behaviour Awareness training to ensure it is aligned with the intent of Pathway to Change: Evolving Defence Culture 2017–22.

Defence continued to promote the early use of internal alternative dispute resolution services, such as mediation to assist individuals or groups.

Reports of sexual misconduct

In 2017–18 the demand for the Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office’s advice services to Command and Management continued to rise, while demand for support and case management remained consistent with 2016–17. The Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office has delivered face-to-face education on Defence’s behaviour expectations, incident management requirements, and the available support services to over 50,000 personnel since 2013. Review of the Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office’s education programs began in 2017–18 to align with Defence’s primary prevention strategy.

Other key achievements and initiatives

In 2017–18 Defence made a number of other achievements:

  • A priority this year was to attract, recruit, develop, motivate and retain a sustainable Defence naval construction workforce. Defence completed a number of people capability activities, including the development of a Naval Construction APS Recruitment Strategy and a new Naval Construction Graduate Program, which will commence in September 2018.
  • During the year the Australian Signals Directorate prepared to transition to a statutory agency. The new designation took effect on 1 July 2018. Defence supported the Australian Defence Signals Directorate through:
    • the development of an Australian Signals Directorate Determination for staff
    • the transition of Australian Defence Signals Directorate employees to a statutory agency, employed under the Intelligence Services Act 2001.
  • Defence implemented new science, technology, engineering and mathematics initiatives set out in the 2016 Defence White Paper.
  • The Support for the Wounded, Injured or Ill Program continued to improve information sharing between Defence and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs; introduced new support arrangements, including the Veterans’ Affairs On-Base Advisory Service and the Defence-hosted ‘Engage’ website.
  • The Defence Family Helpline implemented Skype as a tool to further support ADF members and their families posted overseas or to remote locations within Australia.
  • Work commenced on a pilot project of early intervention family engagement with the families of injured and ill serving members.
  • The ADF Total Workforce Model introduced a contemporary workforce framework for the ADF by offering increased service options and providing flexibility for individuals across their careers. A new Service Category was introduced to allow permanent ADF members to serve less than full-time on a day-per-fortnight or weeks-per-month pattern. For more information on the Total Workforce Model, see below under ‘Workforce planning’.
  • Under the ADF Total Workforce Model, in February 2018 the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal published Determination 1 of 2018 (under section 58H of the Defence Act 1903) recognising Permanent/Regular members rendering part-time service under a Flexible Service Determination. The determination enables salary to be pro-rated for a member on a Flexible Service Determination and facilitates access to all patterns of service for permanent ADF members, including months-per-year patterns.

First Principles Review initiatives

The First Principles Review, which commenced implementation in 2015, aims to ensure that Defence will remain fit for purpose and able to promptly respond to future challenges. To implement the recommendations of the First Principles Review, five work streams were created to deliver the 75 recommendations of the review.

During 2017–18, Defence implemented a number of initiatives under the Behaviours and Workforce streams of the First Principles Review.

The initiatives that were introduced during the reporting period focused on supporting Defence’s leadership, culture, performance management and workforce planning frameworks. Further details on initiatives are discussed below.

Leadership

A core theme of the First Principles Review was leadership accountability. Accordingly, throughout 2017–18, a key focus for Defence was on enhancing senior leader performance and accountability. Defence implemented role charters, which describe the responsibilities, accountabilities, deliverables and expected behaviours of each senior leadership position. All members (ADF and APS) of the Senior Leadership Group now have a role charter in place.

Changes were made to the Senior Executive performance appraisals, with a greater emphasis on leadership behaviours and a requirement to make a corporate contribution to the broader organisation or public service.

Defence introduced a 360-degree feedback program. All senior leaders are to complete a 360-degree feedback process at least once every three years. The feedback program has been mapped to the One Defence Leadership Behaviours and includes an individual development plan to assist leaders to focus on specific areas requiring development. To date, 288 members of the Senior Leadership Group have completed a 360-degree feedback appraisal.

Performance management

A revised APS Performance Management Framework was implemented to provide a simpler, more streamlined approach to performance management. Its emphasis is on the importance of the performance conversation rather than the process. The new framework incorporates a streamlined performance management template, a greater focus on recognising and rewarding high performance through a dedicated Reward and Recognition Guide, and increased accountability for effective people management.

Cultural change

In November 2017, the Secretary and Chief of the Defence Force launched Pathway to Change: Evolving Defence Culture 2017–22. The new strategy builds on the initial five-year implementation strategy.

Pathway to Change: Evolving Defence Culture 2017–22 is underpinned by a refreshed cultural intent statement and key cultural reform priorities. The cultural reform priorities for 2017–22 are:

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

The refreshed cultural intent statement positions Defence to achieve positive, proactive and enduring cultural change with a focus on strengthening our capability.

Workforce planning

Defence continued to implement the Defence Strategic Workforce Plan, which has seen improvements to ADF and APS recruiting and ADF Transition Support Services. ADF recruiting was able to enlist 94 per cent of personnel to Defence requirements. Women represented 30 per cent of enlistments and, combined with retention efforts, this has resulted in 652 more women serving in the ADF (Service Categories 7 and 6) than 12 months ago. Indigenous representation in the ADF also improved, with over 500 Indigenous personnel recruited. Total Indigenous representation is now at 2.6 per cent. Improved APS recruitment processes have reduced the average recruitment time frames by 32 per cent. In relation to transition services, Defence implemented individualised career coaching and mentoring services to ADF personnel who transition from Defence, with the aim of assisting members to achieve employment.

Workforce planning

This section provides information on average workforce strength during 2017–18. Like other APS agencies, Defence uses average workforce strength figures for planning and budgeting purposes.

Staffing levels and statistics

Defence budgets for its ADF workforce on a ‘funded strength’ basis. It budgets for the APS workforce on a ‘full-time equivalent’ basis. Defence uses actual full-time equivalent, which is paid strength on a particular date, to provide the most accurate indicator of current staffing levels. By contrast, workforce planning is based on average funded strength and full-time equivalent respectively for the financial year. These averages are suitable for planning and budgeting purposes, but they are lag indicators against the actual end-of-year figures. These indicators are used to plan for an affordable workforce.

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

Feature: 2018 Future Leaders' Summit

Total Workforce Model

In 2016–17 Defence transitioned to the new service continuum under the Total Workforce Model. Notes contained under each workforce table in this section apply the relevant Total Workforce Model explanation.

Table 7.1: Total Workforce Model continuum

Previous description Total Workforce Model continuum Additional information
Permanent Full-time service (Service Category 7) Reservists on continuous full-time service (Service Option C) are included in permanent force funded strength numbers but not in headcount figures.
  Part-time service (Service Category 6)
Reserves Specific pattern of service and number of days served (Service Category 5) Members of the Reserves who provide a contribution to capability that extends across financial years and who have security of tenure for the duration of their approved commitment to serve. They are liable for a call-out. They can undertake continuous full-time service (Service Option C).
  Available for voluntary service at short notice (Service Category 4) Members of the Reserves who provide capability on short notice, with their notice to move defined by their Service. They are liable for call-out and available to be ‘called for’. They can undertake continuous full-time service (Service Option C).
  Available for service or providing service (Service Category 3) Members of the Reserves who provide a contingent contribution to capability by indicating their availability to serve or who are rendering service to meet a specified task within a financial year. They are liable for call-out. They can undertake continuous full-time service (Service Option C).
  Not providing service but can be called out in specific circumstances if required (Service Category 2) Members of the Reserve Forces who do not render service and have no service obligation. They are liable for call-out.
Defence APS employees on deployment Employees of the Defence APS who are force assigned (Service Category 1) APS employees of Defence who have been seconded or attached to the ADF and are force assigned on operations.
ADF Gap Year Full-time service (Service Option G)  

Australian Defence Force staffing

ADF staffing figures for 2016–17 and 2017–18 are shown in Table 7.2.

Table 7.2: Australian Defence Force—staffing figures, 2016–17 and 2017–18

ADF staffing measure
2016–17
2017–18
Variation
For workforce planning purposes
Actual funded strength (paid strength as at 30 June)
58,612
58,363
–249
Average funded strength (over the financial year)
58,680
58,475
–205
For other statistical data
Permanent headcount (on duty/leave and paid/unpaid)
58,206
57,957
–252

Notes:

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 457 participants on 30 June 2017 and 527 participants on 30 June 2018.

Funded strength figures do not include the Reserve workforce (Service Categories 5, 4 and 3) other than those on continuous full-time service (Service Option C). Those on Service Option C are paid through the same mechanism as permanent force members (Service Categories 7 and 6). For consistency with other tables in this chapter, the headcount figures do not include Reserve members.

Table 7.3 details ADF permanent force (Service Categories 7 and 6) average funded strength for 2017–18. ADF strength was 58,475 in 2017–18—a decrease of 205 from 2016–17. This includes ADF Reservists on continuous full-time service (Service Option C). Average funded strength for continuous full-time service was 722 (comprising Navy, 274; Army, 382; and Air Force, 66)—a decrease of 101 from 2016–17.

The ADF growth will continue towards the 2016 Defence White Paper allocation of 62,400, transitioning the skills of the current workforce to align with future capabilities delivered through the Integration Investment Plan.

Table 7.3: Australian Defence Force Permanent Force (Service Categories 7 and 6), and Reserves undertaking continuous full-time service (Service Option C), average funded strength

2016–17 Actual
2017–18 Budget estimate1
2017–18 Revised estimate2
2017–18 Actual
Variation
%
Navy
14,077
14,123
13,807
13,818
11
0.0
Army
30,314
30,672
30,568
30,410
–158
–0.5
Air Force
14,289
14,399
14,310
14,247
–63
–0.4
Total average funded strength
58,680
59,194
58,685
58,475
–210
–0.4

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

  1. As published in the Portfolio Budget Statements 2017–18.
  2. As published in the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2017–18.

ADF enlistments and separations

The permanent ADF headcount (Service Categories 7 and 6) decreased by 252 in 2017–18. This reflects the net difference between enlistments and separations.

The ADF enlisted 5,237 permanent members, made up of 3,666 men and 1,571 women, for the 12 months to
30 June 2018. This was 226 fewer enlistments than in 2016–17.

ADF enlistments can be categorised as ab initio (those with no prior military service) or prior service enlistments. Of the 5,237 ADF permanent members enlisted, 1,026 entrants had prior military service in the Reserves (Service Categories 5, 4 and 3), the Gap Year program (Service Option G) or another country, or they had previous permanent force service. There were 4,211 ab initio entrants.

Tables 7.4 and 7.5 provide comparative information about ADF permanent force (Service Categories 7 and 6) separations over the last two years.

Table 7.4: ADF permanent force (Service Categories 7 and 6), 12-month rolling separation rates, as at 30 June 2017 and 30 June 2018

12-month rolling separation rate (%)
30 June 2017
30 June 2018
Navy
9.6
9.3
Army
10.2
10.8
Air Force
6.0
6.7
Total ADF permanent force
9.0
9.4

Notes: For improved accuracy, separation rates are calculated using monthly average headcounts, not end of financial year headcount figures.

Table 7.5: ADF permanent force (Service Categories 7 and 6) separations, 2016–17 and 2017–18

   
Voluntary separations1
Involuntary separations2
Age retirement
Trainee separations
Total
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
1,311
805
17
525
2,658
Air Force Officers
160
52
9
33
254
  Other ranks
380
148
28
46
602
Total ADF permanent force Officers
529
179
26
191
925
Other ranks
2,298
1,257
48
741
4,344
Total
2,827
1,436
74
932
5,269
2017–18
Navy Officers
136
22
16
48
222
  Other ranks
648
252
14
132
1,046
Army Officers
254
97
27
114
492
  Other ranks
1,391
858
21
495
2,765
Air Force Officers
195
78
17
35
325
  Other ranks
420
159
12
48
639
Total ADF permanent force Officers
585
197
60
197
1,039
Other ranks
2,459
1,269
47
675
4,450
Total
3,044
1,466
107
872
5,489

Notes: Figures in this table show permanent force (Service Categories 7 and 6) substantive headcount numbers. Reserves undertaking continuous full-time service (Service Option C) are not included. Separation groupings are mutually exclusive, and an individual is placed in only one group with age retirement and trainee separations taking precedent over voluntary and involuntary separations. ADF members commencing leave or leave without pay are not included.

Data for 2016–17 does not match the data provided in the Defence Annual Report 2016–17 due to retrospective transactions.

  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’.

ADF Reserves

The number of days each ADF Reserve member (Service Categories 5, 4 and 3) works in a year can vary substantially depending on personal circumstances and organisational need. To reflect this, Table 7.6 shows both the total number of days served by Reserve members in 2017–18 and the number of Reservists who rendered paid service.

In 2017–18 there was a decrease of 1,645 days’ service over 2016–17 to a total of 965,418 (Navy, 96,121; Army, 665,774; Air Force, 203,523), while the number of Reservists undertaking service days increased to 20,022 (Navy, 1,642; Army, 15,030; Air Force, 3,350). Pays served by Navy Reserve members was greater than forecast (by 1.2 per cent), while the number of days served by both Army and Air Force Reserve members was less than forecast (by 0.6 per cent and 9.1 per cent respectively).

Table 7.6: ADF Reserve paid strength (Service Categories 5, 4 and 3), 2016–17 and 2017–18

2016–17 Actual:
days served (members paid)
2017–18 Budget estimate:1
days served (members paid)
2017–18 Revised estimate:2
days served (members paid)
2017–18 Actual:
days served (members paid)
Variation:
days served (members paid)
Percentage variation
days served (members paid)
Navy
104,445
(1,777)
100,000
(1,850)
95,000
(1,750)
96,121
(1,642)
1,121
(–108)
1.2
(–6.1)
Army
653,458
(14,579)
690,000
(14,750)
670,000
(14,750)
665,774
(15,030)
–4,226
(280)
–0.6
(1.9)
Air Force
209,160
(3,278)
224,000
(3,100)
224,000
(3,100)
203,523
(3,350)
–20,477
(250)
–9.1
(8.1)
Total Paid Reserves
967,063
(19,634)
1,014,000
(19,700)
989,000
(19,600)
965,418
(20,022)
–23,582
(422)
–2.4
(2.2)

Notes: 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. This table includes Service Categories 5, 4 and 3. Reservists on continuous full-time service (Service Option C) are not included in this table; they are included in Table 7.3.

  1. As published in the Portfolio Budget Statements 2017–18.
  2. As published in the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2017–18.

Australian Public Service workforce

APS staffing figures for 2016–17 and 2017–18 are shown in Table 7.7

Table 7.7: Australian Public Service—staffing figures, 2016–17 and 2017–18

APS staffing measure
2016–17
2017–18
Variation
For workforce planning purposes
Actual full-time equivalent (paid strength as at 30 June)
17,308
17,728
420
Average full-time equivalent (over the financial year)
17,269
17,407
138
For other statistical data
Headcount figure (on duty/leave, full-time or part-time, paid/unpaid)
18,395
18,784
+389

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

Table 7.8 shows details of the APS average strength, expressed as average full-time equivalent, for 2017–18. APS average strength was 17,407 in 2017–18. This was an increase of 138 from the 2016–17 figure of 17,269. As Table 7.9 shows, the increase in full-time equivalents in 2017–18 was 420, to a total of 17,728.

Defence’s workforce numbers are determined through continuing reforms to Defence’s business practices. It has 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 7.8: APS workforce, average full-time equivalent, 2016–17 and 2017–18

 
2016–17
Actual
2017–18
Budget
estimate1
2017–18
Revised
estimate2
2017–18
Actual
Variation
%
APS
17,269
17,970
17,500
17,407
–93
–0.5

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

  1. As published in the Portfolio Budget Statements 2017–18.
  2. As published in the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2017–18.

Table 7.9: APS workforce, end-of-year full-time equivalent, 2016–17 and 2017–18

 
2016–17
Actual
2017–18
Budget
estimate1
2017–18
Revised
estimate2
2017–18
Actual
Variation
%
Total APS
17,308
18,170
17,800
17,728
–72
–0.4

Notes: Figures in this table are actual full-time equivalent for the last payday of 2017–18. Employees on forms of leave without pay are not included. The figures differ from Table 7.8, as that table shows the average full-time equivalent across the full year.

  1. As published in the Portfolio Budget Statements 2017–18.
  2. As published in the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2017–18.

APS recruitment and separations

Defence recruited 2,068 APS employees during 2017–18, including 323 as part of the graduate program.

The APS headcount increased by 389, which reflects the net difference between recruitment and separations (Table 7.7). The majority of separations were due to resignation or retirement from Defence (Table 7.10).

Table 7.10: APS separations, 2016–17 and 2017–18

Voluntary
redundancy1
Involuntary
separations2
Resignation/
retirement3
Transfers4
Total
2016–175
Senior Executive Service
1
9
6
16
Executive Levels 1 and 2
50
13
265
58
386
Other levels
127
71
817
132
1,147
Total APS
178
84
1,091
196
1,549
2017–18
Senior Executive Service
15
5
20
Executive Levels 1 and 2
56
15
284
62
417
Other levels
192
59
872
119
1,242
Total APS
248
74
1,171
186
1,679

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

  1. Voluntary redundancies are those that are program initiated.
  2. Involuntary figures include breach 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 2016–17 figures have been adjusted from those reported in the Defence Annual Report 2016–17 to account for retrospective transactions.

Actual workforce

This section provides workforce information as at 30 June 2018 and outlines changes in the workforce that occurred during 2017–18. Tables 7.11 to 7.17 include numbers of people, employment categories, locations and gender information. The number of Star-rank and Senior Executive Service officers are also provided at Tables 7.13 and 7.14. The information is based on headcount.

At 30 June 2018, Defence had a permanent workforce of 76,536, comprising 57,957 permanent ADF members (Service Categories 7 and 6) and 18,579 ongoing APS employees. An additional 205 APS employees were employed on a non-ongoing basis (Table 7.11).

The Reserve (Service Categories 5, 4 and 3) headcount increased by 2,675 to 25,770 (including those members on continuous full-time service (Service Option C)). The total ADF workforce was 83,727, and included 16,575 Navy permanent and Reserve members, 47,340 Army permanent and Reserve members, and 19,812 Air Force permanent and Reserve members. At 30 June 2018, 1,209 Reservists were also Defence APS employees.

Table 7.11: Defence workforce headcount as at 30 June 2017 and 30 June 2018

 
Navy
Army
Air Force
ADF1
APS2
Headcount 30 June 2017
13,657
30,163
14,389
58,209
18,395
Additions
1,261
3,088
888
5,237
2,068
Separations
1,268
3,257
964
5,489
1,679
Headcount 30 June 2018
13,650
29,994
14,313
57,957
18,784
Change
–7
–169
–76
–252
389

Notes: Figures in this table show substantive headcount numbers.

  1. ADF figures are for permanent members (Service Categories 7 and 6) and do not include Reserves (Service Categories 5, 4 and 3), Reservists undertaking continuous full-time service (Service Option C) or ADF Gap Year participants (Service Option G).
  2. APS figures include paid and unpaid employees, which covers full-time, part-time, ongoing and non-ongoing employees.

Table 7.12: Defence workforce by employment location, as at 30 June 2018

NSW
Vic1
Qld
SA
WA
Tas
NT
ACT2
O/S3
Total
Permanent force4
Navy
6,449
1,420
802
207
2,273
12
606
1,672
209
13,650
Army
5,119
3,101
12,832
1,932
900
56
2,830
2,918
306
29,994
Air Force
4,539
955
3,070
2,006
320
9
961
2,121
332
14,313
Subtotal
16,107
5,476
16,704
4,145
3,493
77
4,397
6,711
847
57,957
Reserves5
Navy
929
254
361
80
244
75
74
901
7
2,925
Army
4,765
3,107
4,395
1,441
1,722
487
491
925
13
17,346
Air Force
1,385
443
1,526
555
258
65
125
1,142
 
5,499
Subtotal
7,079
3,804
6,282
2,076
2,224
627
690
2,968
20
25,770
Total ADF
23,186
9,280
22,986
6,221
5,717
704
5,087
9,679
867
83,727
APS6
Total APS
2,618
3,549
1,261
2,035
473
72
249
8,499
28
18,784

Notes: Figures in this table show substantive headcount numbers.

  1. Victorian figures include individuals located in Albury, New South Wales.
  2. Australian Capital Territory figures include individuals located in Jervis Bay (Commonwealth), Queanbeyan (New South Wales) and Bungendore (New South Wales).
  3. Individuals posted overseas for reasons including long-term duty, training, exchange and liaison.
  4. Permanent Force (Service Categories 7 and 6) does not include ADF Gap Year participants (Service Option G).
  5. Reserves include all active members (Service Categories 5, 4 and 3) and Reservists undertaking continuous full-time service (Service Option C).
  6. Includes paid and unpaid employees, which covers full-time, part-time, ongoing and non-ongoing employees. The 30 June 2018 figures for the APS include 1,209 APS employees who are also counted as Reserve members.

Table 7.13: Star-ranked officers as at 30 June 2018

Star-ranked officers1 2017–18 promotions2 2017–18 separations
Men
Women
Total
Men
Women
Total
Men
Women
Total
Four-star
Navy
Army
Air Force
1
1
Three-star
Navy
3
3
Army
2
2
1
1
Air Force
2
2
1
1
Two-star
Navy
13
13
3
3
Army
17
1
18
5
5
5
1
6
Air Force
9
2
11
1
1
3
3
One-star
Navy
34
7
41
7
2
9
3
3
Army
52
9
61
16
16
6
1
7
Air Force
35
2
37
6
6
8
1
9
Total
168
21
189
40
2
42
25
3
28

Notes:

  1. Figures in this table show members in Service Category 7 and 6 (Permanent Service), at their substantive rank.
  2. Figures in this table show substantive promotions only.

Table 7.14: APS Senior Executive Service employees as at 30 June 2018

Total Senior Executive Service1 2017–18 engagements2 3 2017–18 separations2 4
Men
Women
Total
Men
Women
Total
Men
Women
Total
Senior Executive
Secretary
1
1
1
1
Band 3
7
2
9
3
3
3
1
4
Band 25
18
5
23
2
2
4
1
5
Band 16
57
38
95
5
2
7
7
4
11
Chief of Division
Grade 2
8
3
11
2
1
3
Grade 1
2
2
Senior Executive
Relief staff7
17
12
29
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total
110
60
170
13
3
16
14
6
20

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-Senior Executive Service employees on long-term acting arrangements in Senior Executive Service / Chief of Division positions that are vacant, or where the incumbents are taking leave, acting in higher positions or undertaking other duties.

Table 7.15: APS Executive Level employees and below, by gender and classification, as at 30 June 2018

  30 June 2018 headcount 2017–18 engagements 2017–18 separations
 
Men
Women
Total
Men
Women
Total
Men
Women
Total
Executive Level
Executive Level 2
1,276
444
1,720
38
33
71
99
39
138
Executive Level 1
2,474
1,361
3,835
128
110
238
191
88
279
Subtotal
3,750
1,805
5,555
166
143
309
290
127
417
Other staff
APS Level 6
3,180
2,073
5,253
254
199
453
284
162
446
APS Level 5
1,743
1,331
3,074
203
157
360
173
121
294
APS Level 4
885
1,067
1,952
116
142
258
72
86
158
APS Level 3
491
979
1,470
49
85
134
63
114
177
APS Level 2
495
533
1,028
217
173
390
58
69
127
APS Level 1
178
126
304
82
66
148
23
17
40
Subtotal
6,972
6,109
13,081
921
822
1,743
673
569
1,242
Total APS
10,722
7,914
18,636
1,087
965
2,052
963
696
1,659

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

Table 7.16: APS employees by gender, as at 30 June 2017 and 30 June 2018

 
30 June 20171
30 June 2018
 
Full-time
Part-time2
Total
Full-time
Part-time2
Total
Ongoing employees
Men
10,388
230
10,618
10,458
242
10,700
Women
6,544
1,099
7,643
6,798
1,080
7,878
Unspecified3
1
1
1
1
Total ongoing
16,932
1,330
18,262
17,256
1,323
18,579
Non-ongoing employees
Men
69
9
78
104
15
119
Women
53
2
55
78
8
86
Unspecified3
Total non-ongoing
122
11
133
182
23
205
Total APS employees
Men
10,457
239
10,696
10,562
257
10,819
Women
6,597
1,101
7,698
6,876
1,088
7,964
Unspecified3
1
1
1
1
Total
17,054
1,341
18,395
17,438
1,346
18,784

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

  1. Some 30 June 2017 figures have been adjusted from those reported in the Defence Annual Report 2016–17 to account for retrospective transactions.
  2. Part-time employees are those with weekly hours fewer than the standard hours. It does not relate to employees in part-time positions.
  3. Figures include employees who have identified as indeterminate, intersex or unspecified.

Table 7.17: ADF permanent (Service Categories 7 and 6), Gap Year (Service Option G) and Reserve forces (Service Categories 5, 4 and 3) and APS by gender, as at 30 June 2017 and 30 June 2018

 
30 June 20171
30 June 2018
 
Men
%
Women
%
Men
%
Women
%
Navy permanent2
Trained force
Officers
2,060
15.1
516
3.8
2,050
15.0
527
3.9
Other ranks
7,510
55.0
1,785
13.1
7,331
53.7
1,893
13.9
Training force
Officers
570
4.2
161
1.2
607
4.4
178
1.3
Other ranks
727
5.3
328
2.4
728
5.3
336
2.5
Total Navy
10,867
79.6
2,790
20.4
10,716
78.5
2,934
21.5
Army permanent2
Trained force
Officers
4,551
15.1
849
2.8
4,616
15.4
865
2.9
Other ranks
18,680
61.9
2,383
7.9
18,401
61.4
2,574
8.6
Training force
Officers
804
2.7
237
0.8
774
2.6
251
0.8
Other ranks
2,146
7.1
511
1.7
1,917
6.4
594
2.0
Total Army
26,181
86.8
3,980
13.2
25,708
85.7
4,284
14.3
Air Force permanent2
Trained force
Officers
3,428
23.8
947
6.6
3,390
23.7
989
6.9
Other ranks
7,124
49.5
1,604
11.1
6,920
48.4
1,723
12.0
Training force
Officers
551
3.8
184
1.3
573
4.0
223
1.6
Other ranks
324
2.3
226
1.6
264
1.8
230
1.6
Total Air Force
11,427
79.4
2,961
20.6
11,147
77.9
3,165
22.1
ADF permanent2
Trained force
Officers
10,039
17.2
2,312
4.0
10,056
17.4
2,381
4.1
Other ranks
33,314
57.2
5,772
9.9
32,652
56.3
6,190
10.7
Training force
Officers
1,925
3.3
582
1.0
1,954
3.4
652
1.1
Other ranks
3,197
5.5
1,065
1.8
2,909
5.0
1,160
2.0
Total ADF permanent
48,475
83.3
9,731
16.7
47,571
82.1
10,383
17.9
ADF Gap Year
Navy
22
4.8
53
11.6
43
8.2
56
10.7
Army
183
40.0
85
18.6
192
36.6
105
20.0
Air Force/
69
15.1
45
9.8
64
12.2
64
12.2
Total ADF Gap Year
274
60.0
183
40.0
299
57.1
225
42.9
Reserves2 3
Navy
2,162
9.4
655
2.8
2,257
8.8
668
2.6
Army
13,006
56.3
2,228
9.6
14,802
57.4
2,544
9.9
Air Force
4,004
17.3
1,040
4.5
4,372
17.0
1,127
4.4
Total Reserves
19,172
83.0
3,923
17.0
21,431
83.2
4,339
16.8
APS2 4
Total APS
10,696
58.1
7,698
41.9
10,819
57.6
7,964
42.4

Notes: Figures in this table show substantive headcount numbers. Percentage figures are calculated within each section, so that the subtotal for each section adds to 100 per cent. Percentages may not sum due to rounding.

  1. Some 30 June 2017 figures have been adjusted from those reported in the Defence Annual Report 2017–18 to account for retrospective transactions.
  2. Figures exclude employees who do not exclusively identify as either male or female.
  3. Reserves include all active members (Service Categories 5, 4 and 3) and Reservists undertaking continuous full-time service (Service Option C).
  4. Figures include paid, unpaid, full-time, part-time, ongoing and non-ongoing employees. The 30 June 2018 figures for the APS include 1,209 APS employees who are also counted as Reserve members.

ADF Gap Year program

A total of 495 participants enlisted in the 2017 ADF Gap Year program (Navy, 75; Army, 300; Air Force, 120). A total of 570 participants have enlisted in the 2018 program (Navy, 100; Army, 330; Air Force, 140). As at 30 June 2018, eight members from the 2017 program and 516 members from the 2018 program (a total of 524) were still participating.

Table 7.18: ADF Gap Year (Service Options G) participants, as at 30 June 2018

 
Navy
Army
Air Force
ADF
Total
 
Men
Women
Men
Women
Men
Women
Men
Women
 
2017 program
Participants
21
54
209
91
70
50
300
195
495
Separated or inactive Reserves
6
19
68
13
22
8
96
40
136
Transferred to permanent ADF
15
29
105
55
37
37
157
121
278
Transferred to active Reserves
35
22
11
5
46
27
73
Still participating in 2017 program
6
1
1
1
7
8
2018 program
Participants
45
55
216
114
71
69
332
238
570
Separated or inactive Reserves
2
3
25
8
7
5
34
16
50
Transferred to permanent ADF
2
0
2
2
Transferred to active Reserves
2
0
2
2
Still participating in 2018 program
43
50
191
104
64
64
298
218
516

ADF Cadets

Throughout 2017–18 Defence continued to deliver and administer several youth development and engagement activities. Foremost among these is the Australian Defence Force Cadets (ADF Cadets) program.

ADF Cadets is a personal development program for young people, supported by the ADF in cooperation with the community. The program benefits the nation by developing the capacity of young Australians to contribute to society. It also fosters an interest in ADF careers and develops ongoing support for Defence.

ADF Cadets comprises three Cadet organisations administered by the Navy, the Army and the Air Force; and the ADF Cadets Headquarters, which is tasked with the governance of common elements of the three organisations’ programs.

Approximately 24,500 Cadets are currently enrolled in the three Cadet programs; 4,500 officers and instructors of Cadets and ‘approved helpers’ supervise and support the young people in the programs; and there are 520 ADF Cadets units across all states and territories.

Major influences in 2017–18

Defence has an obligation to implement a robust youth safety framework across both the Defence portfolio and the ADF Cadets program. Defence continued to use a concerted organisational effort to implement the Defence Youth Safety Framework throughout the year.

In August 2017 the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released the Report of case study No 40: The response of the Australian Defence Force to allegations of child sexual abuse. Several recommendations of the report pertained specifically to systemic youth safety deficiencies within the ADF Cadets program. Therefore remediation of these deficiencies was afforded a high priority throughout the reporting period.

Defence Youth Safety Framework

The Defence Youth Safety Framework was launched in December 2015. The aim of the framework is to create and maintain a youth safe organisation through the adoption of appropriate and consistent approaches to youth safety and youth safety governance.

During 2017–18 Defence made good progress in implementing the Defence Youth Safety Framework across the three ADF Cadets organisations. The foundation elements of the framework were embedded by September 2017. A subsequent consolidation phase built on the development and implementation actions achieved in earlier phases, with a focus on the continued evolution of youth safety policy and resources. Systemic risk was reduced, and by the end of 2017–18 the ADF Cadets enterprise was progressing towards a proactive, sustained and leading approach to youth safety.

‘One Cadet’ reform program

The ‘One Cadet’ reform program was initiated in October 2016. The program aims to standardise the governance of common elements of the three ADF Cadets organisations’ programs, with an emphasis on youth safety, training coordination, communications and enterprise support.

The governance/administration regime matured in 2017–18, aided by the co-location of the three services’ Cadets headquarters in August 2017.

Throughout 2017–18, Defence continued to standardise appropriate elements of the three Cadet programs. This work is continuing. Defence worked on changes to age brackets for ADF Cadets; development of an updated security policy and procedures as required by Defence’s SAFEBASE Review; health management for ADF Cadets personnel; and an ADF Cadets incident reporting system.

Defence also undertook a review of Cadet Forces Allowance to derive a suitable contemporary form of payment for Officers and Instructors of Cadets that aligns with changes to the Defence Act 1903. A working group began implementing the review’s recommendations in November 2017. That work continues.

Australian Navy Cadets

Throughout 2017–18 the Australian Navy Cadets Directorate continued with a range of program-specific initiatives, including a major watercraft replacement project; substantial enhancements to training and development of adult volunteers; increases in national Cadet activities; and replacement of ceremonial firearms throughout the program. The Australian Navy Cadets Directorate also developed and implemented a new strategic plan, Australian Navy Cadet Strategy to 2021.

Australian Army Cadets

In 2017–18 the Australian Army Cadets program continued to grow, professionalise and modernise. The Army Cadets is a key part of the Army’s community engagement program. This year 12 new Army Cadets units were raised, mainly in rural and remote communities. Many of the new units have a high representation of Indigenous youth. Four of the 12 new units are all-female school-based Cadet units, which means there has been a 10 per cent increase in female participation in the Army Cadets program. Female membership grew to 21 per cent of the Army Cadets population during the period.

Australian Air Force Cadets

During 2017–18 the Royal Australian Air Force continued to enhance aviation capability within the Australian Air Force Cadets so that Cadets can enjoy the aviation experiences that are fundamental elements of this program. The new capability includes 22 gliders and leased powered aircraft. This allows Cadets to undertake a range of aviation activities, including the opportunity to obtain civil pilot qualifications. Royal Australian Air Force staff also purchased eight modern training aircraft to replace ageing leased aircraft. The new aircraft are scheduled to enter service in 2019.

Project SUAKIN (Total Workforce Model)

To sustain ADF capability, Defence must be able to attract and retain the right people. To support this goal, Project SUAKIN (the Total Workforce Model) is developing patterns of flexible service to better position Defence and the ADF as an employer of choice.

The Total Workforce Model, implemented in 2016, is the framework that Defence is using to modernise its workforce and achieve a balance between capability requirements and individual flexible arrangements.

The model offers increased service options, providing flexibility for individuals across their careers and organisational agility for Defence.

Under the model, Service Categories are used to group the ADF workforce into similar services that share mutual obligations and conditions of service. Members of the permanent ADF now serve in Service Categories 7 and 6. Reservists serve in Service Categories 5, 4 and 3.

On 24 August 2017, Service Category 6 was introduced under an interim arrangement. The category allows permanent ADF members to serve part-time on a days-per-fortnight or weeks-per-month pattern.

Implementation of Service Category 6 will be completed in late 2018. At that time, the interim arrangements will be replaced with a revised military personnel policy and pay and conditions policy that will allow for all patterns of flexible service, including months per year.

Project SUAKIN has continued to support change in culture to improve ADF leaders’ and members’ understanding of the benefits to capability of a flexible service continuum.

For more information on the new Service Categories, see above under ‘Workforce planning’.

Job Families Renewal Project

The Defence APS Job Families framework gives a whole-of-Defence overview of APS capability. Defence job families are aligned to the APS Job Family Model framework and assist with workforce planning, skilling, recruitment, education and training. The Defence Strategic Workforce Plan 2016–2026 used the Job Family framework to identify areas of risk across the Defence workforce. The framework is being reviewed to ensure that it continues to support the changing workforce environment, which will be completed in early 2019.

Workforce plans have been developed for 15 Groups/Divisions and 20 job families. From these workforce plans Defence is implementing initiatives that enable it to develop a skilled and capable workforce that has the agility to meet emerging requirements.

Recruitment activities

The Defence Strategic Workforce Plan 2016–2026 identified the need to improve attraction and recruitment for the military and civilian workforce. The following activities have been progressed in 2017–18:

  • ADF medical enlistment standards have been reviewed and are now more closely aligned with serving standards. Additional medical testing (such as vision testing) now occurs in the recruiting centres rather than by referral to outside providers. These initiatives have resulted in a reduction of medical reports requested from 68 per cent to 48 per cent of candidates, which has led to a reduction of time in the recruitment process for selected candidates. These medical initiatives have also resulted in more eligible candidates from the existing pool and have improved the overall efficiency of the recruitment process.
  • An ADF online candidate self-service portal has been implemented. The new portal allows candidates to remotely upload documents to support their application.
  • For a limited number of ADF categories, psychological assessments are now undertaken before people are enlisted, to prevent the enlistment and training of people who will not meet the requirement for the necessary security clearance.
  • Defence has continued to implement the APS Recruiting Strategy with the introduction of a new fast-tracking selection approach that includes online selection tools.
  • A dedicated Naval Construction APS graduate entry stream has been introduced.
  • Customer Recruitment Account Managers have been introduced to support faster APS recruitment for critical positions.
  • Online mechanisms, including an APS Candidate Portal, a temporary employment register and a Naval Construction website, have been further developed.
  • The science, technology, engineering and mathematics cadetship program has been expanded and now includes 35 APS cadets within the Defence Science and Technology Group.

As a result of these activities, ADF recruitment achievement for the full-time workforce was 94 per cent of targets set by the Services, and the average time taken to recruit for the APS workforce has reduced by 32 per cent.

Remuneration and benefits

Defence remuneration is a key component of the Defence employment package. It attracts people to join Defence, encourages them to develop personally and professionally and ensures they choose to remain in Defence. The employment offer provides for fair and competitive remuneration, consistent with the parameters laid down by the government.

The diverse remuneration structures of the ADF and APS are explained further in this section.

Australian Defence Force members

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 2017–2020 Australian Defence Force Workplace Remuneration Arrangement is a key component of the ADF remuneration framework. It is part of the ADF remuneration initiative aimed at attracting and retaining military personnel. The arrangement forms a significant part of ADF members’ total employment package.

The arrangement increases pay and pay-related allowances by 6 per cent over the life of the arrangement (2 per cent per annum) in return for enhanced Defence capability. Other conditions of service are determined by the Minister for Defence under section 58B of the Defence Act. The current arrangement came into effect on 02 November 2017. Table 7.19 details salary ranges for permanent ADF members as at 30 June 2018.

Table 7.19: Permanent Australian Defence Force salary ranges as at 30 June 2018

Rank
Salary range ($)
 
Minimum
Maximum
Officer of the permanent force (equivalent)
General (E)1
$581,700
$581,700
Lieutenant General (E)1
$397,824
$410,172
Major General (E)2
$235,595
$287,307
Brigadier (E)2 3
$193,291
$299,920
Colonel (E)2 3 5
$147,773
$250,826
Lieutenant Colonel (E)2 5
$125,680
$238,678
Major (E)2 5
$88,039
$215,008
Captain (E)2 5
$68,955
$204,077
Lieutenant (E4)
$57,321
$120,154
2nd Lieutenant (E)4
$53,555
$112,168
Other rank of the permanent force (equivalent)
Warrant Officer Class 1 (E)
$78,083
$120,177
Warrant Officer Class 2 (E)
$71,918
$111,356
Staff Sergeant (E)
$69,506
$107,426
Sergeant (E)
$62,146
$102,737
Corporal (E)
$53,702
$93,945
Lance Corporal (E)
$49,399
$87,319
Private Proficient (E)
$48,378
$86,298
Private (E)
$47,377
$85,302

Notes: This table lists the Base Salary ranges and does not include allowances or superannuation.

  1. General (equivalent) and some Lieutenant General (equivalent) rates are set by the Remuneration Tribunal.
  2. Includes rates for Medical Officers and legal statutory appointments.
  3. Includes rates for Chaplains.
  4. Includes transitional rates for other rank appointed as officer.
  5. Excludes Medical Procedural Specialist.

Australian Public Service employees

Terms and conditions of employment, including remuneration, performance management and working arrangements for the Defence non-Senior Executive Service workforce are set out in an Enterprise Agreement made under the FairWork Act 2009. The agreement is developed through consultation with employees and their representatives and is negotiated consistent with legislation and the Government’s bargaining policy.

Table 7.20 shows the types of employment arrangements covering SES and non-SES employees in Defence as at 30 June 2018.

Table 7.20: Number of SES and non-SES employees by employment arrangement, as at 30 June 2018

Employment arrangement
Non-SES
SES
Enterprise agreement (Defence Enterprise Agreement 2017–2020)1
18,636
Section 24(1) determination and common law agreement2
140

Notes:

  1. Includes 1,112 employees covered by a Building Defence Capability Payment or individual flexibility arrangement that varies the terms of the Defence Enterprise Agreement 2017-2020.
  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 7.21 details Defence APS salary rates as at 30 June 2018. The majority of Defence employees receive salaries within the standard ranges. However, the Enterprise Agreement allows for remuneration and other benefits to be varied so that Defence can develop, attract and retain selected employees with the necessary skills and knowledge to deliver capability.

Table 7.21: Australian Public Service salary ranges at 30 June 2018

Classification Minimum Maximum Individual arrangements1
Senior Executive Service pay arrangements
SES Band 3
$242,829
$289,321
$530,553
SES Band 22
$195,282
$243,999
$371,387
SES Band 13
$160,932
$205,928
$207,723
Non-Senior Executive Service pay arrangements4
Executive Level 2
$114,906
$137,922
$184,6545
Executive Level 1
$98,967
$111,633
$137,9226
APS Level 6
$78,304
$89,449
$92,1477
APS Level 5
$71,477
$76,561
$77,1518
APS Level 4
$65,133
$71,109
 
APS Level 3
$57,500
$63,357
 
APS Level 2
$50,479
$56,749
$57,3339
APS Level 1
$44,605
$50,071
 

Notes: This table lists the Base Salary ranges and does not include allowances or superannuation.

  1. Maximum salary paid under an individual remuneration arrangement shown.
  2. Includes rates for Chief of Division Grade 2 and Medical Officer Class 6.
  3. Includes rate for Chief of Division Grade 1 and Medical Officer Class 5.
  4. Salary ranges provided under the Defence Enterprise Agreement 2017–2020.
  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 1–2.
  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 employees receive a range of non-salary-related benefits. These include generous leave entitlements and access to flexible working arrangements such as flexitime, part-time work and home-based work. Defence invests heavily in training and development of our staff and has a number of formal and informal schemes to recognise exemplary performance and achievements.

Senior Leadership Group

Australian Defence Force

All ADF senior officers (excluding statutory/public office holders) are remunerated under the 2017–2020 Australian Defence Force Workplace Remuneration Arrangement. 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.

Australian Public Service

Senior Executive Service remuneration is set by a single determination made under section 24(1) of the Public Service Act 1999. The determination covers terms and conditions of employment and is supplemented on an individual basis by a common law agreement covering remuneration.

Performance pay

Non-Senior Executive Service 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.

Senior Executive Service employees may have their salary increased on the outcome of their annual performance appraisal. A Senior Executive Service employee may also 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.

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 7.22: Employee performance payments, 2017–18

Classification Number of employees Aggregated amount Average amount
Trainee
12
$8,700.00
$725.00
APS Level 1
56
$40,600.00
$725.00
APS Level 2
618
$448,050.00
$725.00
APS Level 3
1,173
$850,425.00
$725.00
APS Level 4
1,243
$901,175.00
$725.00
APS Level 5
2,032
$1,555,638.30
$765.57
APS Level 6
3,232
$2,891,045.64
$894.51
Executive Level 1
2,280
$2,548,098.60
$1,117.59
Executive Level 2
919
$1,267,765.33
$1,379.51
Science and Technology Level 7
86
$133,841.80
$1,556.30
Science and Technology Level 8
23
$41,627.93
$1,809.91

Notes:

  1. Performance cycle is 1 September – 31 August.
  2. There were no performance payments made to Senior Executive Service employees.

Feature: HMAS Warramunga—Operation MANITOU Rotation 66 deployment

Support services

Defence provides a range of support for ADF members, their families and Defence APS employees, including:

  • family support programs through the Defence Community Organisation
  • ADF Transition support for ADF members
  • health and wellbeing initiatives
  • the Employee Assistance Program.

These support services are discussed further in this section.

ADF members and their families

The Defence Community Organisation supports Defence capability by providing personal support to ADF members and their families. It provides services such as crisis and bereavement support, assists families in adjusting to some of the challenges of military life, and supports members and their families when the member transitions from military to civilian life.

In 2017–18 a new initiative that assists partners of ADF members to acquire skills to help gain employment—the Partner Employment Assistance Program—was implemented. The Partner Employment Assistance Program provides funding to assist partners of ADF members with the immediate difficulties of finding employment when the member is relocated on posting.

In 2017–18 the Defence Community Organisation 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. The Defence Community Organisation organises 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 delivered training and education programs to raise awareness and provide guidance on responding to allegations of family and domestic violence.

The Defence Community Organisation has provided advice, information and resources to help reduce the effects that mobility can have on a child’s education. Members who have dependants with special needs have also received assistance.

The Defence Community Organisation also provides childcare support services through the Individual Case Management Service. Since its launch in 2016–17, the Individual Case Management Service has assisted over 542 Defence families to review their childcare requirements or source a childcare centre appropriate to their needs.

The Defence School Transition Aide Program provides funding to minimise the impact of mobility on education and build schools’ capability to support Defence students, particularly during transitions into and out of the school and during parental absences. In 2017–18, a total of 230 schools and approximately 12,700 Defence children were provided with support under the program.

The Family Support Funding Program provides grants to community organisations to assist them to deliver support and services of value to Defence families and the community they live in. In 2017–18, 51 not-for-profit community organisations received grant funds of $1.449 million under the program.

The Community Support Coordinator Program funds Defence community groups to employ a community support coordinator to coordinate the delivery of services and support of value to Defence families in their local community. In 2017–18, 27 paid Defence community support coordinators were supported through the program.

Health and wellbeing of ADF personnel and veterans

Defence continues to deliver services to support the health and wellbeing of ADF personnel and veterans. The services are planned and delivered as a collaborative effort between Joint Health Command, Defence People Group, Navy, Army, Air Force and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

Health services

In 2017–18, the Services continued to maintain health capabilities, primarily to support their exercises and operations.

The Services also contributed to the delivery of health services by resourcing uniform medical staff for:

  • Garrison Health, which delivers and manages health care for ADF personnel within Australia and on non-operational postings overseas
  • the Defence Community Organisation
  • Combat Health Support, which delivers health care for ADF personnel on military operations.

The Army Support to Wounded, Injured and Ill Program was established in 2008 to meet the needs of wounded, injured and ill soldiers. It coordinates the clinical, rehabilitation and personnel management aspects of a member’s recovery. In 2017–18 the Army Support to Wounded, Injured and Ill Program continued to provide valued assistance to the Army’s wounded, injured and ill members and their families.

During 2017–18, Defence and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs developed the Transition Health Assessment pilot program to establish ADF members’ health care and compensation needs and entitlements. The aim is to support members who are transitioning to civilian life, reduce duplication between agencies and reduce the requirement for multiple assessments after the member leaves the service. The Transition Health Assessment pilot program was trialled at Holsworthy Army Barracks from October 2017 to May 2018 and is undergoing an evaluation. The results of the trial will be available by December 2018.

Mental health

Defence has long recognised that the mental health and wellbeing of its workforce is critical to overall Defence capability. We are committed to providing mental health services and support to all ADF members and APS employees, and are focused on making Defence people Fit to Fight, Fit to Work, Fit for Life.

New mental health strategy

In October 2017 Defence launched the Defence Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2018–2023. The strategy incorporates the latest mental health research and implements a whole-of-organisation ‘One Defence’ approach that better recognises the needs of Defence’s integrated workforce.

The strategy builds on the previous 2011 ADF Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy and the findings of recent reviews of and inquiries into the issues of mental health and suicide prevention among current and former members of the ADF. It also aligns with the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan (2017–2022).

Mental health screening

On 12 March 2018 a new Periodic Mental Health Screen for ADF members was implemented. The screen enhances Defence’s ability to maintain a fit and resilient workforce through the early identification of and intervention for individuals with mental health concerns.

Project RESTORE

Project RESTORE is a clinical trial of a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder known as Prolonged Exposure. The trial is being run to determine whether an intensive delivery of Prolonged Exposure therapy will deliver outcomes comparable to the Prolonged Exposure treatment protocol.

Defence has partnered with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service and Phoenix Australia to run the clinical trial.

It is hoped that the trial will lead to improved access to, and availability of, effective evidence-based care for post-traumatic stress disorder for both current and former ADF members.

Wellbeing

During 2017–18, Defence continued to support ADF members and families through successful delivery of family support programs, ADF transition services, bereavement support, resilience programs and pastoral care and spiritual ministry support.

Notably, in July 2017, Defence launched a reformed ADF Transition Support Services process. The new process has moved the focus of the service from administration to coaching and mentoring. The reformed model aims to provide individually tailored transition plans and coaching sessions to better prepare ADF members and their families for the transition to civilian life. The service will now provide greater assistance to members both during transition and for the 12 months after transition.

Transition and Wellbeing Research Program

The Transition and Wellbeing Research Program is the most comprehensive study ever undertaken in Australia of the impact of military service on the mental, physical and social health of current and former serving members and their families. It is jointly funded by Defence and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

The Transition and Wellbeing Research Program consists of three study components:

  • the Mental Health and Wellbeing Transition Study
  • the Impact of Combat Study
  • the Family Wellbeing Study.

Eight reports are to be published under the program.

On 5 April 2018, the Government released the first two of these eight reports: the Mental Health Prevalence Report and the Pathways to Care Report. These reports have helped to:

  • determine the prevalence of mental disorders among ADF members who transitioned from regular ADF service between 2010 and 2014
  • examine the self-reported mental health status of transitioned ADF and the 2015 regular ADF
  • assess pathways to care for transitioned ADF and the 2015 regular ADF.

The findings will inform how Defence and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs continue to provide relevant, responsive and recovery-focused mental health care initiatives and support during and after transition to civilian life. The initiatives will particularly target those most at risk.

Working closely with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs

Defence and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs are committed to delivering the best possible health and wellbeing outcomes to current and former members of the ADF and their eligible families.

Defence and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs entered into a Memorandum of Understanding for the Cooperative Delivery of Care and Support (updated in 2016,) under which Defence and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs work together to deliver care and support to current and former members of the permanent and reserve forces and their families. This cooperation and engagement is particularly important where a member suffers a serious injury or illness or where the member is identified for medical separation from the ADF.

Close cooperation between the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and Defence under this Memorandum of Understanding, and ongoing Department of Veterans’ Affairs engagement with members throughout their service and during and after their transition to civilian life, results in better outcomes for members and their families.

Support to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Transformation Program

During 2017–18, Defence has actively supported the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Veterans’ Centric Reform program. Defence’s support includes membership of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Veterans’ Centric Reform Transformation Program Board, the provision of a Defence Liaison Officer to support day-to-day interactions between the departments and the provision of electronic access to Defence personnel data as part of the development and implementation of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs MyService application—a key deliverable under the Veterans’ Centric Reform program.

Defence continues to notify the Department of Veterans’ Affairs when a member joins or separates from permanent service, is involved in a serious incident or is to transition on medical grounds. Such notifications are the foundation of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Early Engagement Model aimed at establishing a relationship between the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and a member as early in their career as practical.

In support of the Transformation Program, Defence has also worked with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation to pilot a range of initiatives aimed at improving the processes involved in claiming for incapacity or invalidity or transitioning from permanent service.

Defence also extended electronic access to the Defence eHealth System to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation, which has helped expedite consideration of member’s claims.

Transition Taskforce

In 2017, at the request of government, a joint Defence, Department of Veterans’ Affairs and Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation taskforce (the Transition Taskforce) was established to address barriers that some ADF members face when separating from the regular or permanent forces and embarking on a new life in the civilian community. It was co-chaired by Defence and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988

Close collaboration between Defence and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs supported legislative reform with the commencement of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 on 12 October 2017.

Under the Act, members who suffer injuries and diseases suffered as a result of peacetime and peacekeeping service up to and including 30 June 2004 and operational service between 7 April 1994 and 30 June 2004 are entitled to rehabilitation and compensation similar to that provided under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004.

The legislation applies to current and former ADF members who have injuries or illnesses arising from their service before 1 July 2004. It provides the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs with responsibility for all rehabilitation and compensation schemes that cover current and former ADF members and their families.

Non-Liability Health Care and White Card on transition

Non-Liability Health Care allows current and former ADF personnel, depending on their eligibility, to receive treatment for certain health conditions.

In 2017–18, the Government announced a key initiative to address mental health issues amongst veterans: all current and former members of the ADF with at least one day of continuous full-time service in the regular or permanent elements of the ADF were granted Non-Liability Health Care for mental health conditions.

In 2018, recognising that some Reservists had service that might have exposed them to incidents, events and environments that might contribute to the development of mental health issues, the Government extended Non-Liability Health Care to Reservists who had such service.

Defence and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs have also collaborated to ensure that Defence members who separate from the regular and permanent elements of the ADF will be provided with a Department of Veterans’ Affairs health treatment White Card to facilitate access to Non-Liability Health Care.

Transition from the Australian Defence Force

ADF Transition Support Services ensure that members and their families are well informed and assisted when they transition from military to civilian life. The ADF encourages members to access educational, financial and other government services at an early stage to facilitate sound transition planning.

The reform of ADF Transition services commenced in 2016–17 with the reformed 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 pre-transition, during transition and 12 months afterwards (post-transition).

In 2017–18:

  • Defence communicated to all ADF members that participating in the transition process is mandatory for all ADF members before they transition to civilian life.
  • Defence co-chaired, with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the Transition Taskforce, which considered the barriers to an effective transition and is implementing a series of actions to address its findings.
  • Defence updated the transition clearance process to ensure that all ADF members are able to transition with access to their appropriate documentation, including medical, dental, personnel, educational, and pay and allowance information.
  • All ADF Transition service delivery staff worked to complete a Certificate IV in Career Development with additional competencies in coaching and mentoring. New staff will be required to hold a Certificate IV in Career Development or equivalent industry experience.
  • The transition coaching model was fully implemented nationally and was embedded as normal practice across all Transition Centres.
  • The post-transition survey was fully implemented. The post-transition survey is used to assess the effectiveness of transition programs, capture trends and inform future initiatives.
  • A review of the Career Transition Assistance Scheme commenced. The review will ensure that all members can access the Career Transition Assistance Scheme when they are transitioning to civilian life and that the Career Transition Assistance Scheme is fairer and more easily understood.
  • Planning for a refresh of ADF Transition seminars commenced. New seminar content and format will be delivered in 2018–19 to assist participation and attendance of ADF members and their families, not only at time of transition but also at any time during the member’s career.

The Transition for Employment (T4E) program was developed as part of the wider Defence Transition Transformation program, which is a national program to assist transitioning members with complex medical conditions to establish and maintain meaningful civilian employment. In 2018–19, a pilot of the program will be trialled nationally with a cohort of members from the Navy, Army and Air Force for a period of six to 12 months.

Employee Assistance Program

The Employee Assistance Program assists Defence employees who are experiencing difficulties of a personal or work-related nature. It offers a confidential work-based intervention program designed to enhance emotional, mental and general psychological wellbeing. The program provides short-term preventative and proactive interventions for work and personal issues that may and do adversely affect performance and wellbeing. The program aims for early detection, identification and resolution of work and personal issues.

The program is available to all APS employees (ongoing and non-ongoing), ADF Reservists, ADF Cadets and Officers and Instructors of ADF Cadets. These services also extend to managers/supervisors and immediate family for eligible members within Defence.

Education and training services are also conducted as part of the program. These include group awareness sessions that target common health and wellbeing topics that aim to promote enhanced wellbeing in a work and personal environment.

Other services provided under the Employee Assistance Program include critical incident debriefing and trauma counselling, and pre-deployment and post-deployment assessment and support for APS employees.

The 2017–18 annual utilisation [1] of the Employee Assistance Program by eligible Defence members was 7.3 per cent. This is 1.5 percentage points higher than the public administration / government benchmark of 5.9 per cent.

Note: [1] The 2017–18 annual utilisation rate was calculated for the period 18 October 2017 – 30 June 2018 due to the commencement of a new service provider.

Managing and developing staff

Defence has achieved, and will continue to achieve, a fundamental change in the performance culture of the organisation through a range of initiatives implemented as part of the First Principles Review.

A core theme of the First Principles Review is leadership accountability. Defence has applied this by embedding the One Defence Leadership Behaviours into the revised performance management approach, leadership development and training programs. The One Defence Leadership Behaviours are the core themes that articulate the leadership and management culture Defence needs to create to ensure that Defence is best positioned to deliver its outcomes. The One Defence Leadership Behaviours are:

  • Contributor—I am a leader who is focused on achieving Defence Outcomes and I ensure my team understands how their work contributes to these outcomes.
  • Learner—I learn and reflect on my performance and that of my team.
  • Accountable—I am accountable for my actions and how I respond to the actions of those around me.
  • Risk Manager—I take calculated risks and make judgements about what risks are necessary and acceptable to deliver the outcome.
  • Inclusive—I seek out and accept the diverse perspectives of others in exploring opportunities and solving problems; I trust they will offer good ideas and will challenge in a constructive and respectful way.
  • Team Builder—I build teams through managing performance honestly and respectfully.
  • Innovator—I actively adapt and seek to innovate.

In September 2017 Defence launched the revised APS Performance Management Framework. The new framework provides a simpler, more streamlined approach to performance management, greater support for managing underperformance and a consistent mechanism to identify and develop performance and talent.

Defence has implemented a Leadership Climate Scan for both Senior Executive Service and ADF Star-rank officers to provide them with insights into their work areas and identify areas for improvement.

Defence has introduced a 360-degree feedback program. All senior leaders are required to complete a 360-degree feedback process at least once every three years. Defence has continued its 360-degree feedback appraisal for the Senior Leadership Group, with 288 having completed the program to date. These initiatives have provided senior leaders with greater insight into their own performance, have facilitated greater engagement with staff and positioned senior leaders as role models for driving change.

Defence has also implemented role charters, which describe the responsibilities, accountabilities, deliverables and expected behaviours of each senior leadership position. All members of the Senior Leadership Group (both Senior Executive Service and ADF star-rank officers) now have a role charter in place. Changes have been made to the Senior Executive performance appraisals with a greater emphasis on leadership behaviours and corporate contribution.

In 2017, Defence implemented an upward feedback approach for the Senior Executive Service. As part of the approach, senior leaders seek feedback on the performance and people leadership of their direct reports over the performance period from their direct reports, teams. This has provided a valuable tool to support robust performance conversations.

Defence has revised its existing leadership development programs, for both APS and ADF, to reinforce the One Defence Leadership Behaviours and the Pathway to Change cultural reform. For example, the Australian Command and Staff College has incorporated the One Defence Leadership Behaviours as the core criteria contributing to an individual’s overall assessment for the year.

For our APS staff, initiatives delivered were focused on strengthening accountability in people management, enhancing APS leadership and developing core skills.

The key changes made to strengthen accountability in APS people management included:

  • the introduction of a new APS Performance Management Framework, which focuses on frequent, quality performance conversations, increasing personal accountabilities, including people management, and appropriately rewarding and recognising staff
  • Performance and Talent Councils to develop a common understanding of performance standards and improve consistency in performance management
  • a continued focus on addressing and managing underperformance by implementing Performance Communities of Practice to build managers’ confidence and capabilities in addressing underperformance.

The Defence Leading for Reform program aims to enhance and invigorate the leadership and management skills of executive-level employees. It develops people to lead and implement reform through times of constant change and to act consistently and willingly in accordance with the One Defence Leadership Behaviours. In 2017–18 a further 30 cohorts, comprising 593 individuals, completed the program. Another 15 cohorts commenced, and a further 600 employees participated in the program.

An increased number of personnel have participated in Defence leadership programs such as the Gateway, Catalyst and Impetus programs. In 2017–18, Defence completed 28 Gateway cohorts, with 596 individual completions recorded. For Catalyst, nine cohorts were completed with 156 individual completions recorded.

Program evaluation reports for all leadership development programs indicate a positive impact on the reform efforts of Executive Level staff in Defence, improved leadership capabilities and a cultural shift in behaviours towards the One Defence Leadership Behaviours.

Defence has built a skills framework to enhance professional development of all employees and support additional actions resulting from the Defence Strategic Workforce Plan, including attraction and recruitment, learning and development, career and talent management, and mobility. The framework is built around core skills based on the Australian Public Service Commission Core Skills Strategy 2030 and skills relevant to one or more Defence job families.

In addition, Defence has developed learning strategies for key business areas to grow capability and core skills for specialised functions. In 2017–18 Defence continued a number of key activities to develop personnel:

  • Defence continued to offer its tertiary education assistance programs for both APS employees and ADF members. Support is provided in the form of capped reimbursement for approved study expenses and/or work release for study purposes. Over 350 APS employees were funded to study under these programs in 2017–18.
  • Fully funded master’s level postgraduate places 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. Over 200 APS employees were supported to gain qualifications under this program in 2017–18.
  • The Defence and Strategic Studies Course provides advanced policy related skills, high-level corporate leadership and strategic decision-making skills combined with an in-depth knowledge of national and international Defence issues of strategic importance. There are five APS staff participating in this course in 2018.
  • The Australian Command and Staff Course provides education in Command, Leadership and Management, Strategic and Australian Defence Studies, Staff Skills and Joint Operations. Four APS staff are completing the program in 2018.
  • Participation in the Public Sector Management Program aimed at developing APS 6 – EL 2 staff to better address the changing needs of the public sector. Forty-five APS employees are completing this program in 2018.
  • Scholarships are offered annually through the Chief of the Defence Force Fellowships for ADF members, the Secretary of Defence Fellowship for APS employees, the Sir Roland Wilson Foundation PhD Scholarship, and the Women, Peace and Security Fellowship schemes.

Work health and safety

Defence continued to make the health and safety of its people a key priority in 2017–18.

Defence Work Health and Safety Strategy

Defence maintained its focus on strategic work health and safety issues at the enterprise level. This included working towards the strategic objectives of the Defence Work Health and Safety Strategy 2017–2022 through the initiatives, measures, and milestones outlined in the supporting Implementation Plan. The strategy, released in October 2017, and supporting Implementation Plan continue to embed work health and safety thinking and behaviour into all Defence business and management systems.

Emerging hazards

In September 2017, Defence established an Emerging Hazards Capability. The Emerging Hazards Capability consists of occupational health subject-matter experts across Defence.

The focus of this capability is to identify emerging and disruptive technologies that may pose a significant hazard to the occupational health of Defence personnel across the enterprise. Through the dedicated identification and evaluation of emerging hazards, Defence can proactively develop strategies to control the hazards, allowing the safe and beneficial use of these new technologies. The capability uses a collaborative approach to identify emerging hazards through engagement with other areas of government, industry and academia.

Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy

In 2017–18 Defence launched its Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2018–2023. While Defence had programs and policies in place, this is the first time the mental health and wellbeing actions and priorities have been brought into one coordinated plan for both the ADF and APS workforce.

The strategy has six key strategic objectives primarily focused on decreasing stigma, improving the knowledge and skills of all employees and improving the support services available for those who need it. The release of the strategy has seen the availability of a number of new mental health initiatives, such as:

  • the Defence NewAccess Program, which was launched in July 2018. The program provides a stepped care approach for the provision of support for those experiencing a mental health concern. Defence NewAccess is a tailored version of beyondblue’s NewAccess Program. Both ADF and APS personnel can access the Defence-only service. NewAccess is provided in addition to the Defence Employee Assistance Program and will enable Defence to give staff access to programs that cater for mental health issues of varying levels of complexity
  • the Mental Health Speakers Series, which assists in raising awareness and decreasing the stigma associated with mental health concerns
  • mental health training for all levels of the organisation, including all employees, managers and the Senior Leadership Group. This training is designed to raise awareness of mental health within the workplace and provide self-care strategies to individuals.

Work Health and Safety Community of Interest Forum

In 2017–18 Defence established a Work Health and Safety Community of Interest Forum with representatives from Commonwealth and state government departments and key Defence industry partners. The forum meets biannually and enables information sharing, discussion and consultation regarding approaches being taken to manage work health and safety.

Comcare

Defence continues work collaboratively with Comcare. The biannual Defence–Comcare liaison forum and Comcare representation on the Defence Work Health and Safety Committee enable the sharing of information and a better understanding of the priorities of Comcare as a regulator.

In 2017–18, Comcare undertook 264 investigations across Defence, based on known high-risk areas, and issued five notices (Table 7.23).

In addition to partnering with Comcare on investigations, Defence actively investigates safety incidents. In 2017–18 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 7.23: Number of Comcare work health and safety notices, 2015–16 to 2017–18

Type of notice
2015–16
2016–17
2017–18
Improvement notice1
3
3
2
Prohibition notice2
1
1
Non-disturbance notice3
2

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 or safety of personnel.

Work health and safety audits

In 2017–18, Defence conducted 34 work health and safety audits across Defence. This comprised 13 safety management system and 21 compliance audits in the risk areas of hazardous chemicals and the joint special licence for the operation of plant.

Notifiable incidents

The number of notifiable work health and safety events or incidents continued to decline in 2017–18, as shown in Table 7.24. Figure 7.1 shows the percentage of work health and safety incidents, by severity, in 2017–18.

Figure 7.1: Percentage of work health and safety incidents, by severity, 2017–18

Figure 7.1: Percentage of work health and safety incidents, by severity, 2017–18

Table 7.24: Number of work health and safety incidents and involved persons, 2015–16 to 2017–18

2015–16
2016–17
2017–18
Number of incidents2
Number of people involved in an incident
Number of incidents2
Number of people involved in an incident
Number of incidents2
Number of people involved in an incident
Fatality1
9
9
8
8
3
3
Serious injury or illness1
289
330
241
274
261
277
Dangerous incident1
219
396
207
382
258
566
Minor injury
10,338
10,406
9,704
9,783
8,800
8,937
Near miss
1,163
1,243
1,092
1,305
1,232
1,745
Exposure
1,008
3,454
869
4,191
905
3,464
Total
13,026
15,838
12,121
15,943
11,459
14,992

Notes: Events are recorded on the date of the event. Figures in Table 7.24 can vary from previous Defence annual reports, as reports can be made for incidents occurring in previous years and severity statuses can be updated. Data as at 1 July 2018.

  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. A single event can include multiple individuals. 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.

Cultural reform

On 20 November 2017 the Secretary and Chief of the Defence Force launched Pathway to Change: Evolving Defence Culture 2017–22. The launch followed a five-year implementation of the initial strategy, which ended in December 2016 with finalisation of all 175 key recommendations and actions.

Development of the strategy was informed by extensive consultation with more than half of the Defence workforce. Feedback received indicated there is agreement that the new strategy has taken Defence forward and clear learning has taken place but that there is more that we can do to strengthen our culture.

Pathway to Change: Evolving Defence Culture 2017–22 builds on our progress with a refreshed cultural intent statement, a supporting narrative recognising our achievements since 2012, and six key priorities to drive an inclusive culture and a high-performance workplace. The six priorities are:

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

The next iteration of cultural reform shifts efforts from implementing key actions and recommendations to an environment where leaders are accountable for creating a more positive culture. This transition to a leader-led approach to culture is linked to, and supported by, the One Defence Leadership Behaviours resulting from the First Principles Review. This diffusion of responsibility for positive cultural reform outcomes has seen the development of a range of tailored cultural reform initiatives across the Groups and Services that reflect the differing needs of areas across Defence.

Defence has begun to implement the strategy, and is conducting a number of in-depth reviews of the six priorities to provide quality assurance, support and guidance for ongoing reform efforts. The first in-depth review focused on Ethics and Workplace Behaviours. To date, the following actions have been taken to embed expected behaviours and support the Ethics and Workplace Behaviours priority:

  • Defence’s Mandatory Workplace Behaviour Awareness training has been revised to explicitly highlight the impacts of unacceptable behaviour on capability.
  • One Defence Leadership Behaviours have been incorporated into leadership training, including Leading for Reform, Defence’s key Executive Level leadership program.
  • A manager’s guide on rewarding and recognising employees for positive behaviours has been released.
  • Support material for commanders, managers and other staff has been improved to increase understanding of accepted behaviours and management expectations.
  • Efforts are ongoing in support of the Ethics and Workplace Behaviours priority to embed a culture where people feel respected and valued and poor behaviour is called out. Defence is continuing to reinforce respect, responsibility and accountability as the foundations of our workplace through reform initiatives to embed expected behaviours and manage unacceptable behaviour.

During 2017–18, Defence continued its collaboration with the Australian Human Rights Commission. The collaboration has supported Pathway to Change by assessing the acceptance of cultural reform priorities within specific Defence sites and assessment of specific workgroup cultures to determine whether they contain cultural and structural biases that hinder or deter the progression of women and other minority groups.

Feature: Indigenous programs in Defence

Diversity in Defence

To ensure broader thinking in the development of policy, capability options and in our conduct of operations, Defence is committed to building a workforce comprising teams that are diverse in background and experience.

Developing an inclusive culture that provides the innovation, adaptability and diversity of thought required to solve complex and diverse problems is a priority for Defence. A key focus is the removal of workplace barriers in order to create a more inclusive and capable organisation, where people can contribute and reach their potential.

In late 2017, Defence released an Unconscious Bias Awareness Program. This program focuses on mitigating the impact of unconscious bias in specific areas such as recruitment, selection and development; and in the day-to-day supervisory and leadership capacity of commanders and managers.

Women in Defence

Defence continues to focus its efforts on implementing changes in the workplace to ensure greater representation of women in both the ADF and the APS. Achieving a better gender balance is not just about equality or doing the right thing; it is about building Defence’s capability and ensuring our operational effectiveness.

Defence’s efforts include development programs to increase representation of women in leadership roles; mentoring, networking and capability development; access to flexible work arrangements; and targeted recruitment to increase the number of women applying for positions.

In line with the Australian Government’s gender diversity target for women on boards, Defence has developed a Women on Boards Action Plan. Defence is in the process of implementing a range of strategies such as board readiness training, board shadowing, networking events and one-on-one mentoring.

Women in the Australian Defence Force

Each year, Defence releases a Women in the ADF Report, which provides an analysis of the participation and experiences of women in the ADF and, where applicable, compares these to the experiences of men. This is the fifth year that Defence has published the Women in the ADF 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 Defence Force—Phase 2 Report (2012).

The Women in the ADF Report 2017–18 [PDF-4MB] shows that, since the commencement of the Pathway to Change 2012–17, the ADF has made considerable advancements in growing and advancing the female ADF workforce.

As at 30 June 2018, the participation rate of women in the permanent ADF reached 17.9 per cent—an increase of 1.2 per cent from 16.7 per cent as at 30 June 2017. In the same period, the number of women serving in the ADF increased by 652, with eight more women in senior officer positions.

Each Service has a range of initiatives to provide mentoring, sponsorship and leadership development opportunities for women:

  • The Navy Women’s Leadership Program provides opportunities for Navy women to participate in leadership development programs, conferences and seminars.
  • The Army is working towards increasing female representation in senior leadership positions, with all leadership positions within the Army open to men and women. The removal of gender restrictions provides an opportunity to increase the number of women in senior leadership through the provision of previously unavailable career pathways.
  • The Women’s Integrated Networking Group is a facilitated program designed to encourage networking between Air Force women of all rank levels and employment skills.
Women in the Australian Public Service

In line with the broader Australian Government Gender Equality Strategy 2016–19, Defence has developed a Defence Gender Action Plan. The plan outlines Defence’s commitment to progress towards sustained gender equality and ensures that best practice inclusion is embedded in our leadership and people management practices.

As at 30 June 2018, the participation rate of women in the APS reached 42.4 per cent—up from 41.9 per cent as at 30 June 2017. In this period, the number of women in Executive Level positions increased by 266. We have implemented a number of gender equality initiatives, including initiating a science, technology, engineering and mathematics working group for cross-agency participation to create mentoring opportunities for women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics roles, and build stronger relationships in their fields of expertise.

Workforce flexibility

The ADF has implemented options for greater flexibility in the Services’ career models to ensure women’s advancement is supported and not adversely affected when they take career breaks or seek location stability.

The ADF Total Workforce Model, introduced in 2016, allows mobility across full-time and part-time service categories to align with individuals’ circumstances. It also enhances Defence capability by allowing the Services to draw on a more diverse pool and foster an environment where valuable skills across Defence and industry can be accessed, built and retained.

Each Service has a target of 2 per cent of the trained workforce accessing formalised flexible work arrangement. These targets have been exceeded in some areas. As at 30 June 2017, the Navy has already exceeded this target for the non-seagoing, trained, permanent and continuous full-time service workforce, with 5.7 per cent; the Army has 1.2 per cent of its workforce under a formal agreement; and the Air Force has 5.8 per cent of its trained workforce on formal, documented flexible work arrangements.

In the APS, Defence has commenced a Flexible Work Awareness Campaign to promote Defence’s commitment to providing flexible work options and identify the barriers and opportunities of working flexibly. We are also reviewing the employment conditions around parental leave and will be developing a Return to Work Framework for parents and carers.

Indigenous participation and engagement

Defence is committed to strengthening the capability and diversity of our workforce by increasing Indigenous representation and supporting Indigenous employees’ career development and progression.

Defence has increased Indigenous representation among ongoing APS employees from 369 on 1 July 2017 to 405 on 1 July 2018. The number of permanent Indigenous ADF members increased from 1,397 on 1 July 2017 to 1,513 on 1 July 2018 (see Table 7.25 and Figure 7.2).

Figure 7.2: Indigenous participation

Figure 7.2: Indigenous participation

Table 7.25: Indigenous participation

1 July 2017
1 July 2018
Number
% of total
Number
% of total
Navy
Permanent
405
3.0
440
3.2
Reserves1
22
0.8
33
1.1
Army
Permanent
806
2.7
856
2.9
Reserves1
350
2.5
385
2.7
Air Force
Permanent
186
1.3
217
1.5
Reserves1
55
1.1
60
1.1
Total ADF
Permanent
1,397
2.4
1,513
2.6
Reserves1
427
2.0
478
2.1
Total APS2
369
2.0
405
2.2

Notes: 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. Reserves include all active members (Service Categories 5, 4 and 3) and Reservists undertaking continuous full-time service (Service Option C).
  2. Figures include paid, unpaid, full-time, part-time, ongoing and non-ongoing employees.

Defence uses a number of methods to attract young Indigenous Australians to a career in Defence, including indirect attraction through community engagement activities, work experience opportunities and partnering with Indigenous organisations that focus on improving future outcomes for Indigenous youth. From 1 July 2017 to 1 July 2018, the Defence Work Experience Program hosted 377 Indigenous students, mostly in Victoria, Western Australia, North Queensland and the Northern Territory.

The ADF provides diverse career pathways for Indigenous Australians. There are a range of strategies in place, including community outreach programs and direct entry recruiting methods. The majority of Indigenous Australians join the ADF through general or direct entry. Additionally, in 2017–18, the Indigenous Pre-Recruit Program and the Navy and Army Indigenous Development Programs provided an opportunity for over 140 Indigenous Australians to improve education, fitness and leadership in preparation for a career in the ADF.

Defence continues to employ Indigenous APS employees through direct recruitment, Affirmative Measures processes, graduate programs, and Indigenous-specific entry-level programs managed by the Department of Human Services and the Department of Jobs and Small Business. Defence employed six graduates and 78 Indigenous entry-level employees in 2017–18.

To support Indigenous APS employees, Defence has established a mentoring framework. Over 80 experienced Indigenous and non-Indigenous Defence personnel mentored Indigenous entry-level employees in 2017–18.

A culturally aware workplace also assists in the retention of Indigenous employees. Defence has incorporated Indigenous awareness sessions into existing leadership development programs to ensure that Defence leaders have the knowledge required for them to contribute to Defence’s Indigenous commitment.

The Defence Reconciliation Action Plan outlines Defence’s commitment to an inclusive and respectful workplace. The fourth iteration of the plan is under development and will be released in late 2018.

People with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds

Defence continues to develop specific initiatives to attract, recruit, develop and retain people with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. For example:

  • In July 2017, the Minister for Defence launched a digital, print and radio Culturally and Linguistically Diverse influencer advertising campaign, ‘The ADF Surprised Us’. The campaign features ADF members from Chinese, Indian, Arabic, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Indigenous and Caucasian backgrounds.
  • Defence appointed three Senior Executive Cultural and Linguistic Diverse Champions to raise the profile for this important diversity focus.

In the 2018 Defence Graduate Program, of the 311 candidates recruited, 139 graduates indicated they either spoke or wrote a second language (other than English). Languages include French, Spanish, German, Russian, Chinese, Mandarin and Cantonese.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people

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

Throughout 2017–18 Defence implemented a range of strategies to create a safe and inclusive workforce—one where people feel supported to bring their whole selves to work. For example, we benchmarked ourselves against other organisations through participation in the Australian Workplace Equality Index—Australia’s definitive benchmark on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex workplace inclusion practices and initiatives. Also, in 2015, 2016 and 2017, Defence was recognised as a top public sector organisation for supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people.

People with disability

Defence is a workplace that is accessible, inspires people to succeed and builds meaningful and sustainable employment opportunities for people with disability. Defence actively supports people with disability to maximise their potential and participate as equal employees in the Defence environment.

Defence continues to enhance its capability through the employment of people with a disability. By increasing the representation of people with a disability in its workforce, Defence is able to respond more capably to the needs of the community, positioning Defence as an employer of choice for all Australians. It also allows building a diverse and inclusive workforce for a more integrated service delivery to Defence customers.

Defence continues to invest in creating and sustaining disability employment programs and direct employment pathways by using the Australian Public Service Commissioner’s Directions on affirmative measures. Through the below employment programs, 114 people living with disability have a valued role in Defence:

  • The Inclusive Employment Program offers permanent employment at the APS 1 and 2 levels for 22 people with intellectual disability.
  • The Defence Administrative Assistance Program offers employment for 83 people, in nine locations across Australia, through a partnership with local Australian Disability Enterprises.
  • The Dandelion Program employs nine people with Autism Spectrum Condition under a three-year program. The Dandelion Program delivers multifaceted capabilities to Defence. This initiative has been undertaken in partnership with DXC Technology Australia.
  • Defence is implementing an improved, client-centric approach to support people with disability and managers in accessing workplace adjustments and assistive technology to eliminate workplace barriers.
Disability reporting mechanisms

Official Defence data shows the percentage of Defence APS employees who have self-identified as having a disability is 3.5 per cent. However, the 2015 Defence census indicated 20.3 per cent of Defence APS employees have at least one form of disability or chronic medical condition.

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.

Complaint handling and resolution

Defence personnel have the right to complain if they are aggrieved by matters relating to their employment. ADF members (permanent and reserve) 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.

In 2017–18 Defence received 72 applications for review of actions, which is a small increase from the previous year. The subjects which continued to feature most regularly in the applications for review were:

  • 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 7.3: APS review of actions applications received and finalised, 2013–14 to 2017–18

Figure 7.3: APS review of actions applications received and finalised, 2013–14 to 2017–18

Workplace unacceptable behaviour

Defence personnel can make a complaint about any incident of unacceptable behaviour 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 2017–18, 669 complaints of unacceptable behaviour were recorded in the Defence Complaints Management, Tracking and Reporting System (ComTrack). This is similar to last financial year. Efforts to reduce the incidence of unacceptable behaviour are ongoing, and Defence is currently conducting a review of complaint management.

Unacceptable behaviour complaints are considered finalised when the matter has been resolved, parties informed and a decision recorded. In 2017–18, 683 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 longer periods, such as when the matter requires further investigation or inquiry.

On average, between 80 to 90 per cent of unacceptable behaviour incidents are of a level where local management is the most appropriate to 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 appropriate level. The numbers of alleged incidents of unacceptable behaviour represents complaints from less than 1 per cent of the Defence workforce.

Figure 7.4: Unacceptable behaviour complaints reported as received and finalised, 2013–14 to 2017–18

Figure 7.4:  Unacceptable behaviour complaints reported as received and finalised, 2013–14 to 2017–18

Reports of sexual misconduct

Defence’s Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office provides confidential support and case management services to Defence personnel directly affected by sexual misconduct, debriefing services for personnel exposed to difficult material at work, advice and assistance with incident management where victim wellbeing is paramount, and educational programs and resources.

The Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office provides a 24/7 telephone response service for those seeking help. The office assisted 473 clients in 2017–18. It provided assistance to 126 new victim support clients impacted by sexual offences, sexual harassment and sex-based discrimination. These interventions assist wellbeing, build resilience and help personnel to develop self-management strategies and skills. Assistance with system navigation and service coordination, resources and referrals, and education for individuals and their families is also provided.

The Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office assisted 255 commanders, managers and colleagues to improve Defence’s organisational response to sexual misconduct incident reporting with assistance on applying Defence’s policy and legal requirements in a victim-centric way.

In 2017–18 the Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office provided confidential debriefing to 22 clients. This debriefing program is a new initiative designed to prevent psychological injuries arising from workplace exposure to trauma, to normalise reactions to indirect exposure to trauma, and to assist in promoting the emotional stability to provide support to others.

The Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office assisted an additional 61 people with access to training and education products and services. A further nine people were assisted with advice and support in accessing appropriate services related to incidents of non-sexualised unacceptable behaviours.

The office also develops and delivers educational packages and tools that promote cultural change in Defence. The team develop primary prevention learning strategies that provide education on sexual consent, bystander intervention and ethical decision-making in relationships. Of particular importance in the range of educational packages available is the command and management team component, which aims to improve responses to disclosures and reports through incident management training with a victim-centric and trauma-informed focus.

The prevention strategy elements are designed to target different audiences to engender a zero-tolerance culture towards sexual misconduct and create workplaces that uphold Defence and Service values. During 2017–18 the Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office provided education sessions to approximately 12,920 Defence personnel. This represents a reduction on the previous year’s total of 29,247. However, the office has been focused on reaching smaller bases that have not been addressed before. As at 1 July 2018 approximately 50,000 Defence personnel held the Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response proficiency, which means they had undertaken Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response training within the last three years. A total of 59 per cent of the permanent force now holds the proficiency.