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Annual Report 2001-2002: Appendix 6

Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Annual Report 2000-2001

Appendix 6

 

Performance
Management

Occupational Health and Safety
Workplace Relations and Employment
Staffing Overview
Commonwealth Disability Strategy

Performance
Management and Staff Development

The Commission’s
Performance Management Scheme provides a framework to manage and develop
our staff to achieve our corporate objectives. There have been two cycles
completed since its implementation on 1 July 1999. The scheme provides
regular and formal assessment of an employee’s work performance
and allows for access to training and skill development.

The Commission’s
Certified Agreement recognises the need to provide adequate training
for staff to support workplace changes. This is especially relevant
with changes in the information technology area where staff are provided
with relevant and ongoing computer training.

As part of the
Commission’s staff development strategy staff are provided with
support under our Studies Assistance policy. The policy provides for
access to study leave where study is relevant to the work of the Commission,
an individual’s work responsibilities and where it assists with
career development.

Workplace diversity and
equal employment opportunity

The Commission’s
Workplace Diversity Plan has been in operation since September 1999.
The Commission recognises that diversity in our staff is one of our
greatest strengths and assets and is committed to valuing and promoting
the principles of workplace diversity through our work practices. The
Commission endorsed a strategy through the year to assist in the employment
and development of indigenous staff. Other strategies under the plan
focus on supporting staff with family responsibilities and supporting
employment opportunities for people with disabilities. As a result the
Commission supported several work experience placements from people
with disabilities through the year.

Occupational
Health and Safety

Review of the Commission’s
Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) policy was delayed pending
the outcome of legislative changes to the Occupational Health and Safety
(Commonwealth Employment) Act 1991.The Commission’s Health and
Safety Committee includes a staff health and safety representative and
four corporate support staff. The Heath and Safety Committee conducted
a hazards survey of the workplace in early 2001 as part of its OH&S
plan. There was no significant problems found and any minor problems
were immediately rectified. Ongoing assistance and support on OH&S
and ergonomic issues is provided to new and existing staff. There have
been no dangerous accidents or occurrences reported.

The Commission
continues to provide staff with access to counselling services through
its Employee Assistance Program. This is a free and confidential service
for staff and their families to provide counselling on personal and
work related problems if required.

Workplace
Relations and Employment

Staff in the Commission
are employed under section 22 of the Public Service Act 1999. The Commission’s
current Agreement was certified by the Australian Industrial Relations
Commission in June 2000 and is in operation until 1 August 2002. The
Agreement is comprehensive and was certified under section 170LK of
the Workplace Relations Act 1976. The number of Commission employees
covered by the Agreement as at 30 June 2001 was 90. Productivity savings
funded a salary increase to staff, delivered in three instalments over
the life of the Agreement. A one off bonus was payable to staff on certification.
The Agreement maintains core employment conditions with some streamlining
of allowances. Staff are able to purchase additional leave and access
further benefits such as salary packaging and cashing out five days
recreation leave subject to conditions. Salary progression within classification
levels is subject to performance assessment. Salary ranges are reflected
in the table below.

Under current arrangements
the Commission provides corporate support to the Office of the Federal
Privacy Commissioner (OFPC). The OFPC is co-located with the Commission
and has negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding for the provision of
corporate support. Staff in the OFPC are covered by the Human Rights
and Equal Opportunity’s Certified Agreement and related workplace
polices.

Staffing
Overview

The Commission’s
average staffing level for the year was 92 staff with a turnover of
13% for ongoing staff. An overview of the Commission’s staffing
profile as at 30 June 2001 is summarised in the table below.

Classification Male Female Full time
Part time Total Ongoing Total non-
Ongoing
Statutory
Office Holder
2
1
2
1
a
3
SES Band 2
a
a
1
1
a
1
SES Band 1
aa
aa
aa
aa
aa
aa
EL 2 above
the barrier
($77,284 - 79,259)
a
a
3
2
1
aa
EL 2
($65, 962 - 75, 968)
8
12
18
2
22
1
EL 1
($57, 192 - 62, 718)
3
6
8
1
7
2
APS 6
($44, 613 - 51, 247)
8
15
23
a
19
4
APS 5
($41,305 - 43,799)
2
4
6
a
5
1
APS 4
($37,032 - 40,210)
4
4
7
1
4
4
APS 3
($33,228 - 35, 862)
2
14
12
4
12
4
APS 2
($29,171 - 32, 350)
4
3
1
2
2
APS 1
($25,777 - 28, 489)
2
1
1
2
2
1
TOTAL
31
65
83
13
74
22

"If you require
this information in a more accessible format, please contact paffairs@humanrights.gov.au
"

Commonwealth
Disability Strategy

The revised Commonwealth
Disability Strategy (CDS) was launched by the Government in late 2000.
Full details on the CDS can be found on the Department of Family and
Community Services website at www.facs.gov.au/disability/cds. Through
the CDS the Government seeks to ensure its policies, programs and services
are as accessible to people with disabilities as they are to all other
Australians. This of course is integral to the work of the Commission
and evident in the work we do.

The Commission
along with all other Commonwealth agencies is to report against the
CDS performance framework annually. The CDS identifies five core roles
that may be relevant to the agency. The Commission’s primary roles
are that of policy adviser, service provider and employer. Full details
on of the policies and services highlighted in the below can be found
within the relevant section of the annual report.

As part of this
process the Commission considered that it was an important step to review
our last Disability Action Plan and this can be found on the Commission’s
website. The Commission will also be developing a new action plan in
2001/2002. The Commission is committed to implementing best practices
in providing and improving access to its services for people with disabilities.
In particular our Complaint Handling processes, online access to our
services and website, and consultation with disability groups provide
examples of what we are doing to achieve this.

Commonwealth Disability
Strategy
Performance Reporting June 2001

Further details
on programs and policies outlined against the performance indicators
can be found in the relevant section of the annual report.

POLICY ADVISOR
ROLE

Performance
Indicator 1

New or vised policy/program
assess impact on the lives of people with disabilities prior to decision.

Performance
Measure

Percentage of new
or revised policy/program proposals that document that the impact of
the proposal was considered prior to the decision making stage

  • 100% of Terms
    of Reference for Commission inquiries are distributed for comment
    prior to a decision to proceed. Submissions to inquiries are taken
    in all formats, verbal (transcribed by the Commission), email, handwritten
    letters. Submissions are made available to all on the
    Commission website, except where otherwise requested.
    Performance measure=100%.
  • Following feedback
    sought from disability sector, the Commission decided not to terminate
    complaint about TV captioning due to broader unresolved issues identified
    in submissions.

Performance
Indicator 2

People with disabilities
are included in consultation about new or revised policy/program proposals.

Performance
Measure

Percentage of consultations
about new or revised policy / program proposals that are developed in
consultation with people with disabilities.

Current level of
performance 2000 - 01

  • World Congress
    Against Racism consultations around Australia were held in accessible
    venues and promoted to disability organisations in local areas.
  • The Commission
    sponsored the Forum on sterilisation of women with disabilities, held
    as part of the Disability with Attitude Conference. Commissioner Susan
    Halliday attended the Forum
  • The Accessible
    E Commerce Forum and Building Access Policy Committee are actively
    resourced by the Commission. Disability sector representatives work
    with the Commission in developing ongoing Agenda for these Fora.
  • Launch of captioned
    movies, and preparatory meetings were interpreted by both Auslan signers
    and real time captioners.

Performance
Indicator 3

Public announcements
of new, revised or proposed policy/program initiatives are available
in accessible formats for people with disabilities in a timely manner.

Performance
Measure

  • Percentage
    of new, revised or proposed policy / program announcements available
    in a range of accessible formats.
  • Time taken
    in providing announcements in accessible formats.

Current level of performance
2000 - 01

  • All information
    about new Commission initiatives is available on a W3C compliant web
    site simultaneous to public release. For more information on accessibility
    compliance refer to http://www.w3c.org.
    Performance measure for web release = 100%.
  • Email lists
    deliver information and links to several thousand subscribers. All
    National Disability peaks subscribe to this list.
  • Sex Discrimination
    Unit Pregnancy Guidelines released in the year are available in accessible
    *format via W3C compliant web page, published simultaneously.
  • The Disability
    Rights Unit (DRU) Update is distributed via Radio for the Print Handicapped,
    a National network. In 2001, DRU evaluated the Update service via
    a user survey and incorporated feedback to improve navigation of the
    web site.
  • Other accessible
    formats are available on requesting and can be provided within two
    days.
  • For the provision
    of announcements in accessible formats the performance measure= 100%

PROVIDER ROLE

Further details
on the Commission’s Complaint Handling function with a full description
of its services and relevant statistics can be found in the Complaint
Handling Section of the annual report on page 38.

Performance
Indicator 1

Complaints Information
Line provides information about complaint Handling service to people
with disabilities.

Performance
Measure

  • Complaints information
    service accessible to people with disabilities.
  • Number of calls
    to inquiries line related to disability issues.

Current level of
performance 2000 - 01

  • The Complaints
    information is available in electronic and alternative formats. Email
    facility for the lodgement of complaints is available. TTY facility
    is available with a national 1300 number at local call cost.
  • All Complaint
    Handling brochures are available on the Commission website in accessible
    electronic format. Information about the complaints process and legislation
    is available in plain English format on the Commission website. The
    website is updated regularly.
  • 19% of telephone
    enquiries calls received related to disability issues
  • Commission
    information is available in alternative formats on request.

A complaints information
referral list is updated to ensure callers with disabilities can be
referred to an appropriate advocacy groups.

Performance Indicator 2

Complaint handling
service accessible to people with disabilities.

Performance Measure

  • Number of complaints
    received under the DDA.
  • Number of complaints
    lodged by people with disabilities under all legislation administered
    by the Commission.
  • Number of complainants
    who identify the need for specific assistance on intake form.
  • Complaints
    received about accessibility of service.

Current level of
performance 2000 - 01

  • 504 complaints
    were received under DDA legislation for 2000 - 01. Refer to the Complaints
    handling section of the annual report for further details.
  • Complaints
    were received from people identifying as having a disability under
    all Acts administered by the Commission. 47% of responses to a demographics
    question indicated the complainant had a disability.
  • There were
    no complaints received regarding access to the Commission complaint
    handling service or premises. Performance measure = 100%.
  • The Commission’s
    premises are accessible. Premises used for remote conciliations conferences
    are accessible. Performance measure = 100%.
  • The Complaint
    Handling Section (CHS) has established an Access

Committee to review
access to the CHS service by the community, including specific focus on
people with disabilities. Full details are available in the annual report.

Performance
Indicator 3

Staff training
and development includes training related to people with disabilities

Performance
Measure

Percentage of training
programs that include information regarding people with disabilities
and relevance to complaint handling processes.

Current level of
performance 2000 - 01

  • CHS investigation
    and conciliation training courses include specific training on accommodating
    people with disabilities in the complaint handling investigation and
    conciliation processes. Performance measure = 100%.
  • Ad hoc CHS training
    sessions specifically address relevance to people with disabilities
    who use complaint handling services. Performance measure = 100%.
  • CHS Complaint
    Handling Procedures Manual advises staff to consider reasonable accommodation
    for people with disabilities is provided during the investigation
    and conciliation process such as provision of Auslan interpreters,
    use of TTY, use of alternative formats for information. Performance
    measure = 100%.

Performance
Indicator 4

Complaint mechanism
in place to address concerns raised about service and addresses requirements
of people with disabilities.

Performance
Measure

Established complaint/grievance
mechanism in operation. Detailed in Charter of service which is provided
to all parties to a complaint and available on website. Provided in
alternative format on request.

Current level of
performance 2000 - 01

  • Charter of Service
    addresses roles and responsibilities of the Commission and parties.
  • No complaints
    about accessibility of service or disability related issues were received
    under the charter in the year.
  • Performance
    measure = 100%.

EMPLOYER ROLE

Performance
Indicator 1

Employment policies,
procedures and practices comply with the requirements of the Disability
Discrimination Act 1992.

Performance
Measure

Number of employment
policies, procedures and practices that meet the requirements of the
Disability Discrimination Act 1992.

Current level of
performance 2000 - 01

  • The Corporate
    Plan includes reference to APS values.
  • The Certified
    Agreement (CA) contains reference to Workplace Diversity principles.
    Most of the Commission’s policies on employment are contained
    within the CA.
  • The Workplace
    Diversity Plan (WDP) outlines strategies to maximise employment opportunities
    for people with disabilities. This has included expanded work experience
    opportunities for people with disabilities in 2000 - 01. All new staff
    on induction are provided with a copy of the WDP.
  • The Commission’s
    previous Disability Action Plan was reviewed in 2001.
  • The Email/Internet
    policy was finalised in 1999 and is reviewed annually. It specifically
    refers to the inappropriate use of email that may demean people with
    disabilities.
  • No formal complaints
    / grievances made by staff with disabilities with regard to current
    work practices.

Performance
Indicator 2

Recruitment information
for potential job applicants is available in accessible formats on request.

Performance
Measure

  • Percentage of
    recruitment information requested and provided in accessible electronic
    formats and accessible formats other than electronic.
  • Average time
    taken to provide accessible information in electronic formats and
    formats other than electronic.

Current level of performance
2000 - 01

  • Performance
    in providing accessible formats for recruitment material = 100%
  • Recruitment
    information is able to be provided in any format. All recruitment
    material is on the Commission’s website and available by download
    simultaneously as advertising in the press. Advertisements in the
    press advise that information is available at contact phone number,
    by TTY phone and on the Commission’s website. The Commission’s
    website meets the criteria for accessibility as outlined in the Government
    Online Strategy and the Deputy Disability Commissioner has advised
    in the process. The site received a very positive report following
    an independent audit in early 2000. Over a two week period in June
    2001 the number of hits on the job vacancies page was 723. Statistics
    are available on the use of the site.
  • No requests
    for alternate formats such as Braille were requested during 2000-01.

Performance
Indicator 3

Agency recruiters
and managers apply the principle of reasonable adjustment.

Performance
Measure

  • Percentage of
    recruiters and managers provided with information on reasonable adjustment.

Current level of
performance 2000 – 01

  • Selection guidelines
    reviewed to include information on reasonable adjustment and guidelines
    for interviewing staff with disabilities. Guidelines are now provided
    with selection material to the selection Committee. Guidelines are
    available on the Intranet.
  • Recruitment
    action is managed internally and not outsourced.

Performance
Indicator 4

Training and development
programs consider the needs of staff with disabilities.

Performance
Measure

Percentage of training
and development programs that consider the needs of staff with disabilities.

Current level of
performance 2000 - 01

Due to the small
number of staff training is co-ordinated by each of the unit managers
under the Commission’s Performance Management scheme. There are
few training courses run in-house because of the small number of staff.

  • Training nomination
    forms include specific requirements that may be needed such as:
    -wheelchair access,
    -accessible toilets/parking
    -a hearing device
    -sign language interpreter
    -an attendant
    -a support person
    -information in Braille, Audio Cassette, large Print, ASCII format
  • A selection
    Workshop held in-house in 2000 included information on reasonable
    adjustment and interviewing people with disabilities.

Performance
Indicator 5

Training and development
programs include information on disability issues as they relate to
the content of the program.

Performance
Measure
Percentage of training and development programs that include information
on disability issues as they relate to the program.

Current level of
performance 2000 - 01

  • As noted above
    training is co-ordinated by each individual section and there are
    few courses that are run in-house.
  • A Selection
    training workshop was run in-house and this included information on
    disability issues,.
  • Induction includes
    information on Workplace Diversity and relevant legislation that the
    Commission administers, including the DDA.
  • The Complaint
    Handling Section conducts training and information on disability issues
    for staff.

Performance Indicator
6

Complaint/grievance
mechanism, including access to external mechanisms, in place to address
issues and concerns by staff.

Performance
Measure

Established complaints/grievance mechanisms, including access to external
mechanisms in operation.

Current level of
performance 2000 - 01

  • There is an
    established process in the Certified Agreement for complaints/ grievances,
    which includes access to external review through the Merit Protection
    and Review Agency.
  • All staff are
    advised of access to the Commission’s Employee Assistance Program
    and encouraged to use this service when needed. This free service
    provides counselling and support for staff and their families.
  • Provision of
    access to complaints/grievance mechanisms = 100%

Note: Accessible
electronic formats include ASCII (or .txt) files and html for the web.
Non electronic accessible formats include Braille, audio cassette, large
print and easy English. Other ways of making information accessible
include video captioning and Auslan interpreters.