Other mandatory information

Work health and safety

We are committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all employees. The following information details our responses to our legal obligations under Schedule 2, Part 4 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act). We have a rehabilitation management system in accordance with the Guidelines for Rehabilitation Authorities 2012, issued pursuant to section 41 of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988.

Our work health and safety (WHS) management arrangements aim to facilitate a direct relationship with our employees to enable effective cooperation on health and safety matters, and promote and develop appropriate measures to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of employees at work.

We maintain a proactive approach to WHS in all of our worksites. Each site takes responsibility for its local WHS by conducting quarterly inspections and holding quarterly committee meetings. In addition, each site provides a quarterly report on WHS issues to supplement an organisational WHS report that is prepared for the senior management group. This report is tabled at meetings of the National Consultative Committee, the National Management Board, and the Risk and Operations Management Committee.

In late 2017–18, an external provider conducted an audit of our WHS policies and processes. The audit results will help ensure AFSA is compliant with its obligations under the WHS Act, and will support a continuous improvement approach to build the safety culture of AFSA.

AFSA’s revised Comcare premium for 2017–18 was 1.64% of the payroll, compared to the 1.23% (excluding GST) for the Commonwealth.

In 2017–18, there were no notifications under section 38 of the WHS Act concerning health and safety incidents, accidents or dangerous occurrences. In addition, no notices were issued under section 90, 191, 195 or 198 of the WHS Act and no investigations were conducted.

Our vision for employee health and safety and our proactive approach to employee wellbeing was articulated in our Wellbeing @ AFSA strategy. Built around six pillars of wellbeing (physical, mental, career, social, community and financial), the strategy embraces principles of sustainable employability to enact behavioural change (see Figure 11). It has a strong focus on preventative approaches and early intervention to drive long-lasting behavioural changes. The strategy also looks to equip our employees and managers with the tools needed to manage wellbeing at work and beyond, recognising that work and personal life impact each other.

Figure 11: Six pillars of AFSA’s wellbeing strategy

Launched in early October 2017, several initiatives have been implemented under the Wellbeing @ AFSA banner, including:

  • a series of wellbeing resources made available to staff in partnership with our wellbeing and Employee Assistance Program service provider
  • monthly wellbeing-related webinars delivered by qualified practitioners
  • online resilience assessments and face-to-face resilience-building sessions (half or full day) supported by a team resilience risk profile
  • AFSA’s inaugural Health Week held in late April/early May across all sites and including flu vaccinations, comprehensive health checks and practical stress management workshops
  • online health risks assessment that staff can access anytime, anywhere, with an instant health risks report generated and health coaching resources available to staff
  • the establishment of AFSA’s Wellbeing Champions network, with 12 champions across AFSA’s major sites working alongside the People and Capability team to embed the Wellbeing @ AFSA strategy into business-as-usual practice
  • the launch of AFSA’s wellbeing blog (#What’sYourWellbeingStory) aimed at promoting workforce wellbeing through staff-volunteered personal wellbeing stories aligned with each of AFSA’s six pillars of wellbeing
  • financial wellbeing seminars at all sites, delivered by the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation.

Our partnership with a new Employee Assistance Program service provider allows staff and managers to access tools and resources to embed the Wellbeing @ AFSA strategy and create sustainable employability through a focus on holistic wellbeing. The partnership also provides useful data to inform proactive work health and safety risk identification and mitigation.

While still in its early stages, the strategy has made a significant impact on AFSA’s wellbeing culture and the psychosocial safety climate, as reflected in AFSA’s 2018 APS Employee Census results. It also appears to have positively impacted AFSA’s personal (sick and carer’s) leave usage, as well as the utilisation of the Employee Assistance Program and wellbeing coaching services.

Disability reporting mechanisms

Since 1994, non-corporate Commonwealth entities have reported on their performance as policy adviser, purchaser, employer, regulator and provider under the Commonwealth Disability Strategy. In 2007–08, reporting on the employer role was transferred to the Australian Public Service Commission’s State of the Service reports and the APS Statistical Bulletin. These reports are available at the Australian Public Service Commission website. Since 2010–11, departments and agencies have no longer been required to report on these functions.

The Commonwealth Disability Strategy has been overtaken by the National Disability Strategy 2010–2020, which sets out a 10-year national policy framework to improve the lives of people with disability, promote participation and create a more inclusive society. A high-level two-yearly report will track progress against each of the six outcome areas of the strategy and present a picture of how people with disability are faring. The first of these reports was published in 2014 and is available on the Department of Social Services website.

Ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance

The following information is presented in accordance with section 516A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

As we do not administer programs or legislation relating to sustainable development or the environment, the direct impact of our activities on the environment is essentially confined to the operation of our leased office accommodation.

We remained committed to the principles of ecologically sustainable development throughout 2017–18.

Our energy consumption continued to trend lower (Figure 12). This result is mainly attributable to an increased use of eco-friendly lighting, improved temperature management and an increasingly efficient use of space across all tenancies. The individual performance of each tenancy ranged between 2,550 and 6,172 megajoules per person, with an average across all tenancies of 4,264 megajoules per person. In November 2017, we relocated our Sydney office to a highly energy-efficient building with a resultant 35% decrease in energy consumption when annualised.

Figure 12: Energy consumption, 2017–18

Our Canberra tenancy is the only tenancy that occupies more than 2,000 square metres, and is subject to a Green Lease Schedule. Under the provisions of the schedule, we invite an environmental assessor to review the environmental performance of the tenancy in accordance with the National Australian Built Environment Rating System. These assessments convert measurable data into an easy-to-understand star rating scale from one to six stars. For example, a 6-star rating demonstrates market-leading performance, while a 1-star rating means the building or tenancy has considerable scope for improvement. During 2017–18, our Canberra tenancy achieved a 5-star rating and has achieved at minimum a 5-star rating since lease commencement in January 2014.

All tenancies, with the exception of Brisbane, are in buildings where the base building energy rating is between 4.5 and 5.5 stars. It is expected that the Brisbane office building will rate a minimum 4.5 stars in the next ratings period as the building owners have undertaken significant plant and equipment upgrades over the last 18 months.

Other strategies that we have implemented to minimise our impact on the environment include:

  • increased access for staff to flexible working arrangements, which reduce energy consumption within the office as well as the impact of transport to and from the workplace
  • upgrading the functionality of all printers to enable follow-me printing, which has reduced our paper and toner usage
  • using energy-efficient lighting and lighting control systems that only activate when areas are occupied
  • continued use of communal waste and recycling facilities, resulting in a significant reduction in waste to landfill and contributing to the quick and convenient sorting of waste products
  • consulting with staff, building owners and building managers to improve energy performance, and actively participating in energy, waste and water management programs.

Advertising and market research

During 2017–18, we conducted a small, targeted Google search campaign for our Personal Property Securities Register and personal insolvency programs.

Table 10 outlines our total payments to advertising agencies, market research organisations, polling organisations, direct mail organisations and media advertising organisations during 2017–18.

Table 10: Advertising, market research and marketing expenditure, 2017–18
Organisation Purpose Expenditure ($)
dentsu X Pty Ltd Media advertising placement, recruitment and Google search 157,737
Fuji Xerox Businessforce Pty Ltd Direct mailing services 182,907
CPA Australia Direct mailing services 23,100
Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand Direct mailing services 18,700
Bauer Media Pty Ltd Direct mailing services 13,838
Total   396,282

Note: Expenditure figures include GST.

Freedom of information

Entities subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) are required to publish information to the public as part of the Information Publication Scheme. This requirement is in Part II of the FOI Act and has replaced the former requirement to publish a section 8 statement in the annual report. Each agency must display on its website a plan showing what information it publishes in accordance with the requirements. Our plan is available at our Information publication scheme page.