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Department of Premier and Cabinet

State Service Diversity and Inclusion Framework 2017-2020

Foreword

The State Service values the unique experiences, knowledge and skills that our employees bring to their work. Our employees are diverse in gender, languages, ethnicity, cultural background, age, sexual orientation, and religious beliefs. They also are diverse in their skills and qualifications, where they live and work, their life and work experiences, personality, abilities, family and caring responsibilities, and their experience of disability.

We are committed to supporting workforce diversity and building inclusive workplaces where all our employees feel welcomed, safe and supported. We believe that through creating inclusive workplaces and drawing on the diversity of our employees, the State Service is better placed to reflect and better understand the community we serve.

We are proud of the progress we have made to support workforce diversity and inclusion. However, challenges continue to exist for many individuals working, or wishing to work, in the State Service, and we know that we can do more, including to:

  • collaborate with the community sector on initiatives that will encourage more people to join the State Service and support existing employees;
  • build the confidence of agencies in managing and supporting workforce diversity and inclusive practices;
  • encourage senior leaders and employees to champion workforce diversity and inclusion; and
  • continue to consider best practice approaches from other public and private organisations, and seek partnerships with external organisations to develop and implement initiatives that support more inclusive practices in Tasmania.

The Diversity and Inclusion Framework sets out the initiatives that we will champion to address the above areas in the coming years.

The Framework has been informed by agency and community sector stakeholders1, and we look forward to working with them to ensure that our workforce management practices and policies are supportive of everyone working in the State Service into the future.

1 See Appendix 1 for a list of the stakeholders consulted during development of the Framework.

 

Introduction

The Tasmanian State Service is committed to building inclusive workplaces and having a workforce that reflects the diversity of the Tasmanian community.

What is workplace diversity and inclusion?

This Framework aims to support workforce diversity and inclusion in the State Service. But what do these terms mean?

Workforce diversity is about recognising and respecting individual differences - including ethnicity, gender, age, race, religion, caring responsibility, disability, or sexual orientation, as well as characteristics such as people’s career path, life experiences, education, where they live, and their appearance. It is also about valuing how these differences  can have a positive influence on problem solving, team dynamics and decision making within organisations.

Inclusive organisations focus on ensuring that the culture, values and behaviours of the organisation enable everyone to be respected in the workplace and to have equal access to opportunities and resources.

The benefits of diversity and inclusion

There is evidence that organisations which support workforce diversity and inclusion gain the following benefits:

Increased sustainability

Inclusive organisations can be more sustainable as their employees adapt better to change, and teams are less likely to depend on particular employees.

Higher productivity

Inclusive organisations support strong productivity by providing their employees with conditions and workplaces that keep them engaged and motivated.

Connected to the community

Inclusive workforces are more focused on understanding, engaging and responding to the needs of the people they serve – and through ensuring their workforces are reflective of their communities.

Stronger decision making

Inclusive organisations encourage all employees to consider different perspectives and approaches when solving problems and making decisions – leading to more innovative, robust decisions.

Framework outline

Purpose

The Diversity and Inclusion Framework (the Framework) upholds the Diversity and Inclusion Policy (the Policy), and sets out the priorities and initiatives that the State Service will focus on between 2017 and 2020 to ensure that our workforce management practices and policies are supportive of everyone working, or wishing to work, in the State Service.

The Framework will not be static - additional and relevant State Service employment commitments and  initiatives will be incorporated to ensure that the Framework is relevant to the needs of agencies and the community. The Framework also aims to complement and support other whole-of-government policies, such as Gender Equality in the Tasmanian State Service, the Carers Action Plan 2013-2018, the LGBTI Whole-of-Government Framework, initiatives associated with the Disability Framework for Action, and the Resetting the Relationship with the Aboriginal Community policy work.

Principles

The Policy and the Framework are informed by the following principles:

  • Our employment opportunities are accessible to everyone.
  • Our employees are valued and respected.
  • We support our employees to be the best they can be2.

2 Please note that these principles are informed by, and aim to support, the State Service Principles, section 7 of the State Service Act 2000. More information is provided about these principles in the Framework.

Action Areas

Drawing on current research, workplace studies and feedback from key agency and community stakeholders, three action areas have been identified as critical for the State Service to progress in the coming years:

  • Building an inclusive and diverse workforce.
  • Supporting our employees.
  • Working together to create change.

A number of strategies and initiatives have been outlined to support these action areas, including new whole-of-service initiatives such as the development of a State Service Reasonable Adjustment Policy template with the Premier’s Disability Advisory Council and the Australian Network on Disability.

Action Area 1: Building an inclusive and diverse workforce

This action area focuses on building the State Service’s reputation as an employer which champions inclusive workforce participation practices and encourages workforce diversity.

Goals

  • State Service employees reflect the diversity of the Tasmanian community.
  • State Service recruitment procedures are inclusive and encourage and support people with diverse needs and backgrounds to gain employment in the State Service.

Monitoring our progress

Action Area strategies will be tracked to ensure they are implemented according to timelines. In addition, the impact of these strategies will be monitored and evaluated through reviewing stakeholder feedback and the results of the People Matter Survey and other workforce information that relates to diversity and inclusion, such as the percentage of employees who self-identify as belonging to diversity groups (from 2016 levels)3.

3 Current self-identified demographic information for 2016 is available on the SSMO website http://www.dpac.tas.gov.au/divisions/ssmo/people_matter_survey_2016/people_matter_survey_2016_-_whole-of-service_results

 

 Strategies

StrategyApproachTiming
Support more inclusive recruitment processes

Develop and publish on the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPAC)’s State Service Management Office (SSMO)’s website a series of toolkits (aimed at supporting human resource teams and line managers) to support more inclusive recruitment practices, such as on:

  • Inclusive job creation and review
  • Inclusive statements of duties
  • Inclusive interview processes
  • Inclusive job advertising

These will be developed in consultation with agency and community representatives.

June 2017
Support access to State Service recruitment opportunitiesDevelop and publish online resources to support all applicants to access information about applying for State Service jobs (Jobs Website / SSMO website).June 2018

Support  the workforce participation of the following groups, who are known to experience barriers to entering the State Service:

  • people with disability
  • carers
  • Aboriginal people
  • people from the LGBTI community
  • people with cultural and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • older workers
  • young people
SSMO will work with agencies and community stakeholders to identify whole-of-service and/or agency barriers and initiatives/opportunities to support people from these groups who are working, or wishing to work, in the State Service.Up to 2020

Action Area 2 - Supporting our employees

We are committed to providing employees with safe work environments where they are able to access support to achieve their career goals. This action area includes strategies focused on improving the inclusiveness of employment areas such as career development opportunities and access to supportive workplace arrangements like flexible work.

Goals

  • The State Service is recognised as an employer of choice for having employment policies and procedures that are inclusive and supportive of all State Service employees.

Monitoring our progress

Action Area strategies will be tracked to ensure they are implemented according to timelines. In addition, the impact of these strategies will be monitored and evaluated through reviewing stakeholder feedback and the results of the People Matter Survey and other workforce information that relates to diversity and inclusion, such as the percentage of employees who self-identify as belonging to diversity groups (from 2016 levels)4.

4 Current self-identified demographic information for 2016 is available on the SSMO website http://www.dpac.tas.gov.au/divisions/ssmo/people_matter_survey_2016/people_matter_survey_2016_-_whole-of-service_results

 

Strategies 

StrategyApproachTiming
Support more inclusive employment practices/ workplaces

Develop and publish on SSMO’s website a series of toolkits focused on building inclusive workplaces, such as on topics like:

  • Inclusive leadership
  • Inclusive mentoring
  • Inclusive induction
  • Inclusive events
  • Inclusive workplaces
  • Ensuring our online services are accessible
  • Establishing agency initiatives that support employees’ championing of workforce diversity
  • Supporting disclosure - a guide for employees (developed with the Mental Health Council of Tasmania)
  • Supporting disclosure - a guide for managers (developed with the Mental Health Council of Tasmania).

These will be developed in consultation with agency and community representatives.

June 2017
Raise awareness of how agencies can support workforce participation of people with disability.

Work with stakeholders to identify other whole-of-service and/or agency initiatives/opportunities to support people with disability and /or mental illness who are working, or wishing to work, in the State Service, including:

  • establishing a State Service Workplace Adjustment Policy template with the Australian Network on Disability; and
  • develop and implement an online e-learning package for all State Service employees to improve their awareness of ways to support people with disability when conducting government business, as well as in our workplaces.
December 2017
Support unconscious bias / inclusive leadership awarenessWork with agencies and other stakeholders to support agencies to access training and other tools to increase awareness of unconscious bias and inclusive leadership.December 2017
Promote awareness of workforce flexibilityWork with agencies to improve the awareness and use of flexible work across the State Service.December 2018
Promote diversity/inclusion indicators being incorporated into senior leaders’ performance managementAdvocate that agencies consider including workforce diversity outcomes as a component of senior leaders’ performance management.June 2019
Improve diversity data collection

Work with agencies to improve Human Resource (HR) systems’ ability to collect self-identified workforce diversity data to support workforce planning (please note, data would only be used in summary form).

For example, through hosting ‘census days’ for employees to voluntarily identify themselves as having diverse characteristics (such as a disability) in HR systems such as Empower.

December 2019
Support awareness of the impact of family violence and the supports offered to employees

Support agencies who are already in the process or considering working towards White Ribbon accreditation.

Increase awareness of the impact of family violence and the support available to support State Service employees.

December 2020

Action Area 3 - Working together to create change

This action area focuses on initiatives that SSMO and agencies can undertake to build collaborative relationships, not only across agencies, but also with community sector stakeholders to strengthen State Service workforce diversity and inclusion initiatives5.

5 This Action Area does not seek to duplicate existing networks, but rather support ongoing conversations between corporate areas of government and community sector experts on a needs basis and to support initiatives under the Framework.

Goals

  • There are strong relationships between community and agency stakeholders to support agency and whole-of-service initiatives and strategies that support workforce diversity and inclusion.
  • The State Service employment practices and policies will consider Tasmanian employment trends and community needs.

Monitoring our progress

Action Area strategies will be tracked to ensure they are implemented according to timelines. In addition, the impact of these strategies will be monitored and evaluated  through reviewing stakeholder feedback and the results of the People Matter Survey and other workforce information that relates to diversity and inclusion, such as the number of whole-of-service and agency-led initiatives that are progressed in collaboration with community stakeholders.