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Annual Report 2014 - 2015

A robust workforce management strategy

OBJECTIVE: Supporting our people

Adherence to public sector management reform creates a more stable workforce

Public sector management reforms have been implemented through the Government Sector Employment Act 2013 (GSE Act) which provides a new framework for NSW Government employment and workforce management.

The GSE Act is part of a State Government strategy to modernise the New South Wales public sector.

Legal Aid NSW has complied with all aspects of the public sector management reforms in the areas of staff recruitment, executive recruitment, individual planning, and developing a code of conduct.

Recognising the unique opportunity the GSE Act offered, Legal Aid NSW commissioned an internal labour market analysis. The analysis showed high levels of workforce mobility, combined with short tenure in roles, high turnover in entry-level roles and a heavy reliance on temporary staff. The impact to Legal Aid NSW was the direct and indirect cost of backfilling roles (ie recruitment, induction, training) – leading to significant productivity losses.

Based on this analysis, Legal Aid NSW developed Workforce Management Business Rules to provide clear workforce mobility guidance. This resulted in stabilising our workforce and reducing our reliance on temporary employees.

We implemented GSE compliant recruitment on 4 July 2014, well ahead of the 28 February 2015 Public Service Commission deadline.

Key steps in implementing this included:

  • new role descriptions for all positions which include the new capability framework;
  • training and information for staff on the new recruitment processes; and
  • additional resources on our intranet Managers Portal including Capabilities at a Click which links to the new capability framework.

Thirty-six temporary positions were made ongoing, resulting in a much more stable workforce. We reduced our reliance on temporary staff with fewer staff working outside their substantive roles, from 131 last year to 45 this year.

The GSE Act requires agency heads to develop and implement a performance management system for their employees. Individual Planning, the system developed by Legal Aid NSW, will be rolled out in August 2015. This new Individual Planning framework was developed in consultation with staff.

The Code of Conduct was updated in November 2013 with the inclusion of a clause on the use of alcohol and other drugs. The Code of Conduct is currently being reviewed in line with the Public Service Commissioner’s directions and will be introduced at Legal Aid NSW in September 2015.

Staff numbers: five year trend
Year FTE* figures** Financial year end Actual staff no. Financial year end
2014–2015 945.85 1,046
2013–2014 903.91 994
2012–2013 871.25 959
2011–2012 882.72 965
2010–2011 880.28 972

*FTE: full-time equivalent
** See Appendix 1 for more details

Staff movements: five year trend
Staff movements 2010–2011 2011–2012 2012–2013 2013–2014 2014–2015
New ongoing staff 15 12 18 15 54
Staff departures 52 44 52 57 66
Promotions 26 21 21 32 11

Note: Under the Government Sector Employment Act 2013, permanent staff are referred to as ‘ongoing’.