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Wednesday, 4 February 2009
Page: 521

Dr Southcott asked the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, in writing, on 4 December 2008:

What action has been taken to address the reported high turnover of staff in his department (Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Annual Report 2007-08, page 260).

Ms Gillard (Minister for Education, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations and Minister for Social Inclusion) —The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

The DEEWR Annual Report 2007-2008 (Table P3.6, page 260) shows that 1286 people separated from the former DEST, former DEWR and DEEWR between 1 July 2007 and 30 June 2008. The report indicates that a considerable proportion of these separations (355 or approximately 28%) were initiated by the Department, mainly through the expiry of non-ongoing employment contracts.

The majority of the balance of separations (916 or approximately 71%) were initiated by staff.

DEEWR’s voluntary staff turnover for the 2007-2008 year was 16.61%. This result places DEEWR between the median (12.83%) and the 75th percentile (17.58%) of a benchmark of a number of Federal Government agencies (Infohrm HR Benchmarking Program).

While this rate is slightly higher than the department’s target range, it is not unexpected given the level of organisational change over the past 12 months. DEEWR continues to monitor voluntary staff turnover and has a range of strategies to ensure we retain the workforce capability required to deliver our business including:

  • an attractive and flexible set of employment terms and conditions
  • a performance management system that engages and supports all staff to achieve their full potential
  • recruitment and orientation processes that are effective in bringing new staff into the organisation
  • promoting strong employee engagement through improved leadership and enhanced career and learning opportunities.