The ALRC has one office in Sydney and all staff are located at this office. On 30 June 2016, the ALRC’s full-time equivalent staffing level was 11.1 FTE. This figure does not include Commissioners (1 FTE).
Table 5: Staffing profile as at 30 June 2016
As of 30 June 2016, for the current and preceding year, there were no employees who identified as Indigenous.
Staff retention and turnover
During 2015–16 one ongoing employee resigned from the ALRC. One ongoing employee took a 12 month secondment to the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Assault.
Eleven non-SES employees are covered by the ALRC Enterprise Agreement 2011–14. The Enterprise Agreement sets out terms and conditions of employment and is currently in the process of being re-negotiated. One SES employee is employed under a section 24(1) Determination of the Public Service Act 1999. Three employees are currently working with individual flexibility arrangements. The only non-salary benefits provided during the period were paid as a health and well-being allowance.
Performance rewards and bonuses
The ALRC Enterprise Agreement 2011–14 makes provision for performance appraisal and allows for performance to be rewarded through a mixture of movement up the salary scale and one-off performance bonuses for those at the top of their pay point salary band, as summarised in tables 6 and 7.
Table 6: Performance rewards
Exceeding performance expectations
2 pay point increase
Meets all performance expectations
1 pay point increase
Meets most performance expectations
Remain on current pay point
Does not meet performance expectations
Remain on current pay point or go down one or more pay points in accordance with procedures in Clause 20, ‘Managing Underperformance’
An employee who is at the maximum salary point for a classification will be eligible for a bonus of up to 2% of his or her annual salary, based on a performance appraisal. If rated as exceeding performance expectations, the bonus will be 2%. If rated as meeting all performance expectations, the bonus will be 1%. If rated as meeting most, or not meeting performance expectations, there will be no bonus awarded.
During 2015–16, eight employees were awarded a performance bonus, amounting to a total bonus payment for the year of $12,311.53.
Table 7: Performance bonuses 2015–16
Number of employees
Further details of total remuneration expenditure in 2015–16 are provided in the financial statements.
The ALRC identifies and responds to the professional development needs of its employees as identified during the performance appraisal process which is the main mechanism for determining professional development needs of employees to ensure that they are able to meet the ALRC’s objectives. The ALRC also considers requests for education and training as they arise. The ALRC budgets for professional development at a whole-of-organisation level as well as for individual employees. In addition, the ALRC considers attendance at relevant conferences and professional seminars to contribute to the professional development of staff.
The following professional development opportunities were taken up by staff during 2015–16:
Finance Manager attended training on FBT.
Finance Assistant attended EOFY Meridian training and ATO training on super stream clearing houses.
Office Services Coordinator attended a workshop on digital continuity.
Legal Officers attended the following conferences:
Native Title and Indigenous Empowerment: A Panel and Book Event, Sydney.
Constitutional Law Conference, Sydney.
4th National Elder Abuse Conference, Melbourne.
Australasian Law Reform Agencies Conference (ALRAC), Melbourne.
Public lecture by Professor Ian Hargreaves, Sydney.
The National Law Reform Conference, Canberra.
International Federation on Ageing 13th Global Conference, Brisbane.
Magna Carta: Destiny or Accident? Public Lecture by the Right Hon the Lord Igor Judge, Sydney.
Improving Court Practice in Family Violence Cases Conference, Melbourne.
Study leave is available for all ongoing employees (full-time and part-time). Study assistance provided by the ALRC is in the form of granting up to five days unpaid leave per academic year (part-time staff will be granted a pro rata amount) to facilitate an employee’s study. No employees applied for study leave during 2015–16.
ALRC internship program
The ALRC offers internships to students in their penultimate or final year of a law degree. An internship at the ALRC provides experience in a public policy environment and skills development for students to increase their awareness of law reform processes and improve their legal research and writing skills. Interns join a team for a current ALRC inquiry and are supervised by the Commissioner in charge and/or Legal Officers.
Internships with the ALRC are highly sought after and there is a competitive selection process that includes a formal application and interview. The number of interns accepted at any one time depends on the current work program of the Commission. In 2015–16, eight internships were offered. Interns were involved in a range of ALRC activities, including attending consultation meetings with inquiry stakeholders, Advisory Committee meetings and inquiry team meetings.
The ALRC captures the intern experience through interviews with students at the completion of their internship. They discuss the work they have been undertaking and describe the experience of interning at the ALRC. These podcasts are available on the ALRC website.
Semester 2 (August–October, 2015)
Justin Pen—University of Sydney
Rosalind Acland—University of NSW
Summer (February 2016)
Sarah Dobbie—Australian National University
Nishadee Perera—Australian National University
Semester 1 (March–June, 2016)
Courtney Lor—Macquarie University
Michael Quach—University of NSW
Will de Waal—University of NSW
Angus Nicholas—University of Sydney