Improving the work environment
Action on mental health
During 2016–17 a new workplace contact officer (WCO) policy was introduced. The policy provided for an increase in the number of WCOs and more emphasis on supporting the mental health of employees. All WCOs undertook a two-day mental health first aid (MHFA) training course leading to accreditation with MHFA Australia. WCOs also received training in organisational policies related to employee conduct and communication skills.
To broaden awareness of common mental health twelve half-day sessions were held during the year. The sessions included: an overview of more common mental health disorders, mental health first aid principles, organisational risk factors which adversely impact on mental health and managerial strategies to address the risk factors.
In May 2017, our Rehabilitation Management System and active compensation cases were audited. We received a 100 per cent conformance rating. This was an excellent outcome following a 76 per cent conformance rating in 2015–16.
Following the introduction of the ACCC Enterprise Agreement 2016–2019, the Employee Council was established to replace the Workplace Relations Committee. The Employee Council consists of three SES and 14 employee members and meets quarterly to discuss issues regarding conditions of employment, improvements to policies and procedures, and a range of other workplace issues. The Employee Council met in March, April and June and has reviewed 21 policies that were revised for the new enterprise agreement.
The Health and Safety Committee is a joint management and staff committee established in accordance with the Workplace Health and Safety Act 2011 to facilitate:
- consultation and cooperation between the agency and employees on work health and safety matters
- continuous improvement in managing these matters by the agency.
Appendix 3 details workplace health and safety programs and outcomes for the year.