The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) is committed to creating a workplace that values diversity in gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability and age. The AAT’s Workplace Diversity Plan (WDP) sets the foundation for building an organisation reflective of the diversity in the Australian community. This Plan is intended to assist the AAT in promoting and maximising the opportunities and knowledge that can be gained from an inclusive and diverse workforce.

Workplace diversity is guided by the Equal Employment Opportunity Act 1987 which promotes equal opportunity in employment for women and persons in designated groups. Furthermore, section 18 of the Public Service Act 1999 requires an Agency head to establish a workplace diversity program to assist in giving effect to the Australian Public Service (APS) employment principles.

What is an inclusive and diverse workplace?

An inclusive and diverse workplace is one that recognises, respects and supports employees regardless of gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, cultural or linguistic background, religion, life experience, family background, socio-economic or educational background, intellectual or physical disability, and age.

As of June 2018, the APS employees at the AAT identify as being:

  • 65% female
  • 33% over 50 years
  • 1.5% indigenous
  • 15.5% part-time
  • 25% from a non-English speaking background
  • 7.1 years avg. length of service at the AAT service
  • 2% with a disability
  • 62% of executive roles filled by females

What does the AAT aim to do for 2018-20?

For 2018-2020, the AAT has set the following objectives:

1. Promote and uphold the APS Values and Code of Conduct embedding the principles of diversity

Provide Code of Conduct and APS values training to new starters and refresher training to all staff every two years.

Include an online suite of diversity related training courses on the AAT’s Learning Management System which will focus on diversity including awareness of culture, Indigenous Australians and disability.

Recognise, promote and celebrate significant diversity days to embrace the diverse workforce of the AAT.

2. Attract, retain and support staff from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (CALD)

Ensure recruitment policy and practices provide members of the public with a reasonable opportunity to apply for positions, including through reasonable adjustment.

Promote diversity and inclusion through the AAT’s mentoring program, including opening the program to staff at the APS3 and APS4 classifications.

Provide and support opportunities for career progression including training on resume writing and interview skills to help develop and retain staff.

Provide training in unconscious bias for supervisors and managers and those involved in recruitment and selection.

3. Increase the recruitment and retention of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander employees

Continue to participate in the APSC Pathways Indigenous graduate program, increasing the number of places offered in the 2019 and 2020 intakes.

Implement mentoring and training initiatives to continue to engage and retain existing Indigenous employees and enhance career pathways.

Work with the APSC and other bodies to implement strategies aimed at increasing our indigenous representation in our workforce including actively participating in APSC events and programs.

Support the Jawun six week secondment program and seek executive level participation.

Explore opportunities and other strategies to promote opportunities to work at the AAT including the Indigenous Employment Portal.

Increase awareness of Indigenous culture and improve cultural capability across the AAT.

4. Support gender equality and the advancement of women

Implement the strategies as detailed in the Charter for the Advancement of Women in the Legal Profession to which the AAT is a signatory.

Establish a support network for parents returning from maternity and long-term parental leave to support the transition back to work.

Provide access to keep in touch work days for employees on maternity leave for staff to remain engaged.

Provide mentoring and training opportunities for parents returning to the workforce to support career progression.

Support return to work and flexible working arrangements for parents with the assumption that roles can be performed part time unless proven otherwise.

5. Provide an inclusive and flexible work environment for all staff

Adhere with the guidelines from the APS Disability Employment Strategy.

Ensure employees and managers are aware of flexible leave and work arrangements and that requests for part time work, job sharing, work hours, working from home and reasonable adjustment in the workplace are considered and managers endeavour to accommodate requests where they can fit within operational requirements.

Promote the benefits of an intergenerational workforce and the benefits that it can bring.

Continue to monitor diversity representation at the AAT and implement strategies ensure that our workforce reflects the diversity of the Australian community.

Participate in a range of diversity and inclusion forums to leverage, share and learn from APS Agencies and external organisations.

The AAT is committed to supporting workplace diversity by fostering inclusiveness and embracing the diversity of its people.