The department actively supports employees with caring responsibilities through the provision of information, resources and an employee assistance programme. The department acknowledges its obligations under the Carer Recognition Act 2010 and is committed to ensuring that staff are aware and understand the Statement for Australia’s Carers, and that it is considered when developing human resource policies.
Employees in the department are covered by the provisions of two enterprise agreements preserved under Section 24(3) and Section 24(1) determinations made under the Public Service Act 1999: the DEEWR Enterprise Agreement 2012–2014 and the One Innovation Enterprise Agreement 2011–2014. Both of these agreements incorporate special carers’ leave provisions, with information for employees about conditions available to carers under the Enterprise Agreements and supporting leave guide available on the department’s intranet. In addition the department provides Carers Rooms to provide facilities for unforeseen caring responsibilities.
The Diversity Unit in People Branch works with managers, employees and service providers to support employees with a caring role, disability or cultural difference in the department. Departmental human resource practitioners regularly have conversations with employees with caring responsibilities to assist them to access respite and counselling services through the Employee Assistance Fund.
The department’s Women’s Network was created to support and assist women to reach their potential by making the most of the opportunities available. A priority for the department is to support a work/life balance for working mothers.