Equal Employment Opportunity Annual Report – 1990 EEO Activities, 1989/90

Details of the Bank's EEO activities in 1989/90 are listed below under the headings of Section 6 of the Act.

Section 6(a): Informing Employees

The EEO plan for 1990 and 1991 was publicised within the Bank and discussed at staff meetings. An information leaflet for staff and a document on EEO strategies for managers and personnel officers are in preparation.

Other matters on which employees were informed include the new job classification system, increased flexibility in working conditions and training in the use of the English language at work.

Ways to inform staff on EEO matters continue to include:

  • “Currency”, the Bank's monthly staff magazine, which in the past year had articles about the EEO Unit, English language programme, employment of people with disabilities and Aboriginal people, and other EEO issues;
  • “Staff Matters!”, an occasional newsletter on personnel issues; “Information Digest”, a weekly newssheet to management of branches and departments; and the Bank's EEO Annual Report;
  • the Bank's training courses, especially those for managers, supervisors, personnel officers and recruitment staff;
  • presentations to management and to branch and departmental groups;
  • distribution of topical material to EEO branch officers, personnel officers and grievance officers; and
  • small-group discussions and individual consultations with the EEO Co-ordinator; these have been used particularly for consultations with women and other designated groups.

Section 6(b): Conferring Responsibility

The Bank's EEO Policy Committee oversees policy and monitors its implementation. The Committee's composition is given in Appendix 2 of the Bank's 1987/88 EEO Report. Changes in the Committee's membership during 1989/90 were announced to staff.

The EEO Unit, consisting of the EEO Co-ordinator and Assistant EEO Co-ordinator within the Bank's Personnel Department, continues to have the main day-to-day responsibility for EEO activities. A new Co-ordinator was appointed in November 1989, on resignation of the previous Co-ordinator. The EEO Unit maintains liaison on EEO matters with managers and personnel officers in each department and branch, as well as external agencies and practitioner associations.

Managers are responsible for EEO activities in their areas and, wherever possible, for the resolution of grievances. The Bank's Grievance Authority has an adjudicating role in resolving difficult grievances.

Section 6(c): Consultation with Trade Unions

In 1989/90, the Bank consulted with trade unions on a number of EEO-related issues including:

  • job restructuring, including the new classification system;
  • flexible working arrangements, particularly for women returning from maternity leave; and
  • implementation of the two-year plan and its monitoring and evaluation.

Consultations include the provision of a range of material on the Bank's EEO activities.

Section 6(d): Consultation with Employees

Consultations with staff, either individually or in groups, continued in 1989/90. Particular emphasis was given to the EEO plan, issues for women and the other designated groups, including the role of keyboard and records personnel and the balancing of career and family responsibilities.

Section 6(e): Collection of Statistics

Statistical work on EEO matters continues to build on the statistical survey in September 1987. That survey gave a snapshot profile of Bank staff and a statistical base to monitor changes in the staff structure. Main results were reported in the Bank's 1987/88 EEO Report.

In 1989/90, further efforts were made to reduce gaps in the survey. As a result, overall staff coverage was increased to 89 per cent. Most of the remaining gap is in a specialised area of the Bank. If that area is excluded, coverage in the rest of the Bank is 97 per cent.

Statistical information on EEO issues was collected in 1989/90 from those joining the Bank. This enables the Bank to maintain a current series on numbers of staff in the designated groups.

Work continued on refining the Bank's data base on EEO statistics, including matters such as recruitment, promotions, transfers and training opportunities. Further results from that work are noted in Section 6(h). Attention was given also to developing employment profiles for persons in the designated groups.

Section 6(f): Consideration of Policies and Examination of Practices

Work on EEO-related matters has continued on a number of fronts.

  • Flexible Working Arrangements: Over the past year, a number of changes have been made:
    • for female staff, an increase in parental leave which can now be up to 78 weeks and can be followed by a period of part-time work of up to 26 weeks;
    • for male staff, parental leave of up to 52 weeks can be taken within two years of a child's birth or arrival;
    • permanent part-time work is to be introduced.
  • Training: Staff training programmes have been expanded, following a review of the Bank's training needs. EEO material continues to be included in all courses for managers and supervisors.
  • English Language Programmes: Fifteen staff members attended “English in the Workplace” classes in 1989/90. It is expected that further classes will be conducted in 1990/91. Also, increased efforts are being made to see that appropriate skills and qualifications gained in other countries are fully used by the Bank.
  • Grievances: The year 1989/90 was the first full year of operation of the Bank's formal grievance procedures, which put the main responsibility for resolving grievances on supervisors and management, and of the Grievance Authority, which deals with grievances that cannot be resolved within work areas. The Authority met on five occasions in 1989/90 in response to formal grievances and met on two other occasions to determine jurisdiction over earlier complaints.
  • In other developments: a set of guidelines was developed for Grievance Officers; and a pamphlet is to be distributed to staff on ways to resolve grievances.
  • Disciplinary procedures: A set of disciplinary procedures has been developed to handle serious misconduct by staff. This includes cases of discrimination or sexual harassment.
  • Promotions: After a review of promotion procedures, the use of seniority as an appeal criterion was abolished.
  • Aboriginal Employment: The Bank participated in a banking access programme for Aboriginal people; two course participants had two weeks' work experience in Sydney branch. Meetings were also held with Aboriginal consultants on ways to recruit and retain Aboriginal staff.
  • Employment of People with Disabilities: A register was compiled of organisations offering advice and assistance on employment of people with disabilities. In addition, a workshop on employment of people with disabilities was held for management and others responsible for recruitment.
  • Information: A small resource centre has been established within the EEO Unit. Information in the form of books, videos, journal articles and relevant newsletters is available to all staff.

Section 6(g): Setting Objectives and Selecting Indicators

A two-year plan for the period January 1990 to December 1991 was drawn up and accepted by the Bank. Objectives of the plan are:

Career opportunities:

  • to increase career opportunities for women, people from non-English speaking backgrounds, people with disabilities, and Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders conducive to enabling them to reach their full potential.

Work environment and non-discrimination:

  • to have non-discriminatory personnel policies and practices and a work environment where individual differences are accepted and valued.


  • to inform staff of EEO policies and of progress with the EEO plan.

Consistent with these objectives, the plan lists a number of major EEO programmes to be achieved over the two years. These programmes are listed in Appendix 1.

Work has continued on development of indicators to enable the Bank to monitor progress in achieving its EEO objectives. The work is on two fronts – namely, refining indicators used in past years and identifying new indicators. In the former category are statistics on average incomes, recruitment and promotions for women and other designated groups as compared with total staff. For women, the indicators include ratio of females' average income to males' average income, and ratios of females to males by income ranges, occupational group, recruitment and promotions. As new indicators, data are being collected on training opportunities and on the distribution of female staff by age and job classifications, as a guide to relative mobility and promotion of women within the Bank.

Section 6(h): Monitoring and Evaluation

Interpretation of the statistics continues to be difficult for a number of reasons. Staff numbers fell markedly in 1989/90, as they had in the two previous years, helped by voluntary redundancy schemes. Staff who left the Bank under these schemes were generally long-serving officers, predominantly males. Moreover, statistics for June 1990 are not fully comparable with those from the EEO Survey of September 1987 because of differences in the ways the two sets of data have been collected. Notwithstanding these qualifications, the picture given by the statistics is broadly similar to that observed a year ago. This picture shows:

  • an increase in the ratio of females' average income to total staff average income; however, this result reflects, at least partly, the effects of voluntary redundancies;
  • within income groups, a tendency for the ratio of females to males to increase in the higher income groups; this too has been influenced by voluntary redundancies;
  • for females, an increase in the share of recruitment and promotions, especially to the clerical administrative category;
  • for Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders, a small decline in staff numbers;
  • a fall in the number of people with disabilities; this seems to reflect voluntary redundancies for relatively older members of staff; and
  • for people from non-English speaking backgrounds, an increase in the share of promotions and, in opportunities in keeping with demand for “English in the Workplace” courses.

It is not possible to say how much the EEO programme has contributed to these results. But, except for the (hopefully temporary) reduction in numbers of Aboriginal staff, the results are generally consistent in direction with the expected results of the EEO programme.