Equal Employment Opportunity Annual Report – 1998 Consultation

Informing Employees

During the year staff were informed about a range of EEO-related issues through the internal distribution of material, Bank publications, Bank training courses and local management discussions. EEO segments were included in the Induction, Supervision and Management programs. Copies of the Bank's 1997 EEO Annual Report were distributed to all staff. Functional areas were asked to distribute their EEO plan to staff.

Bank management and staff representatives also jointly participated in various committees which consider issues relevant to EEO. These include the EEO Policy Committee, the Grievance Authority, the Promotions Board of Review, the Officers' Superannuation Fund Board of Trustees, the Occupational Health and Safety Committee, and the Reserve Bank Health Fund Friendly Society.

The Bank's Staff Handbook, which sets out employment conditions for employees, has been transferred to an ISYS database and is now available to all employees with access to a computer.

Staff Handbook

The Staff Handbook, which sets out employment conditions for employees, together with associated administrative arrangements, has been transferred to an ISYS database, one of the standard Bank PC applications and is now available to all employees with access to a computer. Previously, limited copies were only available in printed form in administrative areas of each department and branch.

Discrimination & Harassment Policy Statement

The Bank's Discrimination & Harassment Policy Statement was amended during the year firstly to reflect the fact that an employee's conduct outside the workplace can be of legitimate interest to the employer if it causes damage to workplace relations, a loss of productivity or apprehension in the workplace. Secondly, with regard to the employment of people with disabilities, the Statement was amended to clarify that discrimination on the grounds of disability is allowable, where the person, because of his or her disability, is unable to perform the inherent requirements of the job.

Internet & Electronic Mail – Standards of Conduct

The Bank's linking to the Internet during this reporting period has facilitated the circulation, via the Bank's e-mail system, of material downloaded from the Net which is not related to Bank business. Some of this material is humorous; some of it is obscene or otherwise offensive. Staff were reminded that from the Bank's perspective this is an illegitimate use of both the Internet and internal e-mail system, and the circulation of such material – whether between consenting parties or otherwise – is unacceptable. In particular, sending risque or offensive material to people who do not ask for it is a form of harassment, and staff should be mindful of the risks that e-mail could be seen or read by unintended parties. The Conduct of Employees section of the Staff Handbook was revised to clarify that the use of e-mail for purposes unrelated to Bank business is unacceptable behaviour.

Other Matters

The Bank's staff information sheet, Staff Matters, is produced periodically and distributed to all employees. During the year staff with young children were notified, via Staff Matters, of the Commonwealth Government Child Care Access Hotline which provides an easy way of choosing child care to suit particular needs (long day and family care, vacation and before/after school care). Other items covered included the EEO Annual Report 1997, performance pay outcomes, the Discrimination & Harassment Policy Statement and inappropriate use of the Internet and e-mail.

The Bank's monthly in-house staff magazine, Currency, carried items on a range of EEO-related issues, including articles on flexible work options, grievance contact officers, men and women on parental leave, distance education, and ten years of EEO in the Bank.

Personnel Policy Department maintains a collection of EEO resources for use by managers and staff including videos on workplace harassment and discrimination and various personnel publications.

NPA has continued to distribute a weekly newsheet, “Staffline” to all employees in order to keep them informed about EEO, personnel, superannuation, health, safety and organisational performance issues.

Consultation with Trade Unions

Throughout the year regular consultations with workplace unions occurred to advance matters included in productivity bargaining agreements (PBAs) and other issues, such as changes to study assistance arrangements.

At NPA, a number of meetings took place during the year with the Joint Union Working Group over two Enterprise Agreements – an interim one which came into effect on 1 October 1997 and a twenty-eight month Agreement which came into force on 1 March 1998. This latter Agreement provides, for the first time, a Carer's Leave component within more general leave provisions. In addition, a standard thirty-eight hour week is to apply from 1 October 1998 – for the first time introducing common working hours for all employees at the Craigieburn site. NPA's Joint Union/Management Consultative Committee is the forum for discussion of EEO matters.