Embassy of Australia
United States of America

Personnel Policies

Embassy Values

The Embassy strives to:

  • perform its functions in an effective and efficient manner;
  • value and reward performance on the basis of fairly assessed outcomes;
  • make employment decisions on the basis of merit and equity;
  • provide a workplace that is free from discrimination and recognises and utilises the diversity of the community it serves;
  • maintain and deliver high ethical standards;
  • be fully accountable for its actions;
  • deliver services fairly, effectively, impartially and courteously;
  • inculcate high quality leadership;
  • establish workplace relations that value communication, consultation, cooperation and input from staff on all matters that affect their workplace;
  • provide a fair, flexible, safe and rewarding workplace; and
  • provide opportunity for a fair review of decisions taken in respect of staff.

Embassy Code of Conduct

In the course of their duty with the Embassy, all staff are to:

  • behave honestly and with integrity;
  • act with care and diligence;
  • treat others with respect, courtesy, and without coercion or harassment of any kind;
  • comply with all applicable Australian and local labour law;
  • comply with any lawful and reasonable direction given by an authorised person;
  • maintain appropriate confidentiality with regard to information obtained during the course of their Embassy employment;
  • disclose, and take reasonable steps to avoid, any conflict of interest (real or apparent) in connection with their employment;
  • use Embassy resources in a proper manner;
  • not provide false or misleading information in response to a request for information that is made for official purposes;
  • not make improper use of information or their duties, status, or authority in order to gain, or seek to gain, a benefit or advantage for themselves or for any other person; and
  • at all times behave in a way that upholds the values, integrity and good reputation of the Embassy

Workplace Diversity

The Embassy is committed to personnel policies, practices and systems that create an environment which:

  • seeks out, values and utilises the positive contribution that a rich diversity of staff from differing backgrounds, experiences and perspectives can make to the workplace; and
  • ensures equitable treatment of all staff regardless of race, colour, ethnic origin, social origin, religion, sex, sexual preference, marital status, pregnancy, age or physical or mental disability or any other unjustified discrimination.

Workplace Diversity is the term used in the Australian Public Service legislation regarding the need to identify and harness the variety of skills, experience and qualities we need to function fully in a diverse environment. The legislative and policy framework for developing and implementing Workplace Diversity maintains the basic principles of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) as outlined in Section 22b of the Public Service Act 1922.

Diversity relates to gender, age, language, cultural background, disability, sexual orientation or religious belief. Diversity also refers to the myriad ways we are different in other respects such as education level, job function, socio-economic background, personality profile, geographic locations, marital status and whether or not one has carer responsibilities.

Workplace diversity for Australian government employees maintains the basic principles of the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) provisions of the Public Service Act. The main requirement of Australian government employees has been procedural fairness and legal compliance with a resulting emphasis on redress and correction, largely through recruitment and promotion action.

However, Workforce Diversity Programs seek to go beyond a simple focus on compliance with the legislation, rectifying disadvantages or correcting past actions. Workplace Diversity is a more holistic approach to management and leadership aimed at creating an inclusive environment that seeks out, values and utilises the contributions of people of different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives.

Workplace Harrassment

The department is committed to providing a workplace that is free from workplace bullying, harassment and discrimination behaviours and a workplace that is fair, flexible, safe and rewarding. Employers and employees have shared obligations for creating respectful and courteous workplaces.

Workplace bullying, harassment and discrimination are a risk to health and safety and are not tolerated in DFAT. Under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, the department has a duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the health and safety of all DFAT employees are not put at risk from work carried out as part of the conduct of the business. All employees must take reasonable care that they do not adversely affect the health and safety of others. This includes eliminating incidents of bullying, harassment and discrimination.

Bullying, harassment and discrimination are breaches of the LES Code of Conduct and/or Code of Conduct for Overseas Service. Such behaviour can also be unlawful under various Commonwealth, State and Territory legislation and local law jurisdictions.

In circumstances where harassment, bullying or discrimination issues arise, the department will take prompt action to address the issues. Where possible and appropriate, employees should try to address issues of bullying, harassment and discrimination at work informally.

The department encourages all employees to speak out against bullying, harassment and discrimination where they witness it.
 

Work Health and Safety

The department is committed to providing a healthy and safe workplace for all its employees and to meet fully its obligations under the Commonwealth of Australia Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (the WHS Act). The department will take all reasonably practicable steps to prevent work-related accidents and illnesses, to seek to improve work practices and to promote attitudes that sustain healthy and safe work environments, no matter where they are geographically located. The department accepts that the most constructive way to do this is through effective preventive strategies, including the:
•Provision of safe and healthy workplaces in which employees are protected from hazards or potential hazards that may cause injury, ill-health or disease;
•Integration of adaptable safe work systems into work processes;
•Provision of information and on-going training to managers, supervisors and staff to enable them to perform their work safely;
•Encouragement of a cooperative, consultative relationship with employees on health and safety issues; and
•Compliance with work health and safety legislation as a minimum standard and full implementation of the requirements of the Act, Regulations and Codes of Practice.

In return, all employees of the department are obliged to support management in meeting its work health and safety objectives by:
•Taking all necessary practical steps to ensure the health and safety of themselves and others in the workplace;
•Observing safety procedures and directions; and
•Taking responsibility for reporting potential and actual workplace hazards.