Trust, Service

& Accountability



Workforce diversity encompasses initiatives to: build positive workplaces and provide support for all employees; strengthen workforce planning capability to integrate workforce diversity strategies; build a workforce which reflects the diversity of the wider community; achieve the Government’s broader social responsibility objectives.

Diversity in government sector, workforce management continues to be a priority under the Government Sector Employment Act 2013 (GSE Act). The GSE Act preserves the focus on existing diversity groups (Aboriginal people, women, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and people with disability), but also provides flexibility to encompass a broader spectrum of diversity, including mature workers, young people and carers.

Under section 63 of the GSE Act, the head of a government sector agency is responsible for workforce diversity within the agency and for ensuring that workforce diversity is integrated into workforce planning in the agency.

The Public Service Commissioner leads the strategic development and management of the government sector workforce in relation to equity and diversity, including strategies to ensure the sector reflects the diversity of the wider community.

The GSE Regulation prescribes certain agencies and universities as government sector agencies, for the purposes of workplace diversity, and also deals with existing EEO plans.

The GSE Rules continue special arrangements for the employment of Aboriginal people, people with disability, and young people. This replicates the previous arrangements for 'Selection in special cases' in Clause 6 in the Public Sector Employment Management Regulation 2009.

Transitional arrangements for EEO Management Plans

The requirement for EEO Management Plans, as set out in Part 9A of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977, is repealed by the Government Sector Employment Act 2013 (GSE Act). All workforce diversity requirements that are specific to the government sector are now set out in the GSE Act. However, agencies must still comply with the other (general) obligations of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977

Agencies with current EEO Management Plans may continue implementing targeted initiatives whilst integrating diversity requirements into their workforce plans. This transitional arrangement continues for a 12 month period until 24 February 2015. (See clause 10 of Schedule 4 to the GSE Regulation). 

Where an agency does not have a current EEO Management Plan, the agency head must take steps to comply with section 63 of the GSE Act. Agencies need to continue to comply with all other legislative requirements not covered by the GSE Act and its supporting instruments, including the remaining sections of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977.


Diversity Targets and Benchmarks

Workforce diversity benchmarks and targets are unchanged by the Government Sector Employment Act 2013.

Aboriginal Employment Strategy

The NSW Government is committed to growing and developing a talented and versatile Aboriginal workforce in the Public Sector. We need Aboriginal people employed right across the Sector, in a wide range of roles, and at all levels - from trainees to Department heads and executive roles. By providing improved employment opportunities, the NSW Government is able to contribute to ‘closing the gap’ in economic participation for Aboriginal people, in particular through better employment and career outcomes, improved health outcomes and a higher standard of living for Aboriginal people. Read more about the Aboriginal Employment Strategy.


Annual Reporting

Under the Government Sector Employment Rules, the head of a government sector agency  is to ensure that information relating to workforce diversity within the agency is collected and is able to be provided to the Public Service Commissioner.

The obligation to include workforce diversity information in agency annual reports will continue. Agencies must collect and report statistics for employees in diversity groups, and report on achievements and strategies.