Chapter Five

Diversity

  • Diversity response rate

    77.7%

    in 2019 (-0.5pp vs 2018)

  • People with disability – estimate

    2.5%

    in 2019 (0.0pp vs 2018)

  • People with disability requiring adjustment – estimate

    0.6%

    in 2019 (0.0pp vs 2018)

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples – estimate

    3.5%

    in 2019 (+0.7pp vs 2014)

  • People whose language first spoken as a child was not English – estimate

    18.3%

    in 2019 (+0.2pp vs 2018)

  • People from racial, ethnic and ethno-religious minority groups – estimate

    12.6%

    in 2019 (+0.2pp vs 2018)

Diversity response rates

A range of factors affect the collection of diversity data in the Workforce Profile. It relies on employees self-reporting their diversity characteristics to their employing agency, which requires a culture of inclusion, and this data can sometimes be lost in the transition to new human resources information systems. In 2019, the diversity response rate of the public sector was 77.7%, a slight decrease from 78.2% in 2018. The response rate was above 70% in all clusters except Transport (see Figure 5.1).

 

People with disability

Premier’s Priority – percentage of people with disability (estimate)1

Increasing the proportion of employees with disability in the NSW public sector was introduced as a target under the Jobs for people with disability strategy in 2017.2 It was incorporated as a diversity target in the Premier’s Priority for a world class public service in 2019.3 The Priority aims to double the representation of people with disability in the NSW public sector by 2025, from an estimated 2.8% in 2016 to 5.6%.

 

For the first time since 2012, the representation of people with disability did not decline. An estimated 2.5% of public sector employees identified as having disability in 2019, the same rate as in 2018 (see Figure 5.2). In comparison, the Australian Public Service reported a 0.1pp decrease in the representation of employees in this diversity group, from 3.8% of all employees in 2018 to 3.7% in 2019.4

There was little change across government sector services compared to 2018 (see Table 5.1). The Public Service continued to have the highest proportion of people with disability, at an estimated 4.1%, noting there was a small decrease compared to 2018.

Table 5.1: Representation of people with disability by service (estimate), 2018–19
Service 2018 (%) 2019 (%)
Public Service 4.2 4.1
NSW Health Service 1.7 1.7
NSW Police Force 0.8 0.8
Teaching Service 2.8 2.7
Transport Service* 1.3 1.3
Other Crown services* 2.2 2.1
Total government sector 2.5 2.5
State owned corporations 2.7 3.5
External to government sector 2.7 1.9
Total public sector 2.5 2.5

*Actual figures are reported as the diversity response rate is less than 65%; see Diversity estimate in the Glossary for more detail

The rate of commencements and separations differs between employees with disability and the total sector (see Table 5.2).

Table 5.2: Commencements, exits and moves, people with disability vs the public sector, 2019
  Commencement rate (%) Separation rate (%) Exit rate (%) Movement rate within public sector (%)
People with disability 6.7 10.7 9.4 1.3
Total public sector 9.6 8.1 6.4 1.7

The rate of people with disability commencing with an agency was 4.0pp lower than the rate of people with disability separating from their agency. Across the sector, the commencement rate was 1.5pp higher than the separation rate.

The commencement rate of employees with disability was 2.8pp lower than the total public sector in 2019, and the separation rate of employees with disability was 2.7pp higher than for all employees in the sector. Likewise, the exit rate was 3.0pp higher for employees with disability and the proportion moving between agencies was 0.4pp lower than for the total sector.

However the gap between the commencement and separation rates of employees with disability has narrowed, and was 2.9pp lower in 2019 than in 2014 (see Figure 5.3). While the rates for employees without disability have followed the same trend, in 2019 the rate of commencements exceeded that of separations by 1.6pp.

 

The commencement rate of people with disability increased 2.6pp between 2014 and 2019, while for people without disability the increase was lower, at 2.4pp. However, the separation rate of people without disability decreased 0.8pp over the same period, while the separation rate for people with disability only decreased by 0.3pp.

State owned corporations and the Public Service recorded the largest changes in separations of people with disability, at 4.7pp and 3.7pp respectively.

The median tenure for people with disability in 2019 was 13.2 years, higher than the overall public sector tenure of 8.5 years. When age cohorts are compared, the representation of people with disability in the sector markedly increases with age. Figure 5.4 highlights that although the proportion of people with disability increases incrementally with each age group, the proportion of people with disability aged 45 or above is lower than 10 years ago. In 2019, 66% of people with disability in the sector were aged 45 or above compared to 71% in 2010. To reach the Premier’s Priority target it will be important to implement strategies to retain older employees in the workforce.

 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

The representation of employees who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander has progressively increased over the last decade (see Figure 5.5). In 2019, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples comprised an estimated 3.5% of non-casual employees in the sector, a slight increase from 3.3% in 2018. This is similar to the change in representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Public Service, from 3.4% of all employees in 2018 to 3.5% in 2019.2

 

From 2014 to 2019, the estimated proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees increased by 0.3pp or more in all salary bands below Senior Executive (see Figure 5.6). The highest increases were in the General Scale and Grade 3/4 bands, which increased by 1.1pp and 0.8pp respectively.

It is important to highlight the success of the NSW Public Sector Aboriginal Employment Strategy (AES) 2014–2017.5 The strategy helped the public sector exceed the original target of 1.8% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation in all non-executive salary bands by 2021. Building on this performance, the new AES 2019–2025 aims for 3.0% representation in each of these salary bands by 2025. This new target has already been exceeded in the three lowest bands and has nearly been achieved in the Grade 7/8 band. However, Grades 5/6, 9/10 and 11/12 remain well below target (see Figure 5.6). However, if the growth in representation across these salary bands continues at the current rate, the target could be achieved by 2025.

 

Strong progress has also been made towards achieving the Premier’s Priority of doubling the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in senior leadership roles from 57 in 2014 to 114 by 2025. In 2019, there were 98 Aboriginal and Torres Islander senior leaders in the NSW government sector, a 13% increase from 87 in 2018. This progress was driven by increases in all government sector services except the Public Service and Transport Service (for more information, see Leaders section).

People who first spoke a language other than English

It was estimated that 18.3%of the public sector’s non-casual workforce in 2019 identified as people who first spoke a language other than English (LOTE), compared to 18.1% in 2018 (see Figure 5.7). Nearly half (43.2%) of all employees in this diversity group also identified as being from a racial, ethnic or ethno-religious minority group.

 

The proportion of employees in the LOTE diversity group slightly changed across all salary grades from 2014 to 2019 (see Figure 5.8). The largest increase since 2014 was 2.3pp in salary Grade 5/6, from 18.4%. The largest decline in that time was 1.9pp in salary Grade 3/4, from 14.4%. The median age of employees in this diversity group was 42, compared to 44 for the sector overall. The median tenure for these employees was 7.2 years, compared to 8.5 years for the sector overall.

 

Racial, ethnic and ethno-religious minority groups

The proportion of employees in the sector who identified as being from a racial, ethnic or ethno-religious minority group slightly increased from an estimated 12.4% of the total non-casual workforce in 2018 to 12.6% in 2019 (see Figure 5.9). The Transport Service experienced the largest increase in representation of this group, growing 1.9pp from 14.1% in 2018 to 16.0% in 2019.

 

In 2019, 52.2% of these employees were in Grade 5/6, Grade 7/8 and Grade 9/10, compared to 45.3% for all employees.

The distribution of employees from this diversity group increased in the higher salary ranges compared to 2014 (see Figure 5.10). The largest increase was 2.0pp in Grade 9/10. Employees in senior executive salary band increased by 0.5pp from 2.1% to 2.6%. The representation of these employees also increased in most grades, with the biggest increase in grades above 11/12 (3.8pp) compared to 2014.

 

Notes

1 Diversity estimates (see Glossary on diversity estimation method)
2 Department of Communities and justice, Jobs for people with disability: A plan for the NSW public sector, NSW Government, https://www.facs.nsw.gov.au/inclusion/disability/jobs
3 NSW Government, Premier’s Priorities, World class public service, https://www.nsw.gov.au/improving-nsw/premiers-priorities/world-class-public-service/
4 Australian Public Service Commission, APS Employment Data 30 June 2019 release, Australian Government, 2019, https://www.apsc.gov.au/aps-employment-data-30-june-2019-release
5 NSW Public Service Commission, NSW Public Sector Aboriginal Employment Strategy 2019 – 2025, NSW Government, 2019, https://www.psc.nsw.gov.au/workplace-culture---diversity/diversity-and-inclusion/aboriginal-workforce-/aboriginal-employment-strategy