Diversity response rate
79.8% in 2020 (+2.1 pp vs 2019)
Employees reporting disability – estimate
2.4% in 2020 (-0.1 pp vs 2019)
Employees reporting disability requiring adjustment – estimate
0.6% in 2020 (0.0 pp vs 2019)
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples – estimate
3.5% in 2020 (+0.6 pp vs 2014)
People whose language first spoken as a child was not English – estimate
18.1% in 2020 (-0.2 pp vs 2019)
People from racial, ethnic and ethno-religious minority groups – estimate
12.6% in 2020 (0.0 pp vs 2019)
Diversity response rates
Diversity data in the Workforce Profile are subject to several factors. Public sector employees are required to self-identify their diversity characteristics when their employing agency collects data, and higher response rates increase the accuracy of the diversity data. This is facilitated when agencies have a culture of inclusion and employees are encouraged to update their details.
The diversity response rate of the public sector was 79.8% in 2020, an increase of 2.1pp from 77.7% in 2019. This change is largely driven by the increased diversity response rate of the Education, Customer Service and Treasury clusters (see Figure 5.1).
People with disability
Premier’s Priority – percentage of people with disability (estimate)1
View data table of above diagram
Year People with disability – estimate (%), government sector 2014 3.0% 2015 2.9% 2016 2.8% 2017 2.7% 2018 2.5% 2019 2.5% 2020 2.4%
Target: 5.6% by 2025
Increasing the proportion of employees with disability in the NSW public sector is a target in the Premier’s Priority for a world class public service.2 The priority aims to increase representation in the NSW public sector to 5.6% by 2025.
An estimated 2.4% of public sector employees identified as having disability in 2020, a slight decrease (-0.1pp) compared to the previous year. Figure 5.2 shows that while the representation flattened in 2019, there has been a longer-term trend of decreasing representation of people with disability in the NSW public sector workforce.
In comparison, the Australian Public Service reported a 0.1pp increase in the representation of employees in this diversity group, from 3.9% of all employees in 2019 to 4.0% in 2020.3
There was little change in representation across NSW government sector services in 2020 compared to 2019 (see Table 5.1). The Public Service continued to have the highest proportion of people with disability in 2020, at an estimated 3.9%, noting there was a small decrease compared to 2019.
Table 5.1: Representation of people with disability by service (estimate), 2019–20201
|Service||2019 (%)||2020 (%)|
|NSW Health Service||1.7||1.8|
|NSW Police Force||0.8||0.8|
|Other Crown services*||-||3.1|
|Total government sector||2.5||2.4|
|State owned corporations||3.5||3.1|
|External to government sector||1.9||2.3|
|Total public sector||2.5||2.4|
* Estimates for 2019 were not available because the diversity response rate was less than 65%. See Diversity estimate in the Glossary for more detail.
There is a notable difference in the pattern of commencements and separations of employees with disability compared to the total sector. While the level of commencements in agencies is similar to the level of separations for the public sector workforce, separations outweigh commencements for employees with disability and the rate of exit from the public sector is higher (see Table 5.2).
Table 5.2: Commencements, exits and moves, people with disability vs the public sector, 2020
|Commencement rate (%)||Separation rate (%)||Exit rate (%)||Movement rate within public sector (%)|
|People with disability||6.5||10.4||9.1||1.3|
|Total public sector||8.6||8.6||7.0||1.6|
The rate of people with disability commencing in public sector agencies was 3.9pp lower than the rate of separation. Also, the commencement rate of employees with disability was lower than the total public sector average (-2.1pp) while the separation rate of employees with disability was higher than the sector average (1.7pp). Compared to the broader public sector workforce, there is a higher exit rate from the sector for employees with disability (2.1pp) and a lower level of movement to other public sector agencies (-0.3pp).
In 2020, the gap between the commencement and separation rates of public sector employees with and without disability narrowed (see Figure 5.3). The separation rate of people with disability decreased by 0.4pp, while there was a 0.6pp increase in the rate of separation of employees without disability. There was a decrease in the commencement rate of people both with and without disability in 2020; however, the decrease was larger for those without disability (-1.0pp compared to -0.3pp for people with disability). While the narrowing of rates between the two groups is an encouraging trend, it has not been sufficient to increase the representation of people with disability.
When age groups are compared, the representation of people with disability in the sector markedly increases with age (see Figure 5.4). It is also apparent that compared to 10 years ago, the 45–64 age range experienced the largest decrease in representation (around -1pp). In 2020, 66% of people with disability in the sector were aged 45 or above compared to 71% in 2011. Strategies to support retention of this cohort will be an important element in achieving the Premier’s Priority target by 2025.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
While the representation of employees who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander has progressively increased over the last decade, it plateaued in 2020, remaining at an estimated 3.5% of non-casual employees in the sector. The same trend is seen in the Australian Public Service, where the representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was 3.5% in 2019 and 2020.3
From 2014 to 2020, the estimated proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees increased by 0.4pp or more in all salary bands below the level of Senior Executive (see Figure 5.6). The highest increase was in the Grade 1/2 range, which has risen 1.2pp since 2014. Most of this increase occurred in 2020, with a 0.9pp increase from 2019 to 2020. This is partly due to the 11% pay rise awarded to School Clerical and Administrative Workers and School Support Staff from 1 July 2019, shifting some employees from the general scale range to the Grade 1/2 range.
Progress continued 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 2020, there were 105 Aboriginal and Torres Islander senior leaders in the NSW government sector, an increase in headcount of seven (7%) from 2019. Since 2014, the largest increase occurred in the Teaching Service (22 Aboriginal senior leaders) and in the Public Service (12 Aboriginal senior leaders), accounting for 71% of the increase. See the Leaders chapter for more details.
People who first spoke a language other than English
The proportion of employees in the sector who identified as people who first spoke a language other than English (LOTE) slightly decreased from an estimated 18.3% of the total non-casual workforce in 2019 to 18.1% in 2020 (see Figure 5.7). Nearly half (43%) 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 bands from 2014 to 2020 (see Figure 5.8). Since 2014, an increase of 0.1pp or more was recorded in all grades except in Grades 1/2, 3/4 and 7/8. The largest increase was 2.6pp in salary Grade 5/6, from 18.4% in 2014 to 21.0% in 2020. The largest decline in that time was 2.2pp in salary Grade 3/4, from 14.4% in 2014 to 12.2% in 2020. The median age of employees in this diversity group was 42 compared to 44 for the overall sector. The median tenure for these employees was 7.4 years compared to 8.4 years for the sector overall.
Racial, ethnic and ethno-religious minority groups
In 2020, the proportion of employees in the sector who identified as being from a racial, ethnic or ethno-religious minority group was unchanged, remaining at an estimated 12.6% (see Figure 5.9). Most services experienced an increase in representation of employees from this group in 2020, with the largest growth in the Transport Service, up 1.8pp to 17.8%. The only services to experience a decrease in representation of this group were the Teaching Service and NSW Police Force, down by 0.7pp and 0.1pp, respectively.
In 2020, 51.7% of these employees were in Grades 5/6, 7/8 or 9/10, a slight decrease from 52.2% in 2019. Compared to the public sector overall, 45.5% of all employees were in one of these grades in 2020.
The distribution of employees from this diversity group has increased in the higher salary ranges since 2014 (see Figure 5.10). The largest increase was 2.1pp in the Grade 9/10 salary range. Representation of this group in the Senior Executive salary range increased 0.5pp to 2.6% over the same period.
1 Diversity estimates (see the Glossary for the diversity estimation method).
2 NSW Government, Premier’s Priorities, World class public service, https://www.nsw.gov.au/improving-nsw/premiers-priorities/world-class-public-service/
3 Australian Public Service Commission, APS Employment Data 30 June 2020 release, Australian Government, 2020, https://www.apsc.gov.au/aps-employment-data-30-june-2020-0