Flexibility for the Future
We’re building a contemporary public sector and that means offering a range of work options to attract and retain great staff.
Supporting employees to manage their work-life balance, at all stages of their lives is a business imperative; it has proven links with increased productivity, employee motivation and job satisfaction in organisations; as well as having positive health benefits for those individuals.
As part of the Premier’s Building a Stronger South Australia — A Modern Public Service Policy, the Office for the Public Sector is leading a new program — Flexibility for the Future. This program asks public sector employees to consider if part-time and more flexible working arrangements would work better for them. By increasing the opportunities for public sector employees to voluntarily work part-time, the public sector can create new South Australian jobs without increasing the net cost to Government.
Finding opportunities for young South Australians as trainees or graduates is important for all of us — it increases our diversity and secures the future of a strong public sector for our State. Supporting part-time work gives us the space to do that — it’s win/win.
Flexible working arrangements
Flexibility for the Future is not about flexi-time arrangements. Flexible working arrangements can take many forms — part-time work, job-share, or purchased leave — and we commit to helping our people find the right balance between work and other interests and responsibilities.
This program asks managers and employees to explore what arrangements will work for individuals and their work areas. A key factor for the success of this program will be changing the culture of the public sector and managers will be asked “if not, why not” to part-time work for their staff. That means managers being open to part-time arrangements at all levels of the organization and removing any cultural stigma attached to these arrangements if it exists within their teams.
It needs to made clear that the uptake of part-time is voluntary and employees are not being asked to do more with less, or have their colleagues pick up the rest. All employees’ workloads must be adequately proportioned or re-designed to their work hours and classifications.
The program will initially commence utilising the existing flexible and part-time work provisions available within the Commissioner’s Determinations and Guidelines. Consultation with Public Sector agencies, employee associations and unions will be undertaken in relation to any proposed changes to the Commissioner’s Determination and Guidelines.
New jobs within the South Australian Public Sector
Government agencies will be required to utilise funds made available through the voluntary reduction of hours to create new South Australian jobs to redistribute the workload.
Whilst the focus of the Flexibility for the Future program is to support the creation of new jobs particularly for trainees and graduates, agencies can create positions to suit their business needs.
Creating new positions within the public sector provides an opportunity to continue to make the South Australian Public Sector a diverse workplace, which is important to South Australia as having a workforce that reflects our community helps government produce programs and policies that take into account the experiences and needs of all our citizens.
Increasing the number of people taking up part-time work could open up opportunities for talented South Australians to join our ranks — securing the future for a strong public service.
The Office of the Public Sector has commenced discussions about the successful implementation of this program with Chief Executives and HR Directors.
For information visit http://publicsector.sa.gov.au/people/flexibility-for-the-future/