Obiligations of all public service agencies
Section 7(1)—Each public service agency is to take all practicable measures to ensure that its employees and agents have an awareness and understanding of the Statement for Australia’s Carers.
The department raises staff awareness and understanding of the Statement for Australia’s Carers through a suite of online resources. The statement, set out in Schedule 1 of the Carer Recognition Act 2010, enshrines the rights, opportunities and choices of carers. Intranet resources also include links to the Act and information about support available to help staff with their caring responsibilities.
Section 7(2)—Each public service agency’s internal human resource policies, so far as they may significantly affect an employee’s caring role, are to be developed having due regard to the Statement for Australia’s Carers.
The department complies with section 7(2) of the Act through the Department of Human Services Agreement 2011-14 and internal human resource policies.
The department consults with staff and representatives, providing the opportunity for comments and feedback while having due regard to the Statement for Australia’s Carers. The department supports staff with caring responsibilities through:
- flexible working arrangements
- part-time work
- home-based work
- an elder care advisory service
- the Employee Assistance Program.
Section 8(1)—Each public service care agency is to take all practicable measures to ensure that it, and its employees and agents, take action to reflect the principles of the Statement for Australia’s Carers in developing, implementing, providing or evaluating care supports.
The department is committed to the principles of the Statement for Australia’s Carers. Its payments, services and information to carers reflect this as does the development and implementation of carer programs and supports. The department works collaboratively with partner agencies to ensure carer policy and service delivery is aligned with the statement and priorities identified in the government’s National Carer Strategy Action Plan (2011-2014).
The department will continue to develop and implement practical actions against each of the six priority areas. The department actively supports awareness and understanding of carer issues within the community. The department participates in National Carers Week through outreach and community activities, and promotes awareness of carer issues to staff.
The department also produces News for Carers, an online publication for people receiving Carer Payment and Carer Allowance, and for peak carer organisations. It provides information about national initiatives and services for carers.
Section 8(2)—Each public service care agency is to consult carers, or bodies that represent carers, when developing or evaluating care supports.
The department continues to promote service models that involve carers as partners in the provision of care. Carers and carer peak bodies are consulted on the development of new measures as required.
Section 8(3)—Each public service care agency must prepare a report on its compliance with section 7 and this section in each reporting period. The report must be included in the agency’s annual report for the reporting period.
For more information about the department’s specialised services and engagement with carers see People with disability and carers in Part 2.2.
People with a disability
Since 1994 Commonwealth departments and agencies have reported on their performance as policy adviser, purchaser, employer, regulator and provider under the Commonwealth Disability Strategy.
In 2007-08 reporting on the employer role was transferred to the Australian Public Service Commission’s State of the Service Report and the APS Statistical Bulletin. Since 2010-11 departments and agencies have no longer been required to report on these functions.
The Commonwealth Disability Strategy has been overtaken by the National Disability Strategy 2010-2020 which sets out a 10-year national policy framework to improve the lives of people with disability, promote participation and create a more inclusive society. A high-level two-yearly report will track progress against each of the six outcome areas of the strategy and present a picture of how people with disability are faring. The first of these reports was published in 2014.
For more information about the department’s specialised services and support for and engagement with carers and people with disability, see:
- People with disability and carers
- National Disability Strategy
- Delivering aged care payments
- Carer specialist assessments
- Celebrating the lives of people with disability
- ICT support for greater accessibility
- Employment of people with disability
- Training for people on the autism spectrum
- Carers and People with disability