Department of Health Enterprise Agreement 2016-2019

Part I - People management

Page last updated: 28 January 2016

Performance management

  1. All employees are to participate in the department’s PDS and have a formal annual PDS agreement in place. The agreement will outline specific key performance requirements, related performance indicators and required workplace behaviours.
  2. The PDS provides the basis for individual salary advancement through salary ranges for the employee’s current classification.
  3. The principles of the PDS include:
    1. employees and managers have a joint responsibility to actively participate in, and contribute to, the PDS development and assessment process,
    2. all stages of the PDS process should be discussed and agreed by the employee and their manager,
    3. the PDS will operate in accordance with the department’s workplace diversity programmes, and
    4. there should be no surprises for employees in regard to a manager’s performance expectations or appraisal of their performance, with feedback regarding an employee’s performance part of ongoing activities, including the opportunity for informal upwards feedback.

Four week improvement period

  1. An employee will be provided a minimum of four weeks, prior to the end of cycle assessment, to improve the employee’s performance where it is below the performance standards.

Formal assessment points

  1. The PDS has two formal assessment points:
    1. one at the mid-cycle in February, and
    2. one at the end of the cycle in July.

Further information on the PDS is available in the Performance Development Scheme policy.

Managing underperformance

Performance standards

  1. Employees are expected, as a minimum, to maintain a satisfactory performance standard under the PDS.


  1. In addressing underperformance the framework is designed to:
    1. be timely and effective,
    2. restore performance of the employee to the required standard,
    3. have regard to the individual circumstances of the employee, including any health issues,
    4. have regard to natural justice and procedural fairness,
    5. include learning and development as the focus for improving performance,
    6. have active performance management as an integral part of the workplace culture,
    7. require performance measures and standards to be clearly defined.

Application of the framework

  1. The framework does not apply to:
    1. an employee during a period of probation, or
    2. a non-ongoing employee.

Further information on the framework for managing cases of underperformance is available in the Managing Underperformance policy.

Continuing professional development

Professional appointments with mandatory qualifications

  1. The department will provide to an employee who the department requires to hold mandatory qualifications:
    1. access to relevant training, or
    2. on application, meet the reasonable costs of continuing professional development.
  2. Where an employee has received a Professional Development Allowance (PDA), that PDA must be used entirely before an application under clause 284 b) is made.

Commonwealth Nursing Officers (CNOs)

  1. To assist with maintaining professional registration standards and undertaking their professional roles, CNOs will receive a PDA of $2100 per annum paid fortnightly. Treatment of this allowance for particular purposes is at Attachment B.

Medical Officers – professional development

  1. Medical Officers are eligible to receive a PDA of $4750 each financial year on a reimbursement basis, to assist in attaining and maintaining work-relevant agreed skills and knowledge.
  2. Part-time Medical Officers will have access to the full amount of PDA. The allowance will be available pro-rata for Medical Officers commencing service part way through a financial year.
  3. The allowance rate may be increased by the Secretary in circumstances where it is agreed that the standard amount is insufficient to meet relevant and approved professional development.
  4. As part of the PDS process, Medical Officers will identify their learning and development needs as agreed with their manager. Where Medical Officers attend training or courses identified on their Individual Development Plan, they will be considered to be on duty and no leave application is required.
  5. In addition, attendance at conferences and seminars may be granted by the Secretary where it is directly relevant to the Medical Officer’s current role, and having regard to any necessary medical registration or medical college requirements and operational requirements. In these circumstances, the absence will be treated the same as for attendance at approved training or courses.

Right to medical practice through outside employment

  1. Where approved, Medical Officers may engage in outside medical practice to a maximum of half-a-day per week (averaged over a 12 month period) during normal working hours, with no adjustment to salary.
  2. Medical Officers may access up to an additional four half-days per month during normal working hours for outside medical practice subject to operational requirements and the agreement of the manager and the Chief Medical Officer or Principal Medical Advisor of the Therapeutic Goods Authority (TGA) (as appropriate). This additional time will be taken as leave without pay or ‘made up’ at another time.
  3. Access to outside medical practice will be pro-rata for part-time Medical Officers.

Further information about provisions for Medical Officers is available in the Medical Officer Policy.


  1. The Secretary may provide leave to an employee to undertake formal courses of study at tertiary and higher education institutions and other vocational education courses, where the study is agreed as part of an employee’s PDS.

Mature-aged employees financial assistance

  1. To assist with retirement planning, employees aged 54 years and over who are approaching or genuinely considering retirement, and who have not previously received this assistance from the department, may access financial assistance in the form of a one off reimbursement payment up to a total maximum of $500 (inclusive of GST) to obtain financial advice from a registered financial advisor.

Further information regarding support for mature age employees is available in the Mature Age Employees Financial Assistance policy.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

  1. The Secretary will provide employees and their families with access to confidential, professional counselling to assist with work or personal issues through provision of an external EAP.