State of the service

Remuneration in the APS

Remuneration in the APS

Remuneration is an important factor in recruiting and retaining employees. It encompasses monetary rewards such as salary, superannuation and allowances.

An annual snapshot of remuneration across the whole Australian Public Service (APS) is collected at 31 December each year and the results are published in the APS Remuneration Report.

Key findings in the APS Remuneration Report 2015 show from 2014 to 2015:

  • the median Base Salary for non-SES classifications increased by 0.1%
  • the median Base Salary for SES classifications increased by 1.4%

The median Base Salary¹ is affected by a number of factors including general salary increases, performance-based incremental advancements and employee mobility.

Figure 1.

Percentage change in median Base Salary by classification group, 2006 to 2015

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The median Base Salary is affected by a number of factors including general salary increases, performance-based incremental advancements and employee mobility.

Over the last decade, median Base Salaries in the APS have consistently increased. Increases in 2014 and 2015 were smaller than in previous years. The current enterprise bargaining round in the APS can be attributed to the smaller increases in Base Salaries. Enterprise Bargaining in the 2015 calendar year saw 24 new agreements made. As most of these were made late in the year, it is unlikely that first general wage increases were in pay systems by 31 December 2015 and not captured in the data.

The primary employment instrument, which sets employee terms and conditions in the APS, is enterprise agreements. Enterprise agreements provide the same pay for work at the same classification in an agency, regardless of gender.

For more information please see the APS Remuneration Report 2015.

In addition to monetary rewards, enterprise agreements covering APS employees provide for a generous range of non-monetary conditions and rewards including leave and flexible working arrangements.

Each year APS employees are asked through the employee census about their perceptions of their monetary and non-monetary conditions of service.

In 2016, the majority of APS employees remained satisfied with their monetary and non-monetary conditions of service.

Results from the APS employee census show relative stability since 2015 in the proportion of people who believe they are fairly paid for the work they do and who are satisfied with their non-monetary conditions of service.

Figure 3.

Comparison of satisfaction with monetary and non-monetary conditions, 2015-2016

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Consistent with 2015 census results, seventy-two per cent of APS employees remain satisfied with their work-life balance and 71 percent of APS employees are satisfied with their access to flexible work arrangements.

Figure 3.

Satisfaction with work-life balance and flexible working arrangements, 2016

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Results from the 2016 employee census also show that employees in agencies where a new enterprise agreement has been made report much more positive perceptions of their monetary and non-monetary employment conditions.

Figure 4.

Employee satisfaction with monetary and non-monetary conditions, by new EA status

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¹The term Base Salary describes the full-time annualised salary paid to an employee. It includes salary sacrifice amounts and pre-tax employee superannuation contributions made through salary sacrifice arrangements. It excludes bonuses and other benefits.