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  • Multicultural access and equity action plan 2018–20

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    Commissioner's message

    I am pleased to present the Multicultural access and equity action plan 2018–20 (the plan) for the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). This is a statement of commitment to our clients with a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background.

    This work is important to us. It builds on our previous multicultural plan to better serve all Australians who contribute to the health of our tax and super system.

    For the ATO to contribute to the economic wellbeing of Australians, we must all value the tax system. We need to understand how it works, and provide access to services so people can do the right thing.

    We work with many multicultural communities, helping people to understand their rights, and meet their tax and super obligations. Some of our work includes – providing:

    • a tailored education program that helps new Australians interact with our tax system
    • information in 29 different languages
    • a community language program for interpreting and translation assistance
    • information to media and key influencers in various communities.

    We know that one-third of Australian small businesses are owned and operated by people from CALD backgrounds. They can expect good service and fair and equitable treatment from us – regardless of language or cultural background.

    We have a strong commitment to diversity – in the community and in the ATO. We are building a workplace and workforce culture where diversity and inclusion are embraced by all in our everyday work and conduct. This is supported by our Diversity and inclusion plan 2017–19.

    Working with and serving those in the community with a diverse background is an important part of the ATO's program of work.

    Please join me in supporting the ATO's Multicultural access and equity action plan 2018–20.

    Chris Jordan AO

    Commissioner of Taxation

    Our agency

    The ATO is the Australian Government’s principal revenue collection agency, and administers Australia’s tax system and significant aspects of Australia’s superannuation system.

    Our purpose is to contribute to the economic and social wellbeing of Australians by fostering willing participation in our tax and super systems. Our vision is to be a leading tax and superannuation administration known for our contemporary service, expertise and integrity.

    We have core services in place for our CALD communities, as well as specific projects and strategies in any given year.

    We are currently on a reinvention journey to transform how our clients and staff experience the tax and super systems. To achieve this we are:

    • making it easier for people to participate
    • providing contemporary and tailored services
    • maintaining purposeful and respectful relationships
    • continuing to be a professional and productive organisation.

    To move to the next wave of change the ATO has two aspirations for 2024:

    • building trust and confidence
    • streamlined, integrated and data-driven.

    We will regularly review the steps we are taking to get there and continually adapt to the broader environment.

    Our multicultural access and equity vision

    Our vision for multicultural access and equity is to provide our CALD clients with:

    • a consistent, tailored and transparent experience
    • reliable and responsive services that meet their needs.

    Our plan

    Our CALD audience engagement approach is underpinned by the ATO Corporate plan 2018–19. We are committed to our vision, mission and values. This plan outlines our goals, strategies and priorities.

    We have made great progress with our reinvention program over the last 3–4 years, delivering real outcomes for the community. This will continue with the next phase of our transformation, towards our 2024 vision and our long term objectives as outlined in the 2018–19 Corporate Plan.

    We support our staff to develop and understand the principles of multiculturalism and an inclusive workplace. This includes training and diversity celebration days.

    We recognise that workforce diversity fosters new ways of thinking, enhances productivity, and will shape the future direction of the ATO. Our Inclusive and diverse ATO policy articulates how we support our workforce.

    Current ATO services for multicultural communities

    • A network of community language officers across Australia to assist tax payers and ATO employees, via translating and interpreting services.
    • A translating and interpreting service helpline (13 14 50) for those requiring the support of an interpreter.
    • Tax-related material translated into other languages on our website, in various formats – html, video, audio, podcast.
    • A dedicated Tax Talk segment on SBS radio that disseminates important information in numerous languages.
    • We attend expos, events and festivals across Australia to engage with and assist CALD communities with their tax and super affairs.

    Diversity celebration days

    We observe celebration days as site-based events, to:

    • raise diversity awareness and support in the workplace
    • acknowledge various diverse groups in the ATO
    • demonstrate our commitment to workplace diversity.

    Managers encourage participation and allow reasonable times for employees to attend.

    A key annual event for us is Harmony Day, with its messages of community participation, inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone.

    Our actions

    1. Commitment 1: Leadership
    2. Commitment 2: Engagement
    3. Commitment 3: Responsiveness
    4. Commitment 4: Performance
    5. Commitment 5: Capability
    6. Commitment 6: Openness

    Commitment 1: Leadership

    Demonstrate a commitment to multicultural access and equity and take responsibility for its implementation.

    Table 1: Leadership

    Action

    Responsibility

    Timeline

    Target

    Senior executives acted as contact points during the development of the plan. They nominated contact officers to:

    • provide input and represent their business line in meetings
    • contribute to annual reporting
     

    Deputy Commissioner, ATO Corporate

    Deputy Commissioners and their representatives

    During development of the plan

    All agreed with the new plan.

    ATO Deputy Commissioner is a champion for multiculturalism

    Deputy Commissioner, ATO Corporate

    From 2018

    Champion is in place

    Organise ATO celebration days that support workplace diversity. Managers encourage participation and allow reasonable time for staff to attend

    Director, Workplace Diversity

    Directors, Site leadership

    CALD employee networks

    Ongoing

    Raised awareness of and support for workplace diversity

    Develop and launch the CALD employee network to support the principles and commitments within the Diversity and Inclusion Plan 2017–19

    Director, Workplace Diversity

    CALD employee network

    Launched March 2018

    CALD employee network in place and promotes cultural diversity

    Commitment 2: Engagement

    Identify and strategically engage with CALD clients, stakeholders and communities.

    Table 2: Engagement

    Action

    Responsibility

    Timeline

    Target

    Deliver ATO messages and programs to CALD communities by working with key stakeholders and influencers.

    Directors, Marketing and Communications

    Directors, Client experience teams

    Ongoing

    Clients are able to meet their tax and superannuation obligations and understand their rights

    Foster a positive culture towards tax and superannuation to encourage people to willingly pay the right amount of tax and contribute to their superannuation

    Engage and work with intermediaries to assist in delivering key messages to their CALD clients

    Directors, Client experience teams

    Directors, Service delivery teams

    Director, Intermediaries Audience Team

    Directors, Marketing and Communications

     

    Clients are able to meet their tax and superannuation obligations and understand their rights

    Foster a positive culture towards tax and superannuation to encourage people to willingly pay the right amount of tax and contribute to their superannuation

    Liaise with other agencies on multicultural and equity issues

    Director, Diverse Audiences

    Ongoing

    Continued ATO participation in inter-agency discussions

    Develop:

    • timely communication strategies
    • targeted and tailored messaging for clients and communities
     

    Directors, Marketing and Communications

    Ongoing

    Strategies in place and implemented

    Increase our engagement with specific CALD communities – based on research, intelligence and needs

    Directors, Marketing and Communications

    Directors, client experience teams

    Ongoing

    Increased awareness of tax and superannuation rights and obligations in identified communities

    Foster a positive culture towards tax and superannuation to encourage people to willingly pay the right amount of tax and contribute to their superannuation

    Consider multicultural audience needs when developing ATO media briefs

    Directors, Campaigns and Advertising

    Ongoing

    All media briefs meet multicultural audience needs

    Deliver the community education and assistance program

    Director, Community Education and Assistance

    Director, Small business line

    Ongoing

    Community education and assistance program meets client needs

    Develop tailored strategies to engage and support workers from CALD backgrounds

    Director, Small business line

    Ongoing

    Awareness and assistance in protecting workers entitlements

    Working with key stakeholders to help deliver and support clients. Such as:

    • Fair Work Ombudsman
    • Migrant Workers Taskforce
    • Employers Regulators' Forum
     

    Commitment 3: Responsiveness

    Strategies are in place to ensure that policies, programs, community interactions and service delivery (whether in-house or outsourced) are responsive to CALD Australians.

    Table 3: Responsiveness

    Action

    Responsibility

    Timeline

    Target

    Ensure we adhere to the Australian Government Guidelines on Information and Advertising Campaigns by non-corporate Commonwealth entities

    Directors, Campaigns and Advertising

    Ongoing

    Government advertising guidelines followed

    Consider DTA/WCAG guidelines

    Director, Digital Experience

    Director, Enterprise Solutions and Technology (EST)

    Ongoing

    DTA/WCAG guidelines implemented

    Consider CALD representation and follow CEIs

    All ATO employees

    Ongoing

    Identified projects have appropriate representation and adhere to CEIs

    Continually review priority languages to ensure they accurately reflect the Australian population

    Director, Diverse Audiences

    Ongoing

    Priority languages meet client and ATO needs

    Review ATO community language allowance program annually

    Director Diverse Audiences

    Ongoing

    Appropriate languages and community language allowance program is in place

    Refresh 'Other languages' pathway page on ato.gov.au

    Directors, Marketing and Communications

    Director, Diverse Audiences

    From 2018

    'Other languages' pathway page on ato.gov.au meets client needs and government requirements

    Channel experience - use digital interactions wherever possible and limit or close some services in some channels.

    Directors, Client experience teams

    Director, Digital Experience team

    Director, EST

    2018–19

    A well designed, fair, tailored and transparent experience makes it easier for clients to access the services and support they need, gives them increased confidence in the ATO and reduces the costs they face to manage their tax affairs. A focus on digital transactions is one way we make things easier for clients.

    Work and collaborate with CALD audiences in how we develop digital approaches and solutions

    Commitment 4: Performance

    Strong and clear mechanisms are in place to measure multicultural access and equity performance.

    Table 4: Performance

    Action

    Responsibility

    Timeline

    Target

    Act on community feedback and complaints received about multicultural needs and issues

    All business lines

    Ongoing

    Community feedback and complaints received are acted upon, based on client needs

    Report on the implementation of the Multicultural access and equity action plan 2018–20

    Director, ATO Corporate

    Annually

    Our reporting on the progress and implementation of this plan meets government requirements

    Evaluate communication plans and identify performance indicators

    Directors, Marketing and Communications

    Ongoing

    Communication plans have evaluation reports that identify outcomes for our clients

    Client experience understanding

    All business lines

    Ongoing

    As part of the client experience, all business lines have clear indicators and understand their clients' needs

    Client experience is reliable and is delivered through contemporary digital services

    All business lines

    Ongoing

    Measuring availability of our digital systems ensure we understand the reliability of services for clients interacting digitally.

    Commitment 5: Capability

    Understand, and have the capacity to respond to, the cultural and linguistic diversity of Australia’s population.

    Table 5: Capability

    Action

    Responsibility

    Timeline

    Target

    Embed our cultural traits to foster a collaborative and contemporary way of working

    Director, Workplace Diversity

    All business lines

    All ATO employees

    Ongoing

    By measuring the level of engagement of our employees, we will better understand the impact of our Culture strategy. Diverse workforces hold a key to fostering new ways of thinking, thereby enhancing productivity.

    Develop and implement cultural competency training for audience communication teams

    Director, Diverse Audiences

    Ongoing

    Audience communication teams receive cultural competency training

    Site leadership and managers support and promote celebration days

    Site leadership networks,

    Directors, ATO People

    Ongoing

    Multicultural events are conducted in all sites

    Support the six key priority groups identified in the ATO Diversity and inclusion plan 2017–19

    Director, ATO People

    In place

    The six key priority groups form the basis for ongoing diversity strategies and initiatives, and a commitment to an inclusive workplace

    CEI on an inclusive and diverse ATO is in place

    Director, ATO People

    In place

    Support for ATO staff to comply with corporate policy, and be aware of their responsibilities in an inclusive and diverse ATO

    Inclusive and diverse ATO e-training is in place

    Director, ATO People

    In place

    An e-learning course that equips staff with the knowledge and tools to create a diverse, confident and inclusive workplace

    Promote the ATO Multicultural access and equity action plan 2018–20

    Director, Diverse Audiences

    Commencement of plan

    Staff are aware of and understand the plan's multicultural access and equity commitments

    Conduct focus groups with ATO CALD employees to discuss our culture, opportunities, support structures and leadership

    Director, ATO People

    Completed

    Better understand the ATO CALD workplace experience, and how it can be improved

    Commitment 6: Openness

    Be transparent in the implementation of multicultural access and equity.

    Table 6: Openness

    Action

    Responsibility

    Timeline

    Target

    Publish this plan on ato.gov.au

    Director, Diverse Audiences

    Commencement of plan

    Plan is published as described

    Report on the progress of this plan

    Director, Diverse Audiences

    Annually

    Performance is reported as described

    Contact us

    Email diversity@ato.gov.au

    Find us

    twitter twitter.com/ato_gov_auExternal Link

    Facebook facebook.com/ato.gov.auExternal Link

    YouTube youtube.com/AusTaxOfficeExternal Link

    Acronyms and initialisms

    ATO

    Australian Taxation Office

    CALD

    Culturally and linguistically diverse

    CEI

    Chief Executive Instructions

    DTA

    Digital Transformation Agency

    EST

    Enterprise Solutions and Technology

    WCAG

    Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

     

    Last modified: 31 Aug 2018QC 56721