• Workplace environment

    122. Code of Conduct


    The ATO is committed to ensuring that all employees are aware of and comply with the standards of conduct as detailed in the APS Code of Conduct in the Public Service Act 1999, and that the ATO procedures for determining breaches of the APS Code of Conduct are properly applied.



    The ATO will monitor the application of the procedures for determining breaches of the APS Code of Conduct, in particular:

    a. That formal Code of Conduct action is taken where appropriate and in particular that action taken is clearly linked to suspected breaches of the APS Code of Conduct;

    b. Ensure that advice, guidance and/or training is provided for managers and other delegates on the proper application of the procedures and/or interpretation of Code of Conduct; and

    c. Maintain a database of Code of Conduct cases and outcomes to ensure consistency in respect of the application of charges and sanctions.



    Should there be cases where the recommendations of the Merit Protection Commissioner are not adopted by the ATO, advice on the basis for not adopting such recommendations will be provided to the applicant.

    123. Anti-discrimination


    All employees are entitled to be treated fairly and equitably.



    All employees are entitled to be provided with a work environment and conditions of employment that are free from discrimination and harassment.



    Persons bound by this Agreement will seek to prevent and eliminate unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, colour, sex, sexual preference, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, family responsibilities, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin.



    Every endeavour will be made to ensure that neither the provisions of this Agreement nor their operation are directly or indirectly discriminatory in their effects.



    Nothing in this clause affects:

    a. treatment exempted under Commonwealth anti-discrimination legislation;

    b. payment of junior rates of pay;

    c. a manager's right to make decisions that are not unlawfully discriminatory;

    d. the right to pursue matters in any state or federal jurisdiction, including HREOC; or

    e. any exemptions permitted by the Fair Work Act.



    Managers at all levels in the ATO are responsible for ensuring that all employees are aware of what constitutes harassment, appropriate/inappropriate behaviour, etc and ensuring that action is taken to deal with any issues in a timely fashion.

    124 Workplace diversity


    The principles of fairness, equity and workplace diversity are integral to sound people management.



    A Workplace Diversity Program, including an Access and Diversity Action Plan and Reconciliation Action Plan, will be established in consultation with employees, to develop, within the corporate culture, an emphasis on leadership, ethics, affirming and valuing employees, and helping to balance work and family responsibilities.



    Aboriginal People and Torres Strait Islanders, people with disabilities, people from a non-English speaking background and women will be encouraged to apply for all types of positions at all levels of the ATO.



    The ATO is committed to ensuring age equitable employment, promotion, retention and training for mature aged workers. To support the retention of mature aged workers, the ATO will support a range of work / family / lifestyle balance arrangements.

    125 Occupational health and safety (OH&S)


    All reasonable steps will be taken to provide employees with a healthy and safe workplace.

    126 Accommodation


    The ATO is committed to providing high quality accommodation for its workforce which is suitable for ATO business requirements including the accepted professional needs of employees. This will be reflected in the ATO's Workforce Plan and 'Place' principles.



    The ATO will continue to make more effective use of space, greater use of flexible work arrangements and rationalise accommodation holdings.



    Where new accommodation is to be designed or existing accommodation modified, affected employees and their representatives will be consulted.



    Without reducing the general requirements concerning quality and consultation, employees regularly engaged in field work may be required to use shared accommodation. The sharing arrangements and ratio of workpoints to employees will have full and proper regard to the nature of the employee's work.

    127 Disruption due to building activity


    When building activities are likely to cause disruption in an office, the Commissioner and the affected employees and their representatives will seek to agree on measures that can be used to prevent employees from being subjected to any 'disruption'.



    If employees are to be relocated to suitable temporary accommodation for an agreed period, they will be given details of the proposed relocation as soon as practicable so that adequate consultation with them can occur.



    If temporary accommodation is in a number of different locations, the Commissioner will consult with affected employees as to which location individual employees may be attached.



    Where employees are temporarily relocated, excess travelling time and fares will apply.



    In situations where 'disruptions' are unavoidable at a particular location, the Commissioner and the affected employees and their representatives will negotiate an appropriate disability allowance. The Disputes Avoidance and Settlement Procedures will apply if agreement cannot be reached.



    "Disruption" means the detrimental environmental effects on the working conditions of office based employees caused by a variety of factors including one or generally more of the following: dust, noise, fumes, heat, vibrations, cold, wet, dirt, loss of amenities and general inconvenience, which may arise from building activities.

    "Loss of Amenities" means loss of access to normal activities such as tea-room, hot water, coffee making, fridge, change room.

    "General Inconvenience" means overcrowding, loose electrical wiring, reduced or no telephone access if the use is necessary for the performance of duties.

    128 Procedures for air-conditioned workplaces


    Site Safety Forums will be provided with advice on the testing and maintenance of air conditioning systems.

    This advice will be in the form of a report that will detail the regular program of testing.



    Should the testing for bacteria counts be outside the relevant standard the ATO will comply with Comcare Fact Sheet No 40 - Legionnaires disease - December 2001 (or its successor) which allows for further testing and for the provision of advice.



    Health and safety representatives will, upon request, be provided with information regarding the workplace indoor air temperature and humidity within a reasonable time.

    129. Environment


    The ATO will implement practical measures, consistent with Government policy and achievement of ATO outcomes, to reduce ATO's carbon footprint and promote environmental sustainability.



    The progress of the strategies listed will be monitored by the National Consultative Forum (NCF), and will be a standing item at NCF meetings.

      Last modified: 02 Dec 2011QC 24167