EL2 Professionalism and ongoing capability development

138. EL2 development


The ATO and its EL2 employees commit to maintaining and developing individual and organisational capability, acknowledging mutual responsibility for learning and development. The ATO is committed to ensuring that its EL2 Employees have the capabilities to perform their changing roles in an evolving ATO and to providing the opportunities to acquire capabilities. EL2 Employees are required to keep their skills and knowledge up-to-date.



EL2 Employees will:

a. develop a learning and development plan with their manager to address gaps in capabilities;

b. keep the capabilities for their current job up to date;

c. undertake identified learning and development activities in keeping with corporate priorities, as agreed with or directed by their manager, and any assessment activities related to these activities; and

d. contribute to the learning and development of other employees as agreed with or directed by their manager.



The ATO will provide EL2 employees with a range of learning and development opportunities to address identified learning and development needs for their current job now and as it may evolve. This could include on the job learning, self directed learning, formal training, technology based or other type of learning, followed by appropriate capability assessment.



To assist with career development, EL2 employees wishing to progress or develop their capabilities will also be supported by the ATO. This could be through a variety of mechanisms such as mentoring, coaching, on the job learning, wider responsibilities or roles in other areas.

139. Professional allowance


The ATO will pay an assessable allowance of $1500 (and $1592 from the first payday after 1 July 2012, and $1640 from the first payday after 1 July 2013) to EL2 employees to assist with the purchase of goods or services that help maintain or increase their level of professionalism. This could include membership of a professional association.



The allowance will be paid to employees who are substantive EL2 employees on the first pay day after 1 July each year following the commencement of this Agreement, and will be paid by the first pay day in September of the same financial year.



The ATO will pay the professional allowance to those employees who have acted continuously at the EL2 level for a full period of 12 months or more, up to and including the first pay day after 1 July each year following the commencement of this Agreement.



EL2 employees will discuss plans for how this allowance will be spent with their manager. These discussions will be documented in the EL2 employee's performance and development agreement (PDA).

140. EL2 performance system


All EL2 employees are required to actively participate in the ATO Performance System to deliver business outcomes whilst demonstrating required leadership behaviours.



The ATO and its EL2 employees recognise the importance of a well-functioning Performance System in promoting employee engagement and productivity, based on the four objectives of relationships, development, accountability, and alignment. These objectives enable organisational, team and individual performance to achieve outcomes in accordance with ATO values.



The parties to this Agreement commit to promoting the ongoing development and effective operation of the ATO Performance System on the basis of the principles articulated in this Agreement.



In accordance with the ATO Performance System guidelines, all EL2 employees will:

a. contribute to business planning that will have clear links to relevant strategic plans;

b. have a Performance and Development Agreement with their manager; and

c. receive and provide regular feedback in discussions with their managers about individual and team performance.



The performance and development agreement will:

a. be developed and updated through discussion with the manager;

b. record the business outcomes the EL2 employee is expected to achieve;

c. articulate the behaviours expected to be demonstrated;

d. identify the EL2 employee's learning and development needs and how they will be met;

e. identify the mutual expectations of the EL2 employee and the manager regarding their working relationship; and

f. record these mutual expectations in the EL2 employee's Personal Plan.



Performance discussions are mandatory and will:

a. establish clear expectations of performance and how it will be measured;

b. focus on the achievement of business outcomes aligned with ATO values;

c. take the form of evidence-based discussions;

d. include consideration of discretionary effort and the modelling of corporate values as factors in assessing performance; and

e. be a two-way exchange aimed at establishing productive working relationships between the EL2 employee and the manager.


During the nominal period of this agreement the Commissioner will administer the Employee Reward and Recognition Scheme as an integral part of the ATO Performance System and its ongoing development:

a. aimed at rewarding and recognising the achievements of EL2 employees; and

b. consistent with financial rules and regulation.


Leave for full time studies


An EL2 employee may be granted leave to undertake a full time course of study, having regard to:

a. the financial resources, operational needs and corporate goals of the ATO;

b. the effective work performance of the approved student;

c. the skill needs of the ATO;

d. personal development needs of the EL2 employee; and

e. any other benefit to the ATO or the EL2 employee.



Unless approval is given for the leave to be with full pay or a proportion of full pay, the leave will be without pay.



Leave with pay or with a proportion of pay counts as service for all purposes.



Leave without pay counts as service for all purposes other than the accrual of annual leave.



Approval may be revoked where progress in the course of study is not satisfactory. EL2 employees are entitled to have any relevant issues that may have affected their satisfactory progress on a course considered before any decision is made to revoke approval for leave for full time studies.



An EL2 employee may be required to return to duty between academic years.


Leave for part time studies


The ATO commits to providing paid leave benefits for approved EL2 employees undertaking eligible part time studies. Any approved leave (including travel), will cover the academic period (term, semester, trimester or year) having regard to:

a. personal commitment of the EL2 employee represented by a plan that outlines the personal resources and time that will ensure success in the studies;

b. the financial resources, operational needs and corporate goals of the ATO;

c. the effective work performance of the approved student;

d. the capability needs of the ATO;

e. personal development needs of the EL2 employee;

f. any other benefit to the ATO or the EL2 employee;

g. particular considerations will be given to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander employees for their study activities;

h. an EL2 employee may only take approved study leave during their regular hours and within the Regular Bandwidth (i.e. 7.00 am - 7.00 pm);

i. regular part time EL2 employees may be granted pro rata leave with pay; and

j. any policies or guidelines issued by the Commissioner on the operation of part-time studies support arrangements.


Financial assistance for study


EL2 employees are not entitled to financial assistance for any study costs connected with full time or part time study without the approval of the Commissioner. EL2 employees who move to the ATO as a result of Machinery of Government changes and who were approved students in the APS since before 1 January 1996 will also have their study fees and HECS costs reimbursed for that course of study where their previous agency was reimbursing these costs for that course of study.



ATO scholarships will be established to provide high performing EL2 employees with time and financial assistance to undertake/complete relevant qualifications.



Leave to undertake full time study or development placement may be subject to the EL2 employee returning to duty in the ATO for a period equal to the period of leave granted.


Assistance to award holders for study


An EL2 employee who is selected as an award holder to undertake a study program or a scheme of study under a recognised sponsorship program may be granted such leave and financial support as is determined to be appropriate.


Full time placements


An EL2 employee may be placed with another organisation for a fixed term to enable the EL2 employee to obtain further skills and competencies.



The placement will be on terms and conditions agreed between the EL2 employee, the Commissioner and the organisation where the EL2 employee is to be placed.


Continuing professional development


EL2 employees are expected to complete a minimum of 20 hours CPD in each year of this Agreement.



Notwithstanding sub-clause 140.26, approval may be given for EL2 employees to undertake up to 40 hours CPD per year during work time where this is consistent with an agreed learning plan.



The ATO may approve, or require, employees to attend structured continuing professional development activities (courses, seminars, conferences) that address, enhance or maintain the learning & development needs of the employee, and benefits the ATO business needs.



In instances where the ATO requires employees to attend, costs will be borne by the ATO. In instances where approval is sought by an employee, all or part of the costs of attending may be borne by the ATO.



The need for formal qualifications is not a universal requirement of all jobs. There will be no arbitrary qualification barrier for advancement between classification levels across the ATO.



Due regard will be given to the capabilities of existing EL2 employees to ensure that those who possess relevant capabilities will not be precluded from applying for a job.

    Last modified: 02 Dec 2011QC 24167