In this section
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START OF 2020–21 annual report
END OF 2020–21 annual report
END OF Annual reports
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The Workforce Strategy 2020–23 supports achieving Legal Aid Queensland’s vision to be a great place to work where our people are respected, valued, safe and supported. The workforce strategy outlines three areas of focus—people, culture and capability. We embrace diversity, flexibility, learning and continuous improvement to deliver quality legal services.
Our Workforce Strategy is aligned to our strategic and operational plans as well as relevant Queensland Government frameworks including:
The strategy is supported by the Workforce Action Plan 2020–21, which outlines the initiatives to be undertaken during the year in response to feedback from the Working for Queensland Employee Opinion Survey. During the year, we made progress in implementing initiatives from the Workforce Action Plan 2020–21. In particular, we focussed on embedding the new approach to flexible work following the return to workplaces after COVID-19 lockdowns. This included continued training for managers on leading remote teams and enhanced support for employees using technology for remote working.
We continued to provide our in-house CPD program during 2020–21. Most sessions are open to all staff, as well as law firms that provide legal aid services, CLCs and the ATSILS. Sessions returned to face-to-face when COVID-19 restrictions eased and sessions continued to be available via videoconferencing, webinar or recording. Our program aims to ensure our lawyers and those that provide legal aid services are up to date with the latest legislation changes and have the opportunity to develop their professional skills and legal knowledge. The program allows legal staff to earn CPD points, which are needed to renew practising certificates each year.
During the year, we also developed and implemented a Grants Training Framework to expand our ability to provide online training to Grants staff across our Brisbane and regional offices and increase operational capacity.
Other development opportunities for staff included:
Conferences and intensives
Cultural competency program
Psychological wellness training program
Leadership pathways program
Staff have access to the Study and Research Assistance Scheme and the Certified Agreement training initiatives, which provide funds for higher educational requirements. Staff can also access external training and conferences for individual development needs.
We also provided staff with face-to-face and online e-learning opportunities to familiarise them with our policies and procedures, and to develop their skills and knowledge. Most in-house training is regularly reviewed by staff evaluations and improvements are made where appropriate and in conjunction with the facilitator.
We focus on supporting our staff’s wellbeing. We offer various forms of flexible working options, including accessing accrued time leave, working part time, job sharing, remote working and purchased leave arrangements.
We have implemented strategies to help our staff effectively manage the possible psychological impacts of their work. We are particularly aware our lawyers, grants officers and support staff are routinely involved in work that is confronting and stressful, which puts them at risk of suffering vicarious trauma. These risks were addressed by arranging workshops on managing the psychological impacts of practising law and managing aggressive client behaviour. We also provided staff with information about support networks and self-help strategies, and access to confidential counselling services (see Figure 11 for staff absenteeism and turnover rates).
Figure 11. Staff absenteeism and turnover
Graduate lawyers continued on the graduate program during 2020–21. We had six graduates in regional and Brisbane centres—three graduates identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders.
At 30 June 2021, Legal Aid Queensland had 567.72 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees working in 14 centres throughout the state (see Figures 12 and 13 for more information).
Figure 12. Actual staff by employment type (by FTE) 2020–21
Figure 13. Staff age profile (by headcount) 2020–21
We are committed to equal employment opportunity (EEO) principles and have successfully implemented these principles across the organisation. Our EEO statistics highlight our commitment to equitable recruitment, selection and promotion policies (see Figure 14 for more information).
Figure 14. Equal employment opportunity target group membership 2020–21
We continue to participate in the whole-of-government Working for Queensland Employee Opinion Survey. Our results in 2020 were very positive compared with the wider Queensland public sector. Eighty percent of staff completed the survey, with 80 percent of those who responded reporting high levels of engagement. Seventy-nine percent of staff indicated they engage in flexible work.
The feedback we received from the survey was invaluable in identifying areas for improvement and we will continue to implement changes in response to the survey feedback. The next survey will be conducted in September 2021.
Legal Aid Queensland is covered by a whole-of-government Code of Conduct. The single Code of Conduct reflects ethical values contained in the Public Sector Ethics Act 1994 and covers the following principles:
The code guides us in managing issues like:
Our Workplace Behaviours Policy also provides standards relating to appropriate workplace behaviour and outlines obligations relating to the Code of Conduct. We manage Code of Conduct breaches in line with the Public Service Commission’s Discipline Guide.
We provide staff with Code of Conduct and workplace behaviours training when they start work and then annually.
Under the Public Records Act 2002, we are required to make and keep full and accurate records of our activities, and to comply with records and information management policies, standards and guidelines issued by the State Archivist. We use the Micro Focus Records Manager 8 (RM8) electronic document and records management system (eDRMS) and plan to upgrade this system to Content Manager 9 in 2021–22. This will involve the system integrating with other core business systems, which will further improve how we manage client records.
In 2020–21, we continued records and information management reforms to improve and support good corporate governance by:
We progressed the transition from paper to digital records by:
We improved our records and information management system’s reliability and security by:
We continued to implement appropriate disposal activities by:
We have collaborated with other government agencies to share knowledge about best practice records and information management by participating in:
Our library provides comprehensive reference, research and research-training services to our staff. It supports legal service delivery, planning and management through its modern collection, knowledge management and current awareness services, and experienced staff.
During the year, we:
Key in-house legal information resources are available to preferred supplier law firms, CLCs and the ATSILS to help them provide high quality legal services to clients.
During 2020–21, we continued work to improve energy and conservation efficiencies to help reduce our environmental impact.
Efforts to achieve savings have continued through:
Figure 15. Herschel St, Brisbane office water consumption
Figure 16. Herschel St, Brisbane office energy consumption
During 2020–21, we continued to complete all scheduled work within the Information Communication and Technology (ICT) 2020–23 Strategic Plan. We also started several business improvement projects related to establishing a robust infrastructure, improving mobility and implementing modern technologies.
The ICT 2020–23 Strategic Plan included the service delivery and strategic direction Information Technology (IT) Services are undertaking to support the organisation. The plan outlines the key areas in which IT Services will focus planning, investment and delivery through four strategic objectives:
Data about the Queensland Language Services Policy is available on the Queensland Government Open Data portal. To access more information, government data and the Annual Report 2020–21 Open Data, visit www.data.qld.gov.au
Last updated 19 October 2021