“We only benchmarked what agencies reported in their annual reports”, says EEO Commissioner Judy McGregor. “Sometimes reports differ from reality, so while this can’t be used as a sole indication of how well agencies are doing as good employers, it does give a good signal of how strongly they keep equal employment opportunities in mind.”
While almost all of the Crown entities that employ staff had referred to being a good employer or EEO somewhere in their annual report the Commission is heartened to see that the number of Crown entities that covered all seven elements in detail has doubled compared to last year.
This year the Commission asked Crown entities to provide information on flexible work practices, to check progress on the growing demand from employees for flexible work arrangements and following the passing of the Employment Relations (Flexible Work Arrangement) Amendment Act 2007.
The information received suggests that many Crown entities are going beyond what the law requires of them, and are trying hard to help staff with working more flexibly, which is great to see.
While some of the EEO elements (employee development, health and safety and recruitment, selection and induction) were reported by many of the Crown entities, others were less reported. Harassment and bullying prevention came in lowest, as it did last year, followed closely by reporting of remuneration, recognition and conditions.
There was a slight increase compared to last year in the reporting of EEO groups, especially those relating to age and Pacific peoples. Workplace profiles were more comprehensive than last year, with some including profiles by management and/or occupational groups.
The Commission would like to see more of that next year, so Crown entities can better identify women, Maori, people with disabilities, ethnic or minority groups, and older people within their workforce.
“We were disappointed to see that, just like last year most Crown entities didn’t report that they had profiled EEO target groups in their organisation”, says Judy McGregor. “And when they did, only 6% looked at disability within their organisation. That really needs to improve.”
At the same time, she says, there were some clear examples of good EEO practice amongst Crown entities and the Commission has highlighted these in its report.
“If this were a report card of all Crown entities as good employers, I’d give them an overall grade of B+ for EEO, with some deserving an A and others a D”, says Judy.
Download the Annual Report Review 2008 (pdf)