Volume 1: Final Report of the Independent Review into Workplace Equality in Ambulance Victoria
Volume I of the Final Report was published 30 November 2021.
The Report details widespread reports of incivility, disrespect, discrimination, sexual harassment, bullying and victimisation, and presents 24 recommendations detailing changes that can be actioned immediately by Ambulance Victoria to begin rebuilding a safe, respectful and inclusive workplace.
Over the course of the Review, the Commission examined 1,213 documents, conducted interviews with 255 people and spoke to many more staff across a series of focus groups, site-visits and observational shifts. 2,163 people completed the Commission’s in-depth survey and 145 written submissions were received.
From the 2163 people who responded to the Commission’s survey, it was found that:
- 47.2% of survey respondents reported experiencing discrimination;
- 17.4% reported experiencing sexual harassment;
- 52.4% reported experiencing bullying; and
- 34.5% reported experiencing victimisation.
The Report’s 24 recommendations include actions focused on improving safety and harm prevention, developing a victim-centred and fair reporting and complaints system, engaging the workforce in developing and committing to new organisational values, and strengthening the organisational structures required to implement reform.
Volume 2: Final Report of the Independent Review into Workplace Equality in Ambulance Victoria
Volume II of the Final Report was published on 31 March 2022 and details findings and recommendations relating to equality, fairness and inclusion. It focuses on examining the experience of workers across the employment life-cycle and proposes strategies designed to embed equality into the culture, systems, policies and practices of the organisation so that Ambulance Victoria can become a safer, more equal, fair and inclusive workplace for all.
The VEOHRC review found that whilst Ambulance Victoria has adopted a range of measures intended to ensure fair and inclusive attraction and recruitment efforts, there are ongoing barriers that impede progression inside the organisation for women and workers from diverse backgrounds. The review found that there is a particular need to increase the representation of women in senior operational and specialist clinical roles and a need to increase broader diversity across the workforce as a whole.
Similarly, VEOHRC found that whilst Ambulance Victoria has trialed new ways of working flexibly, and made some progress in this area, systemic barriers to flexible work remain, particularly for operational staff which disproportionately impact upon women and workers with parenting and caring responsibilities. Ambulance Victoria also does not have dedicated policies and processes regarding reasonable adjustments for workers with disability, or transition to retirement strategies to ensure respectful and non-discriminatory treatment for older workers.
VEOHRC also found that there are significant opportunities for Ambulance Victoria to strengthen its organisational capability (particularly management and leadership capability) to advance workplace equality, and to strengthen systems to enable ongoing monitoring, oversight and improvement of workplace equality and safety.
The further 19 recommendations contained in the 2nd volume speak to actions that will address systemic barriers, fill gaps in policies and procedures, and improve individual and organisational capability to deliver, measure and monitor workplace safety and equality outcomes. Taken together with the 24 recommendations from Volume I, they provide a comprehensive roadmap for Ambulance Victoria to prevent and respond to workplace harm, embed equality and inclusion across the organisation and create a truly safe, respectful and inclusive culture.