Latest government cull could see 40% of middle managers “declared potentially excess”

by Chloe Taylor07 Apr 2015
Almost 150 middle managers in the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)’s marketing and communications division will soon have to compete for just 90 jobs, a report by The Canberra Times has revealed.

The cut come as a result of the ATO’s overhaul of its marketing and communications department, which has already resulted in the number of employees falling from 520 to fewer than 400.

The latest cull will reduce overall numbers by around 30 due to lower-level hiring, The Times reported, but will result in a “dramatic” increase in the proportion of lower-ranking public servants to middle managers in executive-level roles.

Those who fail to secure one of the 90 roles could face redundancy if they are unable to secure a position within the shrinking ATO or another public service department.

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It was also reported that there were several issues creating difficulty in the marketing and communications division, including the workforce being spread over 17 offices across Australia with varying performance standards, as well as a top-heavy structure with nearly a third of staff being executive level.

First assistant commissioner of tax Sue Sinclair told staff in a bulletin last week that the overhaul would result in a “data-driven” communications operation.

“The vision is for a single, united capability that is strategic, innovative and truly audience centric,” she wrote. “Work is data-driven and evidence-based, delivering measurable business outcomes in partnership with business areas.”

“While we will be actively seeking to place employees, we cannot guarantee this will be successful for all employees in scope,” she added. “This includes seeking ATO redeployment opportunities in your region, and for those that are interested, across other Australian Public Service agencies. If these redeployment efforts are not successful, it may result in employees being declared potentially excess.”

How has your HR department handled competition over jobs in the face of cuts? Let us know in the comments below. 



  • by Mark McClelland 7/04/2015 11:51:50 AM

    it will be interesting to see how this pans out. As always, the most likely employees to look for "voluntary" redundancy will be the older, long serving people. Potentially putting another 30 mature age workers onto the already overloaded employment market.
    Surely organizations have to get better at this. Instead of the tax payer funding high redundancy payouts that appear to have become part of the career path, we need to find other ways of retaining valuable workplace assets while reducing costs.

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