The WP Survey explored barriers at work faced by family violence and sexual assault specialists. Respondents highlighted that staff vacancies were very common and had an impact upon the ability of staff to perform work well.
Most significant barriers at work
The survey asked respondents to nominate the 3 most significant barriers that prevent staff from performing optimally at work, including an option to state there were none.
2 of the most common barriers were ‘staff issues (short staffed)’ as nominated by over 41% of those who responded to the survey (434 mentions) and ‘too many competing priorities’ as nominated by over 35% of respondents (367 mentions) (Table 14).
Other common barriers reported by respondents included ‘corporate processes’ (317 mentions), ‘case loads’ (270 mentions) and ‘administrative process (including leave and HR processes)’ (183 mentions).
Table 14: Which of the following are currently the most significant barriers that prevent you performing optimally at work?
|Staff issues (short staffed)||434|
|Too many competing priorities||367|
|Corporate processes (including adminstrative burden)||317|
|Administrative processes (including leave and HR requirements)||183|
|Decision making and authorisation processes||171|
|There are no noticeable barriers||131|
|Poor work-life balance||106|
Source. Question 12, WP Survey 2022
Impact of vacancies on service provision
Staff vacancies were identified as very common in the family violence and sexual assault sector, with 81% stating that their current employer had staff vacancies, and only a small proportion (10%) stating their current employer did not have staff vacancies (Table 15).
Table 15: As far as you know, does your employer currently have staff vacancies?
Source. Question 13, WP Survey 2022
The impact of staff vacancies was widely felt. Of those that stated their current employer had staff vacancies, 83% stated that staff vacancies were having a moderate, high or very high impact in terms of hindering their team’s ability to meet service delivery targets (Table 16).
Across all respondents, 83% stated that staff vacancies were having a ‘moderate’, ‘high’ or ‘very high’ impact in terms of hindering their team’s ability to meet service delivery targets.
Table 16: What impact do current staff vacancies have in hindering your team’s ability to meet service delivery targets?
|Very high impact||165||19%|
Source. Question 13A, WP Survey 2022
A similar proportion of young people (under 35) and older people were aware of vacancies at their workplace. However, a greater proportion of young people believed vacancies had a ‘high’ or ‘very high’ impact on their team’s ability to meet service delivery targets. 54% of people under 35 stated it had a ‘high’ or ‘very high’ impact, compared to 48% of 35 and over.
A larger proportion of people working in regions were aware of vacancies at their workplace. 86% of people delivering services into regions were aware of vacancies, compared to 79% in metropolitan Melbourne. However, fewer people working in the regions thought that the impact of vacancies was high or very high. 48% delivering services into the regions stated it had a high or very high impact, compared to 52% in metropolitan Melbourne.
People in secure employment were more aware of vacancies at their workplace. 83% of people working in ongoing full time or part time roles were aware of vacancies at their workplace, compared to 73% of those in insecure employment. However, job security did not have a significant effect upon whether vacancies in the workplace were considered as having a ‘high’ or ‘very high’ impact.