Executive level employees
13.1 The department recognises its Parliamentary
Executive level employees as a key group in the delivery of services to the
Senate, senators and others.
13.2 Under this Agreement, Parliamentary Executive
level employees commit to:
(a) perform individually to a high level as leaders,
managers, mentors and role models;
(b) demonstrate and promote high standards;
(c) work in partnership with each other, and the employees
they oversee, to achieve the goals of this Agreement;
(d) ongoing review of work practices and service
provision to achieve continuing improvements in the quality and efficient
delivery of those services; and
(e) move to other positions in accordance with clause 19.1
as a means to achieve improved cooperation, capacity and understanding across
work teams and the department.
Management Advisory Group
14.1 The Senate Management Advisory Group will consist
of all Parliamentary Executive Level 2 employees.
14.2 Parliamentary Executive Level 2 employees and the
Program Manager Group will agree on terms of reference describing the purpose
and administrative arrangements for the group. These may be reviewed and
revised from time to time.
15.1 Employees will be required to undergo probation
in accordance with the relevant departmental guidelines.
16.1 The Performance Communication Scheme (the Scheme)
provides the framework for performance management and communication between employees,
supervisors and managers. The Scheme encompasses:
(a) regular, structured, two-way communication and
feedback between employees, supervisors and managers;
(b) a clear understanding of performance expectations
and goals, and of each employee’s contribution to the department’s corporate
(c) ongoing learning and professional development
goals, which will lead to higher quality departmental services; and
(d) a fair and objective basis for recognising and
rewarding effective performance.
16.2 In accordance with relevant departmental
guidelines, all managers must ensure that the Scheme is implemented in their
section or committee secretariat, and in particular, that:
(a) a realistic, fair and specific performance
agreement is set for each employee;
(b) work performance is monitored and regular two-way feedback
(c) the achievement of work objectives and learning and
professional development goals is encouraged and facilitated; and
(d) work objectives are being met, and work
performance is being assessed fairly by supervisors.
16.3 In accordance with the relevant departmental guidelines,
the following requirements apply:
(a) on an annual basis, a performance agreement will
be established for each employee in May, and will be reviewed in November;
(b) a performance agreement will be established within
four weeks for employees commencing or returning to the department. Where
non-ongoing (temporary) employment or a temporary assignment extends beyond 12 weeks,
the same requirement applies;
(c) supervisors and managers will engage in regular
two-way feedback with employees on their individual work performance and with
work teams on their performance in meeting the section’s or committee
secretariat’s work objectives;
(d) written assessment of individual performance will
be provided in October and April each year, along with the provision of written
feedback to the supervisor by each team member or jointly with other team
(e) the overall performance standards for the Scheme
will be “effective or better”, “requires development” and “unsatisfactory”.
17. Managing underperformance
17.1 While the Scheme provides for a cyclical
performance review (see paragraph 16.3(d) above), a performance review may be
initiated at any time by the relevant supervisor, manager or program manager, in
accordance with the relevant departmental guidelines.
17.2 The following provisions apply to all employees
whose overall performance is assessed as “requires development” or
“unsatisfactory”, with the exception of those employees who are undergoing a period
17.3 An assessment that an employee’s overall
performance “requires development” will require the supervisor to monitor the
employee’s performance closely over the ensuing eight-week period (four weeks
in the case of non-ongoing (temporary) employees) and to implement development
strategies to assist the employee to achieve “effective or better” performance assessment
by the end of the monitoring period.
17.4 Where an ongoing employee does not achieve an
overall performance assessment of “effective or better” at the end of the
eight-week monitoring period, the unsatisfactory performance provisions below will
17.5 Where a non-ongoing (temporary) employee does not
achieve an overall performance assessment of “effective or better” at the end
of the four-week monitoring period, the employee’s employment may be terminated.
17.6 Where an ongoing employee receives an overall performance
assessment of “unsatisfactory”, or where, in accordance with clause 17.4, an
ongoing employee does not achieve an overall performance assessment of “effective
or better”, the Clerk will:
(a) advise the employee in writing immediately that
his or her performance has been found unsatisfactory and state why; and
(b) initiate a review of the employee’s performance
over an eight-week period in accordance with the relevant departmental
17.7 At any time during this performance review
period, the employee may consent to the cessation of his or her employment. If
agreement is reached to cease the employee’s employment he or she will be
entitled to a payment equivalent to the balance of the eight-week performance
review period. The relevant termination of employment notice period will apply
as specified in the Fair Work Act 2009, however, the applicable notice
period will be deemed to run concurrently with the balance of the performance review
17.8 If clause 17.7 is not invoked, and at the end of
the eight-week performance review period, the employee’s overall performance is
again assessed as “unsatisfactory”, the Clerk will issue a notice of intention
(a) extend the review period by a further period of up
to eight weeks; or
(b) reduce the employee’s classification; or
(c) assign the employee other duties; or
(d) terminate the employee’s employment.
17.9 The employee will have seven days from the date
of the notice given by the Clerk to show cause, in writing, why the action
notified in the notice should not be taken.
17.10 At the end of the seven days, the Clerk, having
considered any representations submitted by the employee, may implement the
intended action. In the event that the performance review period is extended
under paragraph 17.8(a), at the completion of the extended performance review
period, clause 17.8 again has effect.
17.11 A non-ongoing (temporary) employee whose overall
performance is assessed as “unsatisfactory” at any stage during his or her employment
period, will have his or her employment terminated.
18. Learning and development
18.1 Subject to clause 18.2, employees will have a
target of 21 hours of work-related learning activities during each 12-month performance
communication cycle. These activities will be managed in accordance with the
relevant departmental guidelines, having regard to operational requirements and
individual learning needs.
18.2 The annual target for part-time employees and for
employees (either full-time or part-time) who commence mid-cycle will be
calculated on a pro rata basis.
18.3 Casual and sessional (temporary) employees are
not required to meet a learning and development target, but are not precluded
from undertaking approved work-related learning activities.
18.4 In accordance with the relevant departmental
guidelines, the Clerk may approve the grant of assistance to an employee to a
(a) 40 hours paid leave per university unit (or
equivalent) per semester (up to a maximum of 80 hours per semester or six month
period), to attend classes, undertake examinations or for other agreed study
purposes, which, with the agreement of the supervisor, can be accumulated over
the semester and taken as a block of time; and
(b) $1,000 per unit, or equivalent, for reimbursement
of course fees and/or related costs.
18.5 Applications for leave without pay to study will
be considered under the relevant departmental guidelines.
19.1 The Clerk may, in consultation with the relevant
program manager and the employee, temporarily move the employee to another
position, to facilitate the operational needs of the department.
19.2 Requests from employees to move to different
positions in the department will be considered in consultation with the
relevant supervisors, managers and program managers and, as necessary, the
Director, Human Resource Management.
In-house scholarship and understudy programs
19.3 In recognition of the value to be gained by the
department when employees expand their knowledge of other work areas, an
associated field of work or parliamentary knowledge, the department will
sponsor in-house scholarship and understudy programs. Nominations will be
called for both programs and all employees are eligible to apply.
19.4 Under the in-house scholarship program, employees
can nominate to undertake a particular project or research that is relevant to
the department or parliament. The project or research must be undertaken at
appropriate times, such as non-sitting or quieter periods and the employee can
work on the project or research during working hours. The project or research is
to include preparation of a paper which can be published and/or presented at an
19.5 The in-house understudy program will enable
employees to gain practical experience in a particular job within the
department, while keeping both the “trainee” and “trainer” on-line. The
program may entail a short-term, single-task secondment to the relevant area to
understudy the incumbent of the position.
19.6 The department may provide up to $35,000 to fund
the costs associated with these programs. Decisions on successful applicants and
associated funding will be made by the Program Manager Group.
20.1 The department is committed to communicating and
consulting with employees on workplace issues. The requirements outlined in
clauses 20.2 to 20.4 will operate in addition to the consultation procedures
set out in clauses 20.5 to 20.14.
20.2 The corporate and work planning processes will
provide an opportunity for employees to develop an understanding of corporate
directions and how they translate to work groups and individuals. As well, it
is expected that managers will facilitate and participate in office and section
meetings about ongoing coordination and discussion of planning processes, and encourage
comments and suggestions from employees about workplace matters.
20.3 Employees will be consulted on planning and
change issues. Compulsory retrenchment will be avoided wherever possible.
Managers will minimise the impact of changes on their employees by supporting
the affected employees before, during and after the changes.
20.4 The department and employees agree to discuss
workplace issues in the spirit of cooperation and trust and the department will
ensure that employees not only receive information on workplace matters that
affect them, but also have an opportunity to contribute their views on those matters.
20.5 Clauses 20.5 to 20.14 will apply if:
(a) the Clerk has made a decision to introduce a major
change to programs, organisation, structure or technology in the department;
(b) the change is likely to have a significant effect
on employees of the department.
20.6 The Clerk must notify the relevant employees of
the decision to introduce the major change.
20.7 The relevant employees may appoint a
representative for the purposes of the procedures in these clauses.
(a) a relevant employee appoints, or relevant
employees appoint, a representative for the purposes of consultation; and
(b) the employee or employees advise the Clerk of the
identity of the representative;
the Clerk must recognise the representative.
20.9 As soon as practicable after making the decision,
the Clerk must:
(a) discuss with the relevant employees:
(i) the introduction of the change; and
(ii) the effect the change is likely to have on the
(iii) measures the Clerk is taking to avert or
mitigate the adverse effect of the change on the employees; and
(b) for the purposes of the discussion – provide, in
writing, to the relevant employees:
(i) all relevant information about the change
including the nature of the change; and
(ii) information about the expected effects of the
change on the employees; and
(iii) any other matters likely to affect the employees.
20.10 However, the Clerk is not required to disclose
confidential or commercially sensitive information to the relevant employees.
20.11 The Clerk must give prompt and genuine
consideration to matters raised about the major change by the relevant
20.12 If a clause in this agreement provides for a major
change to programs, organisation, structure or technology in the department,
the requirements set out in clauses 20.6, 20.7 and 20.9 do not apply.
20.13 In clause 20.5, a major change is likely to have a
significant effect on employees if it results in:
(a) the termination of the employment of employees; or
(b) major change to the composition, operation or size
of the workforce or to the skills required of employees; or
(c) the elimination or diminution of job
opportunities (including opportunities for promotion or tenure); or
(d) the alteration of hours of work; or
(e) the need to retrain employees; or
(f) the need to relocate employees to another
(g) the restructuring of jobs.
20.14 In clauses 20.5 to 20.13 “relevant employees”
means the employees who may be affected by the major change.
Workplace Consultative Committee
20.15 There is to be a Workplace Consultative Committee,
chaired by a program manager, and comprising one other program manager if nominated
by the Program Manager Group, employee representatives nominated or elected by
employees and a representative from each union covered by this Agreement.
20.16 Members of the Workplace Consultative Committee
will review the terms of reference of the Committee from time to time.
20.17 The Workplace Consultative Committee will monitor
the implementation and effectiveness of this Agreement. The Committee may at
any time make recommendations to the Program Manager Group regarding workplace
issues not explicitly dealt with in this Agreement.
20.18 The Workplace Consultative Committee may establish
sub-committees to deal with major issues. A sub-committee must report back to
the Workplace Consultative Committee on its activities.
20.19 Access to appropriate facilities (including
communication systems and office equipment) will be provided to members of the
Workplace Consultative Committee and members of sub-committees.
21. Work health
21.1 To assist in mitigating more serious workplace
injury and illness the department will reimburse the cost of medical
treatments, generally up to the value of $400 within a 12-month period, for
reported incidents of work-related injuries. On each occasion, the
practitioner must attest that the treatment was given in response to a
work-related injury. This course of action does not remove or restrict an
employee’s entitlement to claim workers’ compensation.
Health and Wellbeing Subsidy
21.2 Employees will be paid a taxable Health and
Wellbeing subsidy in August each year, to assist with costs associated with,
but not limited to:
(a) influenza vaccinations;
(b) corrective lenses for screen-based equipment;
(c) health and fitness activities;
(d) professional memberships or subscriptions; and
(e) airline lounge memberships.
21.3 The amount of the subsidy will be:
(a) $600 for an ongoing employee;
(b) $500 for a non-ongoing (temporary) employee; and
(c) $400 for a sessional or casual employee.
21.4 Ongoing employees who commence part-way through
the year (August to July) will receive a pro rata payment on commencement.
21.5 Non-ongoing (temporary) employees, including sessional
or casual employees, who are employed as at 1 August will receive a pro rata
payment based on the remaining period of their employment contracts.
21.6 Non-ongoing (temporary) employees, including
sessional or casual employees, who commence employment after 1 August will
receive a pro rata payment of the subsidy (based on the length of their
employment contracts) at the commencement of each employment contract,
including extensions, up to a maximum of the subsidy.
22.1 The department will provide employees with access
to a confidential, professional counselling service, at no cost to employees.
Employees may have unlimited access to the service for support in resolving work-related
matters and generally up to three sessions for support in resolving personal
23.1 The provisions of clauses 23.2 to 23.31 apply to
ongoing employees who are excess to the requirements of the department. They
do not apply to:
(a) an employee whose period of probation has not
(b) a non-ongoing (temporary) employee.
23.2 For the purposes of this Agreement, an employee
is excess to the requirements of the department if:
(a) the employee has a classification at which there
is a greater number of employees than is necessary for the efficient and
cost-effective operations of the department; or
(b) the services of the employee cannot be effectively
used because of technological or other changes in the work methods of the
department or changes in the nature, extent or organisation of the functions of
23.3 Once the Clerk is aware that an employee is
potentially excess to requirements, the Clerk will advise the employee
accordingly, and will discuss with the employee and, if requested, his or her
nominated representative, the options available, including:
(a) redeployment opportunities for the employee at or
below his or her classification; and
(b) whether voluntary retrenchment might be
23.4 The Clerk may, prior to the conclusion of these
discussions, invite employees who are not potentially excess to express
interest in voluntary retrenchment, where the retrenchment of those employees
would permit the redeployment of the employees who are potentially excess.
23.5 The Clerk will immediately advise, in writing,
those employees who are excess to the department’s requirements:
(a) after the discussions in clause 23.3 have been
(b) where the employee has been given reasonable
opportunity and has declined to discuss the matter, one month after the Clerk
had advised the employee under clause 23.3.
Offer of voluntary
23.6 The Clerk may make one offer of voluntary
retrenchment to an excess employee. If the Clerk does so, the employee will
have one month in which to accept or decline the offer.
23.7 To enable an employee to make an informed
decision on whether to accept or decline an offer of voluntary retrenchment,
the employee must be given timely information on:
(a) the amount of severance pay, pay in lieu of
notice, and payment for unused leave credits;
(b) the amount of accumulated superannuation
(c) the options open to the employee concerning
(d) the taxation rules applying to the various
(e) the availability of financial assistance up to a
maximum of $400 for financial advice.
23.8 If the employee does not respond to the offer
within the one-month period, it will be taken to mean that the employee has
declined the offer, and the retention period and redeployment action will
23.9 Where the offer is accepted, the Clerk will not
give notice of termination before the end of that one-month period without the
agreement of the employee.
Notice of termination
23.10 Subject to clause 23.9, where the excess
employee agrees to the offer of voluntary retrenchment, the Clerk may approve
the termination of the employee’s employment in accordance with the Parliamentary
Service Act 1999.
23.11 The period of notice of termination of employment:
(a) five weeks for an employee over 45 years of
age with at least five years of continuous service; or
(b) four weeks for all other employees.
23.12 The Clerk can direct, or the employee may request,
an earlier termination date within the period of notice.
23.13 Where an employee is retrenched before the
expiration of the notice period, payment in lieu of salary for the unexpired
period of notice will be made.
Severance benefit on
23.14 An excess employee whose employment is terminated
under the Parliamentary Service Act 1999 as a result of accepting an
offer of voluntary retrenchment is entitled to be paid a severance benefit.
The severance benefit is a sum equal to two weeks’ salary for each
completed year of service, plus a pro rata payment for completed months of
service since the last completed year of service unless:
(a) the employee has completed more than two years of
service but less than three years of service – in which case the employee is
entitled to be paid a sum equal to six weeks’ salary; or
(b) the employee has completed more than three years
of service but less than four years of service – in which case the employee is
entitled to be paid a sum equal to seven weeks’ salary.
23.15 The minimum sum payable will be four weeks’ salary
and the maximum will be 48 weeks’ salary.
23.16 The severance benefit will be calculated on a pro
rata basis for any period where an employee has worked part-time hours during
their period of service and the employee has less than 24 years’ full-time
23.17 Where an excess employee’s employment is
terminated under the Parliamentary Service Act 1999 as a result of
accepting an offer of voluntary retrenchment but the severance benefit payable
under clauses 23.14 to 23.16 is not treated as payment in respect of bona fide
redundancy for the purposes of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936, the
benefit payable will be increased to the extent necessary to ensure that the
net benefit payable, after tax, is equal to the benefit that would be payable
had the payment been treated as a payment in respect of a bona fide redundancy
for tax purposes.
23.18 Subject to clauses 23.19 to 23.21, service
for severance benefit purposes means:
(a) service in the department;
(b) Government service as defined in section 10
of the Long Service Leave Act 1976;
(c) service with the Commonwealth (other than service
with a Joint Commonwealth-State body corporate in which the Commonwealth has a
controlling interest) which is recognised for long service leave purposes;
(d) service with the Australian Defence Forces;
(e) service in the Australian Public Service
immediately preceding deemed resignation under repealed section 49 of the Public
Service Act 1922, if the service has not previously been recognised for
severance pay purposes; and
(f) service in another organisation where:
(i) an employee was transferred from the Australian
Parliamentary Service or the Australian Public Service to that organisation
with a transfer of function; or
(ii) an employee engaged by that organisation on work
within a function is transferred, as a result of the transfer of that function,
to the Australian Parliamentary Service or the Australian Public Service;
and such service is recognised for long service leave
23.19 For earlier periods of service to count there must
be no breaks between the periods of service, except where:
(a) the break in service is less than one month
and occurs where an offer of employment with the new employer was made and
accepted by the employee before ceasing employment with the preceding employer;
(b) the earlier period of service was with the
Australian Public Service and ceased because the employee was deemed to have
resigned from the Australian Public Service on marriage under repealed section 49
of the Public Service Act 1922.
23.20 Any period of
service which ceased:
(a) through termination on the following grounds, or
on a ground equivalent to any of the following grounds:
(i) the employee lacks, or has lost, an essential
qualification for performing his or her duties;
(ii) non-performance, or unsatisfactory
performance, of duties;
(iii) inability to perform duties because of
physical or mental incapacity;
(iv) failure to satisfactorily complete an entry
level training course;
(v) failure to meet a condition imposed under subsection 22(6)
of the Parliamentary Service Act 1999;
(vi) a breach of the Public Service Code of Conduct or
the Parliamentary Service Code of Conduct; or
(b) on a ground, equivalent to a ground listed above,
under the repealed Public Service Act 1922; or
(c) through voluntary retirement at or above the
minimum retiring age applicable to the employee; or
(d) with the payment of a redundancy benefit or
similar payment or an employer-financed retirement benefit;
will not count as service for severance benefit purposes.
23.21 Absences from duty which do not count as service
for long service leave purposes will not count as service for severance benefit
Rate of payment –
23.22 For the purpose of calculating any payment
under clauses 23.14 to 23.16, salary will include:
(a) the employee’s salary at their substantive
(b) the salary of the higher classification, where the
employee has been assigned to the higher classification for a continuous period
of at least 12 months immediately preceding the date on which the employee
is given notice that his or her employment is to be terminated; and
(c) a weekly average of shift penalties where an
employee has undertaken shift work and has received shift penalties for 50% or
more of the pay periods in the 12 months preceding the notice of
(d) allowances in the nature of salary which are paid
during periods of annual leave and on a regular basis, excluding allowances
which are a reimbursement for expenses incurred, or a payment for disabilities
associated with the performance of duty.
23.23 Unless the excess employee agrees, his or her
employment will not be terminated until the following retention periods have
(a) 13 months (less the redundancy pay period
determined in accordance with subsection 119(2) of the Fair Work Act 2009)
where an employee has 20 or more years of service or is over 45 years of
(b) seven months (less the redundancy pay period
determined in accordance with subsection 119(2) of the Fair Work Act 2009)
for other employees.
The retention period will be reduced to reflect that, under the NES, an
employee is entitled to redundancy pay in respect of the redundancy pay period.
23.24 The retention period will commence on the date the
employee is advised in writing by the Clerk that he or she is an excess
23.25 During the
retention period the Clerk:
(a) will continue to take reasonable steps to find
alternative employment for the excess employee;
(b) will consider excess employees who are applicants
in isolation from, and not in competition with, other applicants for employment
opportunities at the employee’s substantive classification or below;
(c) may refer the employee to any redeployment
(d) will provide reasonable paid leave, and pay
reasonable travel and incidental expenses incurred, in seeking alternative employment
and attending interviews where these costs are not met by the prospective
(e) after taking the above steps, may, if the employee
has not been found alternative employment, reduce the excess employee’s
classification as a means of securing alternative ongoing employment for the
excess employee. Where this occurs before the end of an employee’s retention
period, four weeks’ notice must be given, and the employee will continue to be
paid at his or her previous classification for the balance of the retention
period. His or her previous classification will include the salary of a higher
classification where the employee has been performing work at the higher classification
for a continuous period of at least 12 months immediately preceding the
date on which he or she was reduced in classification, provided the employee
would have continued to act but for the excess employee situation. The associated
salary will also include allowances or loadings which are paid during periods
of leave and on a regular basis.
23.26 During the
retention period, the employee:
(a) will take reasonable steps to find alternative
(b) will actively participate in learning and
development activities, trial placements or other reasonable arrangements designed
to assist the employee in obtaining an alternative placement.
23.27 If redeployment action has taken place in respect
of an excess employee for two months and:
(a) there is no reasonable prospect of redeployment;
Clerk is satisfied that there is insufficient productive work available for the
employee within the department during the remainder of his or her retention
the Clerk may, with
the agreement of the employee, terminate the employment of the employee.
with the agreement of the employee, the Clerk terminates the employment of the
excess employee, the employee will be paid:
(a) the balance of the retention period (as reduced by
the NES under clause 23.23 above), as a lump sum and this payment will be taken
to include the payment in lieu of notice of retirement; and
(b) an additional redundancy payment equal to the
amount the retention period was reduced under clause 23.23 above (i.e. the NES
23.29 The Clerk may terminate the employment of an
excess employee at the end of the retention period.
23.30 An excess employee will not be retrenched
involuntarily if the employee has not been invited to accept an offer of
23.31 An excess employee will be given the following notice,
or payment in lieu of notice, where it is proposed that he or she be retrenched
(a) five weeks for an employee over 45 years of
age with at least two years of continuous service; or
(b) four weeks for all other employees.