Bills Digest No. 75   1997-98 Public Employment (Consequential and Transitional) Amendment Bill 1997


Numerical Index | Alphabetical Index

WARNING:
This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments. This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.

CONTENTS

Passage History

Public Employment (Consequential and Transitional) Amendment Bill 1997

Date Introduced: 26 June 1997
House: House of Representatives
Portfolio: Prime Minister
Commencement: The majority of provisions commence at the same time as the Public Service Act 1997.

This Digest

The Digest also reflects the Government amendments circulated on 27 October 1997.

Purpose

The Public Employment (Consequential and Transitional) Amendment Bill 1997 (the CTA Bill) will:

  • validate actions and decisions taken under the former legislation (the Public Service Act 1922);
  • provide for the transition from the present to the new employment framework; and
  • make consequential amendments to over 850 other Acts which incorporate references to the framework created by the Public Service Act 1922.

Background

The CTA Bill forms part of a package of four Bills, the others being the:

  • Public Service Bill 1997
  • Parliamentary Service Bill 1997
  • Parliamentary Service (Consequential Amendments) Bill 1997.

Detailed background to the legislation forms part of the Digests for the Public Service Bill 1997 and the Parliamentary Service Bill 1997.

Main Provisions

As is clear from the then Minister's Second Reading Speech,(1) the Explanatory Memorandum, and the CTA Bill itself, this legislation covers an extensive and disparate range of matters. The Explanatory Memorandum provides a readable and detailed account of the measures proposed and Minister Reith's Second Reading Speech usefully discusses the major proposals under two broad grouping.

The Second Reading Speech identifies three broad classes of transitional provisions and eight broad types of consequential measures.

The transitional provisions deal with:

  • the changes to the status of existing staff, including converting them from officers to employees;
  • mobility and 'return rights' of public servants;
  • the continuation of matters and legal actions on foot.

The consequential amendments provide for:

  • changes in the current provisions relating to staffing to reflect the new employment framework;
  • removal of obsolete references to the Public Service Board (itself abolished in 1987);
  • consequential (essentially machinery) amendments to the superannuation legislation;
  • limiting the role of the Remuneration Tribunal in relation to the setting of pay and conditions of Secretaries;
  • removal of cross-references to reciprocal mobility, which is now to be dealt with by the Public Service Commissioner's Directions;
  • removal of references to the former mobility arrangements set out in Part IV of the 1922 Act;
  • standard translations for common terms in the 1922 Act; and
  • other miscellaneous amendments to maintain links to the new APS employment framework.(2)

Mobility

This issue is dealt with at page 14 of Bills Digest No. 74 (Public Service Bill 1997) and pages 12 13 of Bills Digest No. 68 (Parliamentary Service Bill 1997).

Parliamentary Departments

Clause 12 of the CTA Bill as introduced is repealed by clause 10 of the Parliamentary Service (Consequential Amendments) Bill 1997.

Parliamentary Salaries

The CTA Bill also deals with the consequences of changing arrangements for setting Senior Executive Service (SES) salaries.

Clause 24 of the Public Service Bill provides for the devolution of salary setting arrangements for SES and non SES employees to the agency level. There will in time thus be different rates of pay applying to the same classifications across the APS.

Schedule 3 of the Remuneration and Allowances Act 1990 links the remuneration of members of Parliament to the minimum salary payable to an SES Band 2 officer. However, as there will be no common base salary for SES employees across the APS, it is necessary devise another mechanism for setting base for Members of Parliament. Enterprise bargaining would not appear to be a practical or favoured option.

The Government is proposing amendments to the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973 to determine a classification structure for what will be called principal executive offices (Schedule 1 to the 'amended' CTA Bill, items 757 762).(3) The Explanatory Memorandum states that a linkage will in future be made between parliamentary salaries and a principal executive classification prescribed by regulation.(4) These principal executive classifications are to be subject to regular review in accordance with the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973.

The Explanatory Memorandum also states that the new linkage will apply to certain statutory offices without increasing the level of remuneration.(5)

Endnotes

  1. Hon Peter Reith, Hansard, 26 June 1997: 6467 6468.
  2. ibid: 6468.
  3. References are to the amended Schedule as circulated on 27 October 1997.
  4. page 6.
  5. ibid: 6.

Contact Officer and Copyright Details

Bob Bennett
29 October 1997
Bills Digest Service
Information and Research Services

This paper has been prepared for general distribution to Senators and Members of the Australian Parliament. While great care is taken to ensure that the paper is accurate and balanced, the paper is written using information publicly available at the time of production. The views expressed are those of the author and should not be attributed to the Information and Research Services (IRS). Advice on legislation or legal policy issues contained in this paper is provided for use in parliamentary debate and for related parliamentary purposes. This paper is not professional legal opinion. Readers are reminded that the paper is not an official parliamentary or Australian government document.

IRS staff are available to discuss the paper's contents with Senators and Members
and their staff but not with members of the public.

ISSN 1328-8091
© Commonwealth of Australia 1997

Except to the extent of the uses permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without the prior written consent of the Parliamentary Library, other than by Members of the Australian Parliament in the course of their official duties.

Published by the Department of the Parliamentary Library, 1997.

This page was prepared by the Parliamentary Library, Commonwealth of Australia
Last updated: 30 October 1997

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