The Parliamentary Leadership Taskforce has written to all Parliamentarians and MOP(S) Act employees.
Media release issue date: Friday, 30 September 2022
Parliamentary Leadership Taskforce letter
Dear Parliamentarians and MoP(S) Act employees,
As members of the taskforce overseeing implementation of the reforms arising from the Sex Discrimination Commissioner’s Set the Standard: Report on the Independent Review into Commonwealth Parliamentary Workplaces (‘Set the Standard Report’), we are committed to bringing about meaningful change to ensure that Commonwealth parliamentary workplaces are models of safety and respect.
All of us, the many parliamentarians and staff around Australia, have responsibility for creating safe and respectful workplaces. The Commissioner rightly stated that Commonwealth parliamentary workplaces should be workplaces where we model and champion expected standards of behaviour, and these are enforced. Our workplaces should be where respectful behaviour is rewarded, and where everyone feels safe and welcome to contribute. We’d like to bring to your attention some practical ways that we can work together to encourage the highest standards of workplace behaviour.
We all have obligations to understand and comply with all applicable Australian laws, including the Fair Work Act 2009 and the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act). The leaders among us also play a critical role in creating physically and mentally healthy workplaces. How leaders interact with staff, set behaviour expectations and address issues as they arise will directly impact on the workplace culture.
Training is available on MoP(S) Learning for you to expand knowledge, build skills, and understand your requirements, particularly if you are new to a Commonwealth parliamentary workplace. The training includes:
• a refreshed induction program for new parliamentarians focused on employment policies and laws, including the Fair Work Act 2009, WHS obligations, diversity and inclusion, office structure and staffing. Existing parliamentarians will be able to opt into a refresher style program. The Induction Guide is available on the Ministerial and Parliamentary Services (MaPS) website.
• a new induction program for MoP(S) Act employees focussed on understanding workplace behaviours and responsibilities, employment arrangements, the WHS Act, and available workplace support options. Please encourage new employees to attend.
• the Safe and Respectful Workplace training is continuing for new parliamentarians and their staff, with a refresher being developed for everyone.
• due diligence training for parliamentarians can help you better understand your role and obligations to comply with work health and safety laws under the WHS Act. You are required to comply with measures that promote health and safety in the workplace and ensure you eliminate and reduce risks, which includes psychological safety. MaPS can arrange a suitable time for you to complete the training with the regulator, Comcare.
MaPS also provides you with HR and WHS advice and services and can be contacted on (02) 6215 3333 (option 2) or MOPSsupport@finance.gov.au. Further information can be found at https://maps.finance.gov.au.
While we strive to set the highest standard of workplace behaviour, it is equally important to support those who experience conflict or misconduct in our workplaces. The Parliamentary Workplace Support Service (PWSS) provides an independent and confidential service to support you in relation to misconduct and workplace conflict in parliamentary workplaces. The PWSS helps resolve workplace conflict and provides support to manage workplace disagreements, structure conversations, provide resolution and mediation, or early intervention. The PWSS can also independently investigate complaints about workplace misconduct involving parliamentarians and MOP(S) Act employees.
The PWSS can be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 1800 PH PWSS (1800 747 977), SMS to 0487 112 755, or support@PWSS.gov.au. The PWSS is located in M2.105 at Parliament House and is staffed from 08:30am-5pm and from 08:30am-8pm on sitting days. Further information about the service can be found at https://pwss.gov.au/.
Positive change will continue in our workplaces as we continue to implement the recommendations of the Set the Standard report. The Joint Select Committee on Parliamentary Standards is developing Codes of Conduct for Parliamentarians and MOP(S) Act employees, and Standards of Conduct for the Parliamentary Precincts. The Committee is continuing to welcome submissions to the inquiry and is due to report by 1 December 2022.
You can follow progress with implementation of the reforms on the Taskforce website, which also reports on the outcomes of Taskforce meetings. We encourage you to email the Taskforce at PLT@aph.gov.au to request future updates from the Taskforce.
We seek to work alongside you in ensuring that our workplace is safe and respectful, that we support people who experience misconduct and that we collectively set the highest standard of workplace behaviour.
Ms Sharon Claydon MP
Senator Perin Davey
Senator the Hon Don Farrell
Senator the Hon Katy Gallagher
Senator the Hon Jane Hume
Hon Sussan Ley MP
Ms Zali Steggall OAM, MP
Senator Larissa Waters
Ms Kerri Hartland, Chair
Parliamentary Leadership Taskforce
Read more about the Parliamentary Leadership Taskforce
A signed copy of the letter sent out to Parliamentarians and MOP(S) Act staff can be found here.