This topic provides new Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 (MOP(S) Act) employees with general information in relation to the employment framework, terms and conditions of employment and other important information.
The MOP(S) Act
The MOP(S) Act gives the Prime Minister the power to determine the arrangements under which Senators, Members and Office Holders may employ staff, and the terms and conditions of employment of those employees. A number of these powers are delegated to and exercised by the Special Minister of State on behalf of the Prime Minister, with the primary exception of the allocation of employee positions which remains the responsibility of the Prime Minister.
Senators and Members employ staff under the MOP(S) Act on behalf of the Commonwealth, and are responsible for directing the day-to-day work of their MOP(S) Act employees. Finance, through its Ministerial and Parliamentary Services Division (M&PS), provides a number of administrative and support services to MOP(S) Act employees, including payroll, a professional development program and work health and safety services.
In addition to the MOP(S) Act, the terms and conditions of employment of employees are determined primarily by:
- Determinations, Directions and Related Documents made pursuant to the MOP(S) Act
- Commonwealth Members of Parliament Staff Enterprise Agreement 2016-2019 (Enterprise Agreement)
- Enterprise Agreement Guidelines
- Fair Work Act 2009
The role of M&PS
Our clients include the 226 Senators and Members, their spouses/partners and dependants, former Prime Ministers, former parliamentarians and approximately 1800 MOP(S) Act employees. In your day-to-day work, you will interact with M&PS through the M&PS Help Desks.
M&PS provides advice to you and your employing Senator or Member through:
The Parliamentarians’ Help Desk provides advice and assistance in the interpretation and application of your employing Senator’s or Member’s work expenses.
The Staff Help Desk provides advice and assistance to you on your terms and conditions of employment.
Both M&PS Help Desks are open from 9.00am AEDT until 5.00pm AWST, Monday to Friday. Please note that the Help Desks will have reduced hours where public holidays fall in either WA or ACT.
M&PS also has representatives located in each State and Territory capital city. The State and Territory Offices provide support to Electorate Offices in each State or Territory and also manage the Commonwealth Parliament Office.
Your Office Manager or other colleagues in your office will assist you in getting started. As part of this process, you should complete the Induction Checklist.
In addition, there are a couple of important things that you need to be aware of:
All the relevant forms that you will need are available on the forms page:
Make sure that your employment agreement bundle is filled in correctly and provided promptly to M&PS, otherwise your pay may be affected.
- Have you completed your Employment Agreement Bundle?
Online HR provides Parliamentarians and MOP(S) Act employees with secure online access to employee and manager self service software.
Online HR allows employees to:
- view payslips and pay history
- view personal details
- update their personal email address
- apply for full pay annual and personal leave including carer’s leave.
Quick reference guides are available to assist employees.
Access to Online HR
Employees are expected to use Online HR. To be issued a logon to Online HR, you must have an official .gov.au email address and have a current employment agreement. Please provide your official .gov.au email address to the Staff Help Desk as soon as possible after receipt.
Employees are also requested to provide a personal email address for use when the official .gov.au email address is no longer available, for example, after ceasing employment.
You will be paid fortnightly in arrears on a Thursday, by electronic funds transfer into an Australian financial institution account of your choice. The Pay Administration topic provides information on pay dates and associated dates for the submission of pay-related paperwork.
Payslips are available via Online HR. If you do not have access to Online HR, contact the Staff Help Desk to arrange an alternative method for the receipt of your payslip information.
Please notify M&PS promptly of changes to your personal details, such as:
- official .gov.au email address
- personal email addresses, and/or
- home, work and postal addresses
by using either Form 53: Employee’s Personal Particulars or Form 11: Change of Address.
MOP(S) Act employees are entitled to superannuation in accordance with the relevant Commonwealth legislation.
An employee who wishes to continue/recommence membership of the defined benefit Public Sector Superannuation scheme (PSS) or Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme (CSS) should complete Form 9: Superannuation Options and provide it to M&PS as soon as possible. Membership with the PSS or CSS can only continue/recommence once M&PS receives the form.
In accordance with the Enterprise Agreement, the choice of superannuation funds is limited to those funds that allow employee and employer contributions to be paid fortnightly through electronic funds transfer.
Information on Commonwealth-funded superannuation schemes applying to MOP(S) Act employees and superannuation choice is provided in the Superannuation topic.
If you are an ongoing employee or a non-ongoing employee whose employment agreement is for three months or more, you may be eligible to salary package. Further information is available in the Salary Packaging guideline.
Travel arrangements for MOP(S) Act Employees are set out in Determination 2016/20: Staff travel and relief staff arrangements and the Enterprise Agreement Guidelines.
- Determination 2016/20: Staff Travel and Relief Staff Arrangements
- Domestic Travel guideline
- Travelling Allowance guideline
- Motor Vehicle Allowance guideline
- Overseas Travel guideline
The travel of employees is administered by the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority (IPEA). Queries about employee travel should be directed to IPEA.
Employee Consultative Group
The Enterprise Agreement establishes an Employee Consultative Group (ECG) comprising employee representatives from all political parties, and representatives from the unions covered by the Enterprise Agreement.
The ECG is consulted on workplace issues affecting employees employed under the Enterprise Agreement, such as terms and conditions of employment.
Work Health and Safety (WHS)
The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Cwth) covers your employment. Health and safety at work includes physical and psychological health.
You are represented on the WHS Committee for MOP(S) Act employees by Health and Safety Representatives elected by staff in your party. There is a workgroup for all the staff of independent parliamentarians, who elect an HSR to represent them.
Detailed information is available on:
- WHS Policies and Procedures
- Your Health and Safety Representatives
- How to arrange an Ergonomic or Worksite Assessment
- How to report an Incident or Hazard
- Accessing assistance for Personal and Work Related Problems
- How to deal with inappropriate behaviour
- Accessing WHS Library
Learning and Professional Development
The Learning and Professional Development topic provides information on your training options, including the Professional Development Program and studies assistance.
The Professional Development Calendar is also available to assist you in booking training.
Statement of Standards for Ministerial Staff
If you are employed by a Minister or Parliamentary Secretary you are covered by the Statement of Standards for Ministerial Staff (the Statement). The Statement sets out standards that you are expected to meet in the performance of your duties. Amongst other things, the Statement, as well as Determination 2012/1 – Determination Regarding Ministerial Staff requires employees, both personal and electorate, to provide to their employing Minister, and keep up-to-date, a statement of private interests.
- Statement of Standards for Ministerial Staff
- Determination 2012/1: Determination Regarding Ministerial Staff
If you are employed by a Minister or Parliamentary Secretary your employment is subject to you obtaining and keeping a Negative Vetting Level 2 security clearance. You will be contacted by the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency who will request that you complete the relevant paperwork.
Fair Work Information Statement
All employers covered by the national workplace relations system are required to give each new employee a Fair Work Information Statement (FWIS) before, or as soon as possible after, the employee commences employment. This includes MOP(S) Act employees. You should have already been provided with a copy of the FWIS as part of your employment documentation.