- The Parliamentary Workplace Support Service is now available.
- It can receive reports of serious incidents or patterns of behaviour causing serious harm, provide immediate and ongoing support and advice, and facilitate resolutions and referrals.
- More information on the PWSS can be found on their website, www.pwss.gov.au.
All MOP(S) Act employees and parliamentarians have a role in ensuring that parliamentary workplaces are safe, supportive and respectful.
In response to the Review of the Parliamentary Workplace: Responding to Serious Incidents the Government has taken steps to help prevent, identify and respond to serious incidents in the workplace. In March, the Parliamentary Support Line (1800 APH SPT) was established to provide trauma-informed support. Over the last few months the Government has piloted the Safe and Respectful Workplaces training program and the program is being rolled out to all parliamentarians and MOP(S) Act employees.
Today I announce the establishment of an independent workplace complaints mechanism – the Parliamentary Workplace Support Service (PWSS).
The PWSS will provide support for those impacted by serious incidents or patterns of behaviour that cause serious harm such as harassment, sexual harassment, sexual assault, assault, and serious and systemic bullying in Commonwealth parliamentary workplaces.
The PWSS will:
- receive reports of serious incidents or patterns of behaviour causing serious harm
- provide immediate and ongoing trauma informed support
- provide advice on available options, including facilitating the resolution of issues at the local level, if appropriate
- appoint independent experts to conduct workplace reviews into complaints of serious incidents and make recommendations for resolution
- in accordance with your wishes, facilitate referrals to police, the Department of Finance or other specialised support services.
The PWSS is staffed by case coordinators, who are qualified social workers that will be available, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The PWSS can receive anonymous reports.
The PWSS can be contacted at any time, on any day by phone on 1800 PH PWSS
(1800 747 977), SMS to 0487 112 755, or by emailing support@PWSS.gov.au. The PWSS is located in the library at Parliament House and is open from 8am to 8pm on sitting days and 8am to 6pm on non-sitting days. Meetings can also be arranged outside of these hours in person, offsite, or virtually.
To ensure independence, the PWSS is overseen by the Parliamentary Service Commissioner.
More information on the PWSS can be found on its website at www.pwss.gov.au.
MaPS’ HR Advice and Support team will continue to manage matters outside of the scope of the PWSS, as well as HR policy, employment advice and WHS services. Experienced HR Advice and Support case managers will provide immediate support and advice on options, including referrals to appropriate services with your consent. The HR Advice and Support team can be contacted by phone on (02) 6215 3333 (option 2) or by emailing MOPSsupport@finance.gov.au.
MOP(S) Act employees play an important role in providing advice and assisting parliamentarians perform their functions and represent their constituents. Both parliamentarians and MOP(S) Act employees have an obligation to act at all times with integrity and meet the highest standards of behaviour and conduct expected by the Australian community, including obligations under workplace, work health and safety and anti-discrimination legislation. In addition to the PWSS, there are other supports available to you.
- The Parliamentary Support Line, 1800 APH SPT, provides dedicated 24/7 independent, confidential, anonymous and free counselling and support services for current and former MOP(S) Act employees, parliamentarians, their families, friends and colleagues who have experienced serious incidents in Commonwealth parliamentary workplaces.
- The Employee Assistance Program is an independent, professional and confidential counselling service available to assist with work, life and health and wellbeing issues. It is available 24/7 for MOP(S) Act employees and their families and households.
- All MOP(S) Act employees have free access to NewAccess workplaces, a service developed by Beyond Blue. The service provides assistance in dealing with workplace stress and life pressures.
Minister for Finance
23 September 2021