Protecting the health and safety of MOP(S) Act employees

Key points

  • The health and safety of MOP(S) Act employees is a priority for all parliamentarians.

In response to COVID-19 and consistent with my decision to provide you with the flexibility to make decisions to address staffing needs and working arrangements within your offices, including approval of working from home arrangements, I remind you that how you run your electorate office is a matter for each parliamentarian to determine.

I am aware that in response to the COVID-19 crisis some parliamentarians have made the decision to close their electorate office to the public and respond to constituents via telephone and email. I understand that some employees remain at the work place or, as directed by their employing parliamentarian, are working from home. I note that in a number of jurisdictions, State and Territory Parliaments have closed their electorate offices.

Given the evolving nature of the COVID-19 crisis – it is open to each parliamentarian to decide whether or not to keep your electorate office open to the public.

I encourage each of you to consider your health and safety obligations and the advice from the Department of Health in determining how to minimise risks to your staff and other persons in your electorate office arising from potential exposure to COVID-19. This would include educating workers on best practice to minimise the spread of infection, self-isolation requirements or potentially closing your office to the public. Many of the relevant considerations are provided for and considered in the FAQs published on the dedicated Ministerial and Parliamentary Services COVID-19 webpage.

Ministerial and Parliamentary Services is very happy to work through any specific issues an office may have to provide support around dealing with COVID-19.

Kind regards

Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance
25 March 2020

Circular 2020/06