The personal employees of Shadow Ministers are employed under Part III of the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984.1 Shadow Ministers may engage employees under Part III through a determination made by the Special Minister of State under section 12 of the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984. The terms and conditions of employment under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 are provided by the Commonwealth Members of Parliament Staff Enterprise Agreement 2012-2015 and its accompanying guidelines.
- View Commonwealth Members of Parliament Staff Enterprise Agreement 2012‑2015
- View Enterprise Agreement Guidelines
The information provided in Part Five of this handbook relates to the employment of personal employees only. For information relating to electorate employees’ salaries, allowances, leave and other employment conditions, refer to the Senators and Members’ Entitlements handbook.
The Prime Minister allocates a block of personal employee positions to the Leader of the Opposition. The Leader of the Opposition then allocates these positions to other Opposition Office Holders and Shadow Ministers, and advises Ministerial and Parliamentary Services of the allocation. These personal employee positions are in addition to the allocation of electorate officer positions.
Ministerial and Parliamentary Services can organise the placement and will meet the cost of online advertisements for ongoing personal employee vacancies on online recruitment websites. The entitlement provides for up to three online advertisements for each vacant Electorate Officer position and up to four online advertisements for each vacant personal employee position.
Shadow Ministers may advertise ongoing personal employee vacancies in print media. Shadow Ministers who wish to advertise using print media can use his or her capped printing and communications entitlement to meet the cost of the advertisement or alternatively meet the cost of the advertisement personally.
Shadow Ministers who wish to outsource the recruitment of personal employees to a private employment agency must meet the cost of these services personally.
Further information on recruiting employees, including sample advertisements, is available.
Shadow Ministers appoint or engage their employees on behalf of the Commonwealth. A written employment agreement between the Shadow Minister and the employee is required2 and should be completed prior to commencement.
Further information relating to employment, including for employees that are not covered under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 and probationary employment is available in the Senators and Members’ Entitlements handbook.
It is strongly recommended that Shadow Ministers require all new ongoing employees to undertake a National Police History Check. The employing Shadow Minister must indicate on the employment agreement if the employee is required to undertake a National Police History Check.
Employees who are required to undertake a National Police History Check must complete the CrimTrac National Police Checking Service (NPCS) Application/Consent form (Form 78) as part of the employment process. This form is included in the employment agreement bundle. Form 78 must be completed in full and returned to Ministerial and Parliamentary Services with the completed employment agreement.
Results of the National Police History Check are not retained by the Department of Finance and are only forwarded to the employing Shadow Minister by their Ministerial and Parliamentary Services Entitlements Manager if an adverse result is returned. Entitlements Managers will be available to provide further guidance if adverse findings are reported, or where employees fail to undertake a National Police History Check or provide consent for the results to be disclosed.
There may be implications in relation to continued employment if an employee who is required to undertake a National Police History Check fails to do so, or if the National Police History Check reveals an adverse result that was not previously disclosed to the employing Shadow Minister. A Shadow Minister who is considering action in relation to a person’s employment, including because of any adverse National Police History Check result, should contact their Ministerial and Parliamentary Services Entitlements Manager.
1 Subsection 13(2) of the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984.
2 Subsection 13(1) of the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984.