Section 16 of the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 deals with the termination of employment of a Shadow Minister’s personal employees.
Generally, the employment of non-ongoing and casual employees ceases at the expiry of the period specified in the employment agreement.
The employment of a person terminates if:
- the employing Shadow Minister dies;
- the employing Shadow Minister ceases to be a Senator or Member;
- the person is a personal employee and the determination made under section 12 of the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 empowering the employing Shadow Minister to employ staff under Part III of the Act is revoked (for example, if the Shadow Minister ceases to hold office as a Shadow Minister);
- the employing Shadow Minister (or a person authorised by him or her) terminates the employment by notice in writing; or
- the employee resigns by giving notice to the Shadow Minister in writing.1
Depending on the circumstances surrounding termination of employment, the termination of a personal employee’s employment may be deferred. 2 Ministerial and Parliamentary Services will provide advice to all affected employees in the case of any deferral of termination of employment. Any period of deferral of termination of employment may be used to settle affairs in the office and to seek other employment.
The termination of the employment by the employer may occur for a number of reasons, for example:
- the Leader of the Opposition may reduce the number of staff allocated to a Shadow Minister;
- the office may be restructured, calling for a different mix of skills;
- unsatisfactory performance or conduct by the employee;
- the Shadow Minister has lost confidence in the employee; or
- the employee has a significant conflict of interest.
Further information on cessation of employment can be obtained through the relevant Ministerial and Parliamentary Services Entitlements Manager.
Australian Public Service (APS) employees
As soon as they are notified that their employment under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 will be terminated, employees who are APS employees on leave without pay from their agency should give notice in writing to their Agency Head of their intention to return to the agency, and should return as soon as practicable, but within the two week period, to their agency.
1 Sections 16 and 23 of the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984.
2 Clauses 3 and 4 of Direction 2013/4 Direction to Defer the Termination of Employment, made under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984.