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Advice on Entitlements for MOP(S) Act Employees

The following advice on entitlements is provided to assist MOP(S) Act employees and those on leave from a Public Sector Agency whose employment has been terminated as a result of the Federal election.

Ongoing MOP(S) Act Employees

The following information is provided to assist ongoing MOP(S) Act employees whose employment is terminated.

Commonwealth Members of Parliament Staff Enterprise Agreement 2016-2019 (Enterprise Agreement)
Travel

Please ensure that all outstanding travelling allowance advance payments are acquitted and returned to the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority (IPEA) prior to cessation.  If travel allowance advance payments are not acquitted, they will become a debt to the Commonwealth and debt recovery action will be commenced.

Cards and Tokens

IPEA will cancel your Flight Centre Management (FCm) profile and Cabcharge account.  You should destroy your Cabcharge card immediately.  If you have been issued a One Office Web Remote Access token, you are required to return it to the Department of Parliamentary Services IT Services as soon as possible.  Failure to do so may result in the issue of an invoice for the cost of the token, currently $100.00.

Salary, Leave and Severance Benefits

You will be paid outstanding salary, allowances and annual leave, less any outstanding debts, upon separation.  If you have at least 12 months’ eligible service, you will also receive payment in lieu of long service leave. 

In addition, you will be entitled to a severance benefit calculated on the length of your continuous service under the MOP(S) Act and, if applicable, any recognised MOP(S) Act equivalent employment with a State or Territory parliamentarian that was immediately prior to employment under the MOP(S) Act. 

You will not be entitled to a severance benefit if your employment was terminated during your probationary period. Severance benefits are not payable to MOP(S) Act employees who are on leave from a Public Sector Agency.

Refer below to "Advice on Entitlements for Ongoing MOP(S) Act Employees who are on leave from a Public Sector Agency".
Unused Annual Leave

Calculation

Annual leave accrues at the rate of 4 weeks per calendar year, which is equivalent to 152 hours for an eligible full-time employee.  Eligible part-time employees accrue a pro rata credit based on their weekly hours (eg. an employee working 7.6 hours per week would accrue 30.4 hours leave per calendar year).  Periods of leave not to count as service in excess of 30 calendar days per year will reduce an accrual, as will unauthorised absences of at least one day in the accrual year.

On cessation, payment is made for the total unused annual leave accrued up to and including the last day of service.  The payment is calculated using your salary on the last day of service, as well as eligible allowances, such as electorate staff allowance (ESA) or parliamentary staff allowance (PSA).

Long Service Leave (LSL)

Calculation

LSL accrues at the rate of nine calendar days per completed year of eligible service.  A separate credit accrues for full-time and part-time service.  Periods of leave not to count as service in excess of 30 calendar days per year will reduce an accrual, as will unauthorised absences of at least one day.

Periods of eligible prior employment may count for LSL purposes where any breaks in service do not exceed 12 months, as long as this prior service has been recognised at the time your employment ceases.  Periods of LSL taken and/or paid in lieu are deducted from the credit.

If you cease employment and you are eligible for payment in lieu of LSL, the payment is based on the number of completed years and months of eligible service and calculated using your salary on the last day of service (including eligible allowances such as ESA, PSA or the allowance in lieu of a private-plated vehicle, where applicable).

Severance Benefits

Calculation

Severance benefits are calculated based on completed years of continuous service under the MOP(S) Act and any recognised service with a State or Territory parliamentarian, as per the following table:

Length of Eligible Service Severance Benefit
Less than 1 year 4 weeks’ pay
1 year or more but less than 2 years 8 weeks’ pay
2 years or more but less than 3 years 10 weeks’ pay
3 years or more but less than 4 years 12 weeks’ pay
4 years or more but less than 5 years 13 weeks’ pay
5 years or more but less than 7 years 14 weeks’ pay
7 years or more 2 weeks’ pay, plus 2 weeks’ pay for every completed year, up to maximum 48 weeks’ pay.

Previous, non-continuous MOP(S) Act employment does not count for severance purposes.

Periods of leave not to count as service in excess of 30 days per year will reduce your service for severance benefit purposes, as will unauthorised absences of at least one day.

For the purposes of calculating the severance benefit, “pay” includes ESA or PSA if payable at the time of termination of employment.  A week’s pay is based on the weekly hours being worked as at the date of termination.

Additional Severance Benefits

Where employment is terminated as a result of the Senator or Member ceasing to hold office (in accordance with sub-sections 16(1), 16(2) or 23(1) of the MOP(S) Act), the severance benefit is increased by 30 per cent.  This is because termination under the MOP(S) Act due to your employer ceasing to hold office is not considered by the Australian Taxation Office to be a genuine redundancy.

Superannuation

You may also be entitled to a superannuation benefit depending on your current superannuation situation:

CSS and PSS members

You will be provided with a benefit claim form.  This should be completed as soon as possible and returned to M&PS.  We will then complete the “departmental report” section of the form, and forward it to the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC) for processing.

Please note that you are not eligible to claim a redundancy benefit from the CSS or PSS schemes – it will be the same form of benefit as available on resignation (or, if 55 years old or over, an age retirement benefit).

For further information about your benefit, please call CSC on:

  • 1300 000 277 for CSS members; and
  • 1300 000 377 for PSSdb members.

Please make CSC aware that you are a MOP(S) Act employee.

PSSap members

Please call CSC on 1300 725 171 to discuss your options.

Members of other funds

Please contact your fund to discuss your options.

Career Transition Payment (CTP)

In recognition of the nature of MOP(S) Act employment, clause 66 of the Enterprise Agreement provides for a payment of up to $500 (GST inclusive) for career transition counselling, training or financial advice.  To be eligible for CTP, the counselling, training or financial advice must have prior approval by contacting the Staff Help Desk, and occur within six months of the date of your termination of employment. M&PS will reimburse you the cost of approved counselling, training or financial advice upon the production of receipts, or will make payment directly to the supplier on the provision of an invoice.

Re-employment under the MOP(S) Act

If you are re-employed under the MOP(S) Act as an ongoing, non-ongoing or casual employee within the severance pay period (defined as the period of weeks of severance benefits paid to you from the date of cessation of employment), you may be required to make a repayment. 

As an example, if you received a severance benefit of 10 weeks’ pay on termination of employment and you are re-employed under the MOP(S) Act after a period of six weeks, you are required to repay four weeks of the severance benefit.

This applies even if the period of employment is for a shorter period than the remaining severance period, for example, where a person is re-employed under a non-ongoing or casual employment agreement for a period of two weeks but they have six weeks remaining in their severance pay period, they will be required to repay two weeks of the severance benefit.

The repayment of any severance benefit, or part thereof, is based on the classification, salary and allowances (if applicable) you received when your employment ceased, i.e. not the classification, salary and allowances of the subsequent employment.

If you are re-employed under the MOP(S) Act within six months of the termination of your employment, you may elect to repay to M&PS within 60 days of your recommencement:

  • An amount paid in lieu of annual leave and as severance benefits, including additional severance benefits.
  • An amount paid in lieu of annual leave.  Your prior service will be recognised for leave purposes and your previous annual leave balance will be re-established.
  • An amount paid as severance benefits, including additional severance benefits.  Your prior service will be recognised for a future severance benefit (if any).

Any repayment will mean that the prior service is recognised for retention payment and salary increment purposes.

If an employee chooses not to repay any amount, their prior service will not be recognised for annual leave, severance, salary increment or retention payment purposes.  The prior service may be eligible to be recognised for personal leave or long service leave purposes.  The break in service will not count as service for any purpose but is not considered to break continuity of service.

While prior service may be recognised as service for long service leave purposes, an amount paid in lieu of long service leave is not able to be repaid in order to re‑establish a long service leave credit.

Private-Plated Vehicle

Senior personal employees who have been issued with a private-plated vehicle should return the vehicle to the relevant State/Territory Manager prior to cessation.

Payment of final entitlements

You will be paid your outstanding salary, allowances and leave, less recovery of any outstanding debts, as soon as possible following your cessation.  This generally occurs within two weeks of cessation.  It may be necessary, however, to pay outstanding salary on one payday and other final entitlements within two weeks of that payday.  To ensure that you are paid promptly, please arrange to complete and forward any outstanding documentation as soon as possible.

Your final entitlements will be paid to the account used for your normal fortnightly pay.  If you wish your final entitlements to be paid into a different account (noting that severance benefits are classed by the Australian Tax Office as an Employment Termination Payment and cannot be rolled-over into a superannuation fund), please provide written advice to the Staff Help Desk.  It is also important to advise the Staff Help Desk if you are contemplating closing your account prior to the payment of all of your final monies.

Non-ongoing MOP(S) Act Employees

The following information is provided to assist non-ongoing MOP(S) Act employees whose employment is terminated.

Commonwealth Members of Parliament Staff Enterprise Agreement 2016-2019 (Enterprise Agreement)
Travel

Please ensure that all outstanding travelling allowance advance payments are acquitted and returned to the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority (IPEA) prior to cessation.  If travel allowance advance payments are not acquitted, they will become a debt to the Commonwealth and debt recovery action will be commenced.

Cards and Tokens

IPEA will cancel your Flight Centre Management (FCm) profile and Cabcharge account.  You should destroy your Cabcharge card immediately.  If you have been issued a One Office Web Remote Access token, you are required to return it to the Department of Parliamentary Services IT Services as soon as possible.  Failure to do so may result in the issue of an invoice for the cost of the token, currently $100.00.

Salary, Leave and Severance Benefits

You will be paid outstanding salary, allowances and annual leave, less any outstanding debts, upon separation.  If you have at least 12 months’ eligible service, you will also receive payment in lieu of long service leave.

Unused Annual Leave

Calculation

Annual leave accrues at the rate of 4 weeks per calendar year, which is equivalent to 152 hours for an eligible full-time employee.  Eligible part-time employees accrue a pro rata credit based on their weekly hours (eg. an employee working 7.6 hours per week would accrue 30.4 hours leave per calendar year).  Periods of leave not to count as service in excess of 30 calendar days per year will reduce an accrual, as will unauthorised absences of at least one day in the accrual year.

On cessation, payment is made for the total unused annual leave accrued up to and including the last day of service.  The payment is calculated using your salary on the last day of service, as well as eligible allowances, such as electorate staff allowance (ESA) or parliamentary staff allowance (PSA).

Long Service Leave (LSL)

Calculation

LSL accrues at the rate of nine calendar days per completed year of eligible service.  A separate credit accrues for full-time and part-time service.  Periods of leave not to count as service in excess of 30 calendar days per year will reduce an accrual, as will unauthorised absences of at least one day.

Periods of eligible prior employment may count for LSL purposes where any breaks in service do not exceed 12 months, as long as this prior service has been recognised at the time your employment ceases.  Periods of LSL taken and/or paid in lieu are deducted from the credit.

If you cease employment and you are eligible for payment in lieu of LSL, the payment is based on the number of completed years and months of eligible service and calculated using your salary on the last day of service (including eligible allowances such as ESA, PSA or the allowance in lieu of a private-plated vehicle, where applicable).

Superannuation

You may also be entitled to a superannuation benefit depending on your current superannuation situation:

CSS and PSS members

You will be provided with a benefit claim form.  This should be completed as soon as possible and returned to M&PS.  We will then complete the “departmental report” section of the form, and forward it to the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC) for processing.

Please note that you are not eligible to claim a redundancy benefit from the CSS or PSS schemes – it will be the same form of benefit as available on resignation (or, if 55 years old or over, an age retirement benefit).

For further information about your benefit, please call CSC on:

  • 1300 000 277 for CSS members; and
  • 1300 000 377 for PSSdb members.

Please make CSC aware that you are a MOP(S) Act employee.

PSSap members

Please call CSC on 1300 725 171 to discuss your options.

Members of other funds

Please contact your fund to discuss your options.

Career Transition Payment (CTP)

In recognition of the nature of MOP(S) Act employment, clause 66 of the Enterprise Agreement provides for a payment of up to $500 (GST inclusive) for career transition counselling, training or financial advice.  To be eligible for CTP, the counselling, training or financial advice must have prior approval by contacting the Staff Help Desk, and occur within six months of the date of your termination of employment. M&PS will reimburse you the cost of approved counselling, training or financial advice upon the production of receipts, or will make payment directly to the supplier on the provision of an invoice.

Re-employment under the MOP(S) Act

If you are re-employed under the MOP(S) Act within six months of the termination of your employment, you may elect to repay to M&PS within 60 days of your recommencement:

  • An amount paid in lieu of annual leave.  Your prior service will be recognised for leave purposes and your previous annual leave balance will be re-established.

The prior service may be eligible to be recognised for personal leave or long service leave purposes. The break in service will not count as service for any purpose but is not considered to break continuity of service.

While prior service may be recognised as service for long service leave purposes, an amount paid in lieu of long service leave is not able to be repaid in order to re‑establish a long service leave credit.

Private-Plated Vehicle

Senior personal employees who have been issued with a private-plated vehicle should return the vehicle to the relevant State/Territory Manager prior to cessation.

Payment of final entitlements

You will be paid your outstanding salary, allowances and leave, less recovery of any outstanding debts, as soon as possible following your cessation.  This generally occurs within two weeks of cessation.  It may be necessary, however, to pay outstanding salary on one payday and other final entitlements within two weeks of that payday.  To ensure that you are paid promptly, please arrange to complete and forward any outstanding documentation as soon as possible.

Your final entitlements will be paid to the account used for your normal fortnightly pay.  If you wish your final entitlements to be paid into a different account (noting that severance benefits are classed by the Australian Tax Office as an Employment Termination Payment and cannot be rolled-over into a superannuation fund), please provide written advice to the Staff Help Desk.  It is also important to advise the Staff Help Desk if you are contemplating closing your account prior to the payment of all of your final monies.

Ongoing MOP(S) Act Employees who are on leave from a Public Sector Agency

The following information applies to employees of the Australian Public Service, the Public Service of a State or Territory, or any other public sector employer from which they are on leave to undertake MOP(S) Act employment.

Commonwealth Members of Parliament Staff Enterprise Agreement 2016-2019 (Enterprise Agreement)
Return to Public Sector Employment

You should give notice in writing to your Agency Head of your intention to return to your public sector agency as soon as you are notified that your employment under the MOP(S) Act will be terminated.  M&PS requires notification of the proposed date of your return to your public sector agency so arrangements can be made concerning the forwarding of relevant employment records.  It is expected that you will arrange to return to your agency as soon as possible during the deferral period, once you have finalised any required work related to your MOP(S) Act employment.

Severance Benefits and Career Transition Payment

If you are an ongoing public sector employee on leave to undertake MOP(S) Act employment, you are not eligible for severance pay, additional severance benefits or the career transition payment under the EA.  Eligibility for a severance benefit is detailed at clause 64 of the EA.

Clause 64 - Enterprise Agreement
Leave

Under clause 53 of the EA, accrued annual leave will not be paid out to employees returning to most Commonwealth public sector employers as it will be transferred to the former employer on your return.  Accrued annual leave will be paid in lieu for employees returning to the Public Service of a State or Territory, or other public sector employer.

Clause 53 - Enterprise Agreement
Cards and Tokens

At the cessation of employment, your Flight Centre Management (FCm) and Cabcharge cards should be returned to the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority (IPEA).If you have been issued a One Office Web Remote Access token, you are required to return it to DPS IT Services as soon as possible.  Failure to do so may result in the issue of an invoice for the cost of the token, currently $100.00.

Resignation from Public Sector Employment

Noting the information at Point 2 above, if you have resigned, or intend to resign from your public sector agency, the resignation must take effect before the termination of your MOP(S) Act employment for you to be eligible for a severance benefit.  M&PS requires a copy of your resignation before your termination payments will be actioned.

Last updated: 07 November 2019