Recruitment and related activities

Last updated
28 June 2023

Parliamentarians recruit staff on behalf of the Commonwealth under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 (MOP(S) Act).

There are various responsibilities employers need to know when recruiting staff, as well as forms and paperwork that should be completed before a MOP(S) Act employee commences.

The section below has been designed to assist Office Managers navigate the recruitment process and successfully complete related work.

When accessing information on the MaPS website, make sure to review the additional information under ‘Related resources’ (right-hand side of the page) for specific guidance.

Recruitment

An Office Manager may be asked to undertake some or all of the following tasks to assist their parliamentarian with recruitment:

  • Create a position description
  • Advertise the vacant position
  • Assess applications based on merit and select a successful candidate
  • Complete and submit an employment contract

If you do not have prior experience in this area, these tasks can seem daunting. To assist you, MaPS have created a comprehensive Guide to Recruiting.

  • Click here for further information on recruiting staff.

If additional support is required, please contact the MaPS HR Advice and Support team. You can reach the team by phone, (02) 6215 3333 (option 2) or via email, hr@pwss.gov.au.

Employment contracts

An Office Manager with the appropriate authorisation, may arrange employment contracts for new or returning employees on behalf of their parliamentarian.

  • Click here to access the PEMS 'how to' guide for managing authorisations.

MOP(S) Act employees can be engaged under the following arrangements: 

  • Ongoing (no predetermined end date)
  • Non-ongoing (no more than 12 months per contract)
  • Casual (no more than 28 days per contract)

An employment contract between the parties (employer and employee) is required for all employees. Ongoing and non-ongoing employment contracts are to be submitted to MaPS prior to commencement. Where possible, casual employment contracts should be submitted retrospectively due to the ad-hoc nature of casual employment.

In addition to the employment contract, employees may need to complete and submit further documentation. MaPS has created a tool to help determine (and generate) the documentation required; New employee contracts. The tool is located on the top right-hand side of the New employees page.

It is good practice to provide new or returning employees all of the documents they are required to complete, with written details of their employment (see below). 

Completing and submitting an employment contract

Following is an overview of the process to successfully complete and submit an employment contract. Please make note of the pay cut-off dates when setting expectations for payment etc., as the date you submit your paperwork informs the payday it will be processed by. 

1. Employer or authorised officer: Provide the new or returning employee with written details of their employment, e.g.: 

  • The type of contract they are to be engaged under (ongoing, non-ongoing, casual) 
  • Classification and salary rate 
  • Dates of employment 
  • Agreed days and times of work 
  • ESA allocation (if applicable) 
  • Probation period (if applicable) 

Refer to the contract as a guide to the specific information you will need to provide. 

2. Employee: Use the information provided by the employer or authorised officer to fill in your employment contract (online). Once complete, click submit. 

Please note: When submitted, a summary email will be sent to the employer or authorised officer (depending on whose email address was provided), and the employee. These are identical.

3. Employer or authorised officer: Forward the summary email to MOPSpay&conditions@finance.gov.au with the employee copied in, confirming the details are correct – this step creates the employment agreement. 

4. Employee: Save the summary email as a record of the terms of your employment. No further action is required. 

  • Click here for further information on employment agreements and contracts. 
  • Click here for further information on salary, employment types and positions. 

Electorate Staff Allowance

If an employee is to receive electorate staff allowance (ESA), note this on the employment contract at the time of engagement, or by submitting an Electorate staff allowance allocation form after the fact. 

  • Click here for further information on staff allowances.

Contract variations

If an ongoing or non-ongoing employee’s contract has changed, the Variation to an existing employment agreement form can be completed for variations relating to:

  • Salary advancement
  • Promotion/transfer (ongoing employees only)
  • Change to hours/work-pattern
  • Working extra hours against the Electorate Support Budget
  • Changing funding arrangements (between a position and the ESB)
  • Temporary progression/Higher Duties Allowance (ongoing employees only)

Follow the instructions under Completing and submitting an employment contract to ensure the contract variation can be processed without delay.

  • Click here for further information on variations to contracts.

Managing staff performance and career planning

Inducting new employees, establishing a performance agreement and holding regular performance discussions (including conversations around career planning), are all ways in which employers and managers can support employees to perform at their best.

Induction will ensure new starters understand their WHS obligations, workplace behaviours and responsibilities, as well as employment arrangements under the MOP(S) Act and the support options available. Encourage your staff to enrol in an upcoming Induction session here.

MaPS have developed the following resources to support Office Managers set new employees up for success:

Probationary periods provide the opportunity to review and assess the performance of new employees within the first several months of their employment. It is strongly recommended that all new ongoing and non-ongoing employees are placed on probation at the beginning of their employment. 

  • Click here for further information on probation periods.

Invest in developing your team’s skills. Staff can access a full range of resources and training via MOPS Learning. Click here for further information on a range of learning and development options available to you and your staff including: 

  • Ad hoc training requests 
  • Studies assistance (financial and study leave) 
  • Travelling for training guidance 

The MOP(S) Education Team are available to consult with staff and offices who have particular needs to assist in finding quality, fit for purpose solutions. Contact the team at training@pwss.gov.au

Termination

An Office Manager with the appropriate authorisation, may terminate an individual’s employment in accordance with the MOP(S) Act and other legislative obligations by giving notice in writing.

Terminations must meet the requirements of the Fair Work Act 2009, including ensuring the termination is not unfair or unlawful.

Before terminating an individual’s employment, advice should be sought from the MaPS HR Advice and Support team. You can reach the team by phone, (02) 6215 3333 (option 2) or via email, hr@pwss.gov.au.

  • Click here for further information ceasing employment.
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