As part of the 2023-24 Budget, the Government has announced it will provide additional frontline electorate staff resources for each parliamentarian.
Additional Electorate Officer B position and Electorate Staff Allowance (ESA)
Effective from 1 July 2023 one additional full-time equivalent Electorate Officer B (EOB) position will be allocated to each parliamentarian.
This will increase the electorate officer staffing allocation from:
- four to five full-time equivalent positions for parliamentarians with one Commonwealth-funded Electorate Office,
- five to six full-time equivalent positions for parliamentarians with two Commonwealth-funded Electorate Offices, and
- six to seven full-time equivalent positions for parliamentarians with three Commonwealth-funded Electorate Offices.
Also effective from 1 July 2023, all parliamentarians will receive an additional eight points of ESA that may be allocated to ongoing and non-ongoing employees in recognition of reasonable additional hours of work and travel undertaken outside of business hours.
Extension of nominated traveller provision
The nominated traveller entitlement, which is currently provided to certain officeholders, under Determination 2020/15 – Staff Travel and Relief Staff Arrangements will be extended to all parliamentarians enabling one electorate staff member to travel for parliamentary business without debit from their Electorate Support Budget (ESB).
The other existing provisions outlined in Determination 2020/15 remain unchanged.
In the event further arrangements are amended to modernise or streamline arrangements, Finance will provide an update to all Parliamentarians and their staff.
Assistance with office restructures and recruitment
In the event a Parliamentarian wishes to restructure the roles and responsibilities of staff within their offices to accommodate the additional resource, or requires advice on recruitment, Finance is available to provide support and assistance.
Submitting employment agreements
New employment agreements for the additional EOB position may be submitted from 1 June 2023, however Employment agreements must have a commencement date from 3 July 2023 or onwards, which is the first business day after 1 July 2023.
Allocation of ESA
Parliamentarians may choose to reallocate the level of ESA for all employees at the commencement of each financial year, if they wish. Finance will be providing separate guidance on this process shortly though the end-of-financial year communication.
Finance is in the process of updating and developing guidance material to assist parliamentarians and Office Managers implement these new provisions. This will be finalised in conjunction with the Employee Consultative Group out of session and distributed shortly thereafter.
In the meantime, if you have any further questions in relation to these arrangements please contact the Ministerial and Parliamentary Services Help Desk telephone 02 6215 3333 (option 1) to discuss next steps or email at email@example.com. For assistance and support relating to recruitment and office restructures please email MOPSSupport@finance.gov.au or phone 02 6215 3333 (option 2).