New employees

Last updated
08 April 2024

Welcome to employment under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 (MOP(S) Act). This page provides you with information you need to know as a new MOP(S) Act employee.

MOP(S) Act overview

Parliamentarians employ staff under the MOP(S) Act on behalf of the Commonwealth, and are responsible for directing the day-to-day work of their MOP(S) Act employees.

In addition to the MOP(S) Act, the terms and conditions of employment of employees are determined primarily by:

  • determinations, directions and related documents made pursuant to the MOP(S) Act
  • Commonwealth Members of Parliament Staff Enterprise Agreement 2020-23 (the Enterprise Agreement) (see related resources)
  • Enterprise Agreement guidelines
  • Fair Work Act 2009.

New starter contracts

To set up your MOP(S) Act employment, you need to complete your new employee contracts and provide them promptly to MaPS Help Desk, otherwise your pay may be affected.

Employee Induction Program

Your office manager or supervisor will assist you in getting started. On your first day please commence your employee induction checklist which outlines all key information, advice and support you will need to familiarise yourself with.

The induction program is a core component of your commencement/on-boarding process. You should receive an email in your first week to activate your PWSS Academy account (for guidance see the MOP(S) Learning user log in guide). The PWSS Academy platform will allow you to access the induction program (once available) and other learning and development courses and resources available to you. 

There are two parts of induction to be completed: 

  1. Introductory online foundational module – provides information relating to your employment under the MOP(S) Act. You are strongly encouraged to complete the module in your first weeks of employment.  
  2. Face-to-face induction program (state based) – you are encouraged to attend no later than three months from your commencement. These sessions are available online every month. Face-to-face sessions have also been been offered in each state on an as needed basis. Register for an upcoming session via the PWSS Academy portal. 

If you haven’t received an email containing your PWSS Academy login details, please email training@pwss.gov.au to create your account.

Electorate Office Induction  

If you are located in an Electorate Office, you will have a separate office induction that will take you through information about your office, security and safety procedures. Your manager or MaPS office in your State or Territory can provide you with information regarding this induction.

Wellbeing and Support

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a free and confidential program which aims to enhance the emotional, mental and general psychological wellbeing of MOP(S) Act employees and their immediate family and household members. More information and contact details for the EAP services are available here.  

A list of Wellbeing and HR Advice and Support contacts can be found under the Forms tab in Related Resources.

If you have any questions regarding HR and support please contact the MaPS Help Desk.  

Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) obligations  

MaPS is committed to creating a safe and healthy working environment for MOP(S) Act employees. We provide training, worksite assessments and adjustments, and flu vaccination programs. The WHS pages contain advice relating to work, health and safety that you should familiarise yourself with, including information on roles and responsibilities under the WHS Act, how to report incidents and hazards and WHS policies.  

If you have specific WHS requirements, reasonable adjustments or experience illness, injury or pain at your workplace, please contact whs@pwss.gov.au.

Contributing to a safe and respectful workplace  

Ensuring a safe and respectful working environment is a shared responsibility of everyone in the workplace. The Safe and respectful workplace culture page provides resources and workplace supports  services, reporting options and the complaint resolution procedures available to MOP(S) Act employees.  

The Safe and Respectful Workplaces training program is another important aspect of the ongoing effort to ensure Commonwealth parliamentary workplaces are safe and respectful. You are encouraged to attend the training within three months of commencement and complete a refresher at 12 months. You will be able to register for the next available session through PWSS Academy.  

Preventing injuries and illnesses

MaPS is committed to providing early intervention support to employees that are ill or injured and will assist employees by implementing active prevention strategies and effective workplace based rehabilitation programs regardless of whether or not the injury or illness is work related.

Early Intervention Policy provides detailed guidance on early intervention support options available.

Rehabilitation and Injury Management Policy details procedures governing the provision of early intervention and rehabilitation programs for injuries and illnesses arising out of or in the course of employment. 

MaPS HR Advice and Support team case managers can provide immediate support and advice on options and rehabilitation strategies and will guide you through both early intervention and/or compensation processes.  

Pay and PEMS

You will be paid fortnightly in arrears on a Thursday, by electronic funds transfer into an Australian financial institution account of your choice. See pay cut-off dates for pay dates.

PEMS provides parliamentarians and MOP(S) Act employees with secure online access to employee and manager self-service HR tasks.

You can use PEMS anywhere, anytime from any device to:

  • view, download and compare payslips  
  • manage personal details  
  • view, apply for and approve leave 
  • manage authorisations and more.

Visit PWSS Academy for videos and guides that step you through common HR functions.

Staff allowances

MOP(S) Act employees may be eligible for a range of allowances, including electorate staff allowances and personal staff allowance for working additional hours. See staff allowances for more information.

Superannuation

MOP(S) Act employees are entitled to superannuation in accordance with the relevant Commonwealth legislation. See superannuation (staff) for further information.

Salary packaging

If you are an ongoing employee or a non-ongoing employee whose employment agreement is for three months or more, you may be eligible to salary package. See salary packaging (staff) for further information.

Work base

You are required to nominate a work base as agreed by your employing Senator, member or authorised person. Your work base will be the place of work where you spend most time on duty. This may be distant from your home.

If you are an Electorate Officer, your work base must be:

  • your employing parliamentarian’s electorate office
  • the office at Parliament House or another office provided at the Commonwealth expense.

The Special Minister of State may approve a different work base for an Electorate Officer in special circumstances. You will need the Minister’s approval to be based in a privately funded or privately leased electorate office.

If you are a personal employee, your work base must be:

  • your employing parliamentarian’s electorate office
  • the office at Parliament House or another office provided at Commonwealth expense.

The Special Minister of State may approve a different work base for personal employees. You will need the Minister’s approval to be based in a privately funded or privately leased electorate office.

See work bases for more information.

Ministerial Staff Code of Conduct

If you are employed by a Minister or Assistant Minister, you must comply with the Ministerial Staff Code of Conduct (the Code of Conduct). The Code of Conduct sets out standards that you are expected to meet in the performance of your duties.

Among other things, the Code of Conduct requires electorate and personal employees provide a statement of private interests to their employing Minister.

Security clearances

If you are employed by a Minister your employment is subject to you obtaining and keeping a Negative Vetting Level 2 security clearance.

You will be contacted by the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency (AGSVA) who will request that you complete the relevant paperwork. The security clearance process can take some months to complete. In the meantime, your employing Minister must ensure you do not have access to sensitive material.

AGSVA will notify your employing Minister, through their Chief of Staff, and other relevant stakeholders, of the outcome of the security clearance process.

A fact sheet on Security clearance for MOP(S) Act employees has been developed (see related resources) to provide further information on the processes and timeframes for obtaining a security clearance.

Lobbying Code of Conduct

The Lobbying Code of Conduct provides that MOP(S) Act staff employed in the office of a Minister or Assistant Minister must not be a party to lobbying activities by a lobbyist on behalf of a third-party client, unless the lobbyist is registered on the Australian Government Register of Lobbyists.

The Code also prohibits certain lobbying activities by former ministerial staff at the Adviser level or above for 12 months after they cease employment under the MOP(S) Act.

To find out more about your obligations, including what to do if you are approached by a person conducting lobbying activities, please visit the Attorney-General’s Department’s website at Information for Australian Government Representatives | Attorney-General's Department (ag.gov.au).

Fair Work Information Statement

In accordance with the Fair Work Act 2009, parliamentarians are required to give each new MOP(S) Act employee a Fair Work Information Statement (FWIS) before the employee commences. You should have already been provided with a copy of the FWIS as part of your employment documentation.

National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) 

The NACC is an independent Commonwealth agency that detects, investigates, and reports on serious or systemic corrupt conduct in the Commonwealth public sector.

Members and senators of the Commonwealth Parliament including ministers, and their staff (MOP(S) Act employees) are encompassed by the NACC as public officials. The Introducing the National Anti-Corruption Commission e-learning module, provides a quick and simple introduction to the NACC to help you become familiar with the functions and powers of the Commission. 

Fact sheets are also available including Information for ministers, parliamentarians and their staff and how to make a referral, which provides guidance on what to consider in deciding to refer to the NACC, what information can be provided and how to lodge a referral. Further information can be found on the National Anti-Corruption Commission website.  

Work handover for personal employees

You may overlap your employment with another personal employee in the same position, for a period of up to two days, where the other employee is:

  • vacating a position (e.g. due to promotion, transfer or resignation)
  • commencing leave for a period of 12 weeks or more
  • returning from a period of leave of 12 weeks or more.

This arrangement is provided to allow personal employees to transfer work and relevant skills, and share information on office procedures. The handover period remains available where your work base is different to that of the other employee.

Studying and training

As part of your MOP(S) Act employment, MaPS with the support of your employer, encourages learning and professional development. A range of learning options are available including:

  • MOP(S) tailored Professional Development Program (PDP)
  • ad hoc training and professional development
  • studies assistance
  • training provided through home departments.

The PDP provides a broad range of training and resources to support your learning and development, with a focus on the following:

  • Leadership & Management
  • Working Effectively with Constituents
  • Foundations of Working in a Parliamentary Environment
  • Safe & Respectful Workplaces
  • Enhancing your career.

You can access the PDP via the PWSS Academy where you will find resources and courses on topics from leadership and writing speeches to mental health first aid and dealing with conflict. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, the Learning and Development team can work with you to find the right solution. All offerings provided as part of the PDP are free to all MOP(S) Act employees.

After body