New employees

Last updated
30 April 2021

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.

Employee induction checklist

Your Office Manager or other colleagues in your office will assist you in getting started. On your first day, complete the employee induction checklist (see related resources).

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.

Safe and respectful workplaces

Ensuring a safe and respectful working environment is the shared responsibility of everyone in the workplace. You can access a range of guidance and support to assist when dealing with WHS incidents or concerns. It is encouraged that you complete WHS training

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 MOP(S) Learning for videos and guides that step you through common HR functions.

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 Minister for Finance 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 Minister for Finance 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.

Statement of Standards

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

Among other things, the Statement requires electorate and personal employees provide an up-to-date statement of private interests to their employing Minister.

Your employing Minister needs to be satisfied that you have no conflicts of interest and needs to endorse your statement in writing. You are required to update your statement every year and inform your employing Minister within 28 days of any significant changes in the information provided.

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.

Lobbying Code of Conduct

Ministerial staff are expected to comply with the Lobbying Code of Conduct which sets out requirements ministerial staff are expected to meet in relation to contact with lobbyists. The code also prohibits certain lobbying activities by former ministerial staff for 12 months after they cease employment under the MOP(S) Act.

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.

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.

Professional development

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:

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

Training categories include, but are not limited to:

  • communication
  • mental health and wellbeing
  • managing and engaging with constituents
  • HR and MOP(S) Act employee entitlements
  • Understanding the Parliamentary Business Resources framework (includes responsibilities and obligations using public money).
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