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Parliamentary Service Amendment Bill 2001

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The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parliamentary Service Amendment Bill 2001

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Explanatory Memorandum



OUTLINE

 

This Bill proposes amendments to the Parliamentary Service Act 1999 to clarify the arrangements in relation to mobility of employees between the Parliamentary Service and the Australian Public Service (section 26) and to provide for continuity where the name of a parliamentary department is changed or where a parliamentary department is created to replace an existing department or departments (section 54).

 

Section 26 of the Parliamentary Service Act, which deals with mobility between the two Services, was intended to provide for arrangements to cover the movement of employees between the Parliamentary Service and the Australian Public Service.

 

However, section 26 of the Parliamentary Service Act did not operate as intended because of drafting changes between the 1997 and 1999 Public Service Bills which were not picked up in section 26 of the Parliamentary Service Bill 1999.

 

The drafting of section 26 of the Parliamentary Service Act resulted in employees of the Parliamentary Service having mobility rights with Australian Public Service Departments and Executive Agencies created under the Public Service Act but not with Australian Public Service Statutory Agencies (for example, Centrelink or the Australian Taxation Office).

 

Accordingly, it is proposed to repeal section 26 of the Parliamentary Service Act and replace it with two new sections which will provide for mobility arrangements to be available to all ongoing employees in both Services and to enable those employees to transfer their accrued leave entitlements to their new employer.

 

The proposed new section 26 provides for the portability of annual leave, and personal or carer's leave (however they may be described) if an ongoing employee in one Service is engaged in the other Service as an ongoing employee. The provisions also provide that an employee stops being an employee in his or her former Service upon engagement as an ongoing employee in the other Service.

 

The proposed new section 26A deals with the situation where an ongoing employee in one Service is granted leave without pay to take up employment as a non-ongoing employee in the other Service. These provisions also cover arrangements for the portability of annual leave, and personal or carer's leave (however they may be described) between Services.

 

The operation of the proposed sections 26 and 26A of the Parliamentary Service Act will be supported by complementary amendments to the Parliamentary Service Determinations and Public Service Regulations.

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT

 

The amendments are not expected to have any significant financial impact.

 



NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

1         Short Title

 

The short title of the Act will be the Parliamentary Service Amendment Act 2001 , reflecting that it will amend the Parliamentary Service Act 1999 .

 

2         Commencement

 

This clause provides that the proposed Act commences upon a date to be fixed by Proclamation. If the Act does not commence within 6 months of receiving Royal Assent, it is taken to commence immediately after that period.

 

3         Schedule(s)

 

This clause provides for amendments to the Parliamentary Service Act as set out in the Schedule.

 

 

SCHEDULE 1 - AMENDMENTS

 

Items 1 and 2: Definitions

 

These items insert new definitions of non-ongoing APS employee and ongoing APS employee into section 7 of the Parliamentary Service Act.

 

Item 3:  Section 26

 

This item repeals section 26 of the Parliamentary Service Act, and replaces it with new sections 26 and 26A.

 

The new section 26 deals with movement of ongoing employees from one Service (the Parliamentary Service or the Australian Public Service) to the other Service. The new subsections 26(1) and 26(2) provide that an ongoing employee in one Service is eligible for engagement as an ongoing employee in the other Service and that engagement decisions are subject to review in accordance with the Public Service Act and Parliamentary Service determinations.

 

The new subsection 26(3) provides that ongoing employees moving from one Service to the other Service as ongoing employees retain their existing or accrued entitlements relating to annual leave, and personal or carer's leave (however described).

 

The new subsection 26(4) provides that an ongoing employee moving from one Service to the other stops being an employee in the former Service.

 

The new subsections 26A(1) and (2) deal with ongoing employees in either Service who are granted leave without pay to take up employment as non-ongoing employees in the other Service. It provides that such employees retain their existing or accrued entitlements relating to annual leave, and personal or carer's leave (however described) in respect of both their ongoing employment and the period of non-ongoing employment in the other Service.

 

The new subsection 26A(3) provides that any period of leave without pay referred to under the new subsections 26A(1) or (2) will count for all purposes except accrual of annual leave, or personal or carer's leave (however described). The exception is to rule out any duplication of leave accruals for any period of leave without pay.

 

Item 4:  Parliamentary Departments

 

This item deals with arrangements for changing the name of a department (other than the Department of the Senate and the Department of the House of Representatives) in the Parliamentary Service and provides mechanisms for the orderly transfer of existing legal agreements and for the continuation of staffing arrangements. It also provides mechanisms for the orderly transfer of existing legal agreements where a parliamentary department (other than the Department of the Senate and the Department of the House of Representatives) is abolished and its functions conferred on another parliamentary department. It inserts two new sections - 54A and 54B.

 

The new subsection 54A(1) provides that the name of a department (other than the Department of the Senate and the Department of the House of Representatives) in the Parliamentary Service can be altered by a resolution passed by each House of Parliament.

 

The new subsection 54A(2) provides that where the name of a department is so changed, a reference to the former departmental name in a law of the Commonwealth, a contract to which the Commonwealth is a party or in some other instrument of the Commonwealth will be taken as a reference to the new departmental name.

 

The new subsection 54A(3) provides that where the name of a department is so changed, the Secretary of the formerly named department remains the Secretary of the newly named department.

 

The new subsection 54A(4) provides that where the name of a department is so changed, employees of the formerly named department remain employees of the newly named department. 

 

The new subsection 54A(5) provides that the terms and conditions of employment of the Secretary and employees continue unchanged if a department in the Parliamentary Service is renamed.

 

The new subsection 54A(6) provides that where the name of a department is changed by the resolution of each House of Parliament, unless that resolution provides otherwise, the functions of the department are not altered.

 

The new section 54B provides that if a department (other than the Department of the Senate and the Department of the House of Representatives) in the Parliamentary Service is abolished and its functions transferred to another department in the Parliamentary Service, a reference to the abolished department in a law of the Commonwealth, a contract to which the Commonwealth is a party or in some other instrument of the Commonwealth will be taken as a reference to the department to which those functions were transferred.