On 1 March 2023, the Public Sector Act 2022 (the Act) commenced, repealing and replacing the Public Service Act 2008 (previous PS Act). This new Act sets out a new legislative employment framework for the Queensland public sector.
The Act provides a modern, employee-focused legislative framework to ensure Queensland’s public sector is fair, responsive, inclusive and a leader in public administration. It applies to public service departments and, more broadly, to public sector entities. This increases the scope to include additional entities that were not covered under the Public Service Act 2008.
The Act applies to all public service departments, public sector entities (including formerly declared public service offices) and public service entities (formerly scheduled public service offices). The Act does not apply to government-owned corporations.
The Act responds to two reviews:
The first review provided 99 recommendations and outlined how the laws should be changed to meet the objectives of fairness in the employment relationship, responsiveness of employees to the community and to government, and inclusiveness of public sector employment.
The second review provided 14 recommendations to ensure a culture and accountability framework that is:
The Act also introduces a new public sector framework, consistent with the primary recommendation of the review by Peter Bridgman, “A Fair and Responsive Public Service for All” (the Bridgman Review in 2019), to implement a modern and simplified legislative framework for all Queensland public sector employees.
This means that public sector employees in Queensland will now be subject to a new legislative employment framework that is modern, employee-focused and designed to ensure fairness, responsiveness and inclusiveness in public sector employment.
Some of the key changes brought about by the Act include:
These are significant changes for employers and employees alike.
It is important for employers to review their employment contracts and ensure they are compliant with these new rules. We recommend that if employers or employees have any questions or concerns regarding the changes to the legislation or any other employment law issues, they should seek legal advice.
Our employment law team is able to assist both employers and employees in obtaining comprehensive legal advice.
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This article is of a general nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. If you require further information, advice or assistance for your specific circumstances, please contact Gilshenan & Luton, Criminal & Employment Lawyers Brisbane and Sunshine Coast, Queensland.