17 April 2024

NSW Premier to review public sector employment act

| James Day
Start the conversation
NSW Parliament

The NSW Public Service Association and the Labor Party called for a review of the Government Sector Employment Act (GSE) prior to the 2023 state election. Photo: trigga.

NSW Premier Chris Minns has announced a review into the government’s employment act following the sacking of the Police Commissioner’s fourth senior media advisor.

According to The Guardian, over two years, the first three redundancy payments cost the state $687,000. While the fourth advisor is yet to receive a payout, the Premier said this review would look into senior public servant payouts and how they affected other government employees.

“These are large amounts of money that have been handed to senior executives,” Premier Minns said.

“It’s taxpayer money and I can understand community concern about those separation payments.”

READ ALSO Western Sydney Airport on schedule to open in fewer than 1000 days

A review of the GSE Act was last done under the Berejiklian government in 2020. It was commissioned following the NSW PSA raising issues in their submission to an independent panel. They included disciplinary processes, performance development and discrimination.

“We also note that the past five years have corresponded to a period of time where the turnover of staff within the public sector has probably been at its greatest ever,” NSW PSA claimed in its 2020 submission. “By design, job cuts and turnover has been greatest in ‘back office’ roles of government agencies.

“The result has been a substantial loss within human resource and industrial relations roles.

“Frontline managers dealing with these issues on a day-to-day basis have never had to do so with such a low level of support.”

READ ALSO The Water Cooler: Comings, goings, grants and consultations

While NSW PSA believed the act should have been replaced by its former iteration – the Public Sector Employment and Management Act 2002 – it did offer solutions for its shortcomings.

The review panel found the GSE Act’s purpose and objectives did not require significant amendment. However, they did make recommendations for its future implementation, which had raised “practical issues” for the state’s public service administration.

The new review will be conducted by the NSW Cabinet Office, which will publish its findings upon its completion.

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.