This is a review of legislation governing public employment—primarily the Public Service Act 2008 but also other Acts dealing with employment, such as the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011. There are more than 90 such Acts in Queensland.
Public employment is a complicated area of law, beset by technicality, but important because these laws govern the employment of some 250,000 people and the services received by five million Queenslanders, business and the community.
In reviewing the Acts and talking to stakeholders, it is clear the Public Service Act 2008 is generally seen as not ‘fit for purpose’. For a fair and inclusive public service, responsive to community and government, the Act needs to be changed.
This review represents an opportunity to craft new Queensland public employment laws that are meaningful to employees, government and community alike; laws that are nuanced and not just managerial or administrative but enabling and empowering as well as coherent and efficient.
Many of the issues raised by stakeholders are about behaviour and culture, things not easy to legislate for. But an Act can create institutions, mandate processes, allocate responsibility, and provide signposts and rules that lead towards change.
This issues paper is an opportunity for those interested in public employment to chart the direction for a new set of laws for a fair and responsive public service for all.
While there are specific questions raised in this paper, input is not restricted to those questions. All comments and suggestions are welcome.
A final report is scheduled for late March 2019.