1.1 Office Staff
Office of the Minister
Ministers are entitled to staff and resources to assist them in the performance of their duties. Staff provide support to the Minister in fulfilling portfolio responsibilities. It is important for the Minister to make sure their staff members are aware of:
- the roles and responsibilities of the portfolio within the overall policy platform of government; and
- the scope and sensitivities attached to the Minister’s portfolio.
1.1.1 Staff entitlement
The number and classification level of staff may vary between ministerial offices depending on portfolio requirements. Remuneration levels for staff recognise qualifications and experience and are determined by the Premier.
Ministers should provide a signed written recommendation to the Premier regarding the number and level of staff they need in their office. The Office of the Premier will then advise the ministerial office and Ministerial Services of the Premier’s decision.
The tables below provide a general guide of classification ranges for ministerial staff.
Classification guide – senior portfolio
|SES3||Chief of Staff|
|SO(3)||Senior Policy Advisor|
|SO(2)||Senior Media Advisor|
|AO6||Executive Assistant/ Office Manager|
Classification guide – junior portfolio
|SES2||Chief of Staff|
|SO(2)||Senior Policy Advisor|
|AO8||Senior Media Advisor|
|AO5||Assistant Advisor||Executive Assistant/ Office Manager|
Additionally, each Minister is entitled to a position of Chauffeur, classification OO3.
1.1.2 Departmental Liaison Officers
Departmental Liaison Officers (DLOs) are staff appointed by their department to facilitate communication and liaison between the ministerial office and the portfolio department.
The need for DLOs varies between portfolio departments and DLOs are not appointed in all instances.
DLOs are not an extension to the ministerial staff and their role should be limited to their designated department liaison function. DLOs should not do work that is normally the responsibility of ministerial staff.
Ministers have to consult with the Office of the Premier about their need for a DLO prior to a DLO being appointed.
1.1.3 Basis of employment
All new engagements to ministerial offices are on a temporary basis initially for a period of three months.
The basis of ongoing employment following this three month period depends on whether the staff member has come from within or outside the Queensland Public Service.
Ministerial staff drawn from the Queensland Public Service
All staff drawn from the Queensland Public Service to work in ministerial offices are granted leave without pay from their substantive positions.
These staff are appointed on a temporary basis in ministerial offices under s6 of the Ministerial and Other Office Holder Staff Act 2010 (PDF, 474 KB) and in line with arrangements approved by the Premier.
The terms and conditions of their appointment are detailed in their appointment letter.
Public servants who accept a position in a ministerial office at a level below their substantive public service role are paid at the ministerial salary level only.
Public servants employed in a ministerial office in a higher level role to their substantive role maintain their substantive salary and are paid an allowance up to their ministerial salary level.
Public servants appointed in this way retain their rights and privileges under the Public Service Act 2008 (PDF, 999 KB) and receive terms and conditions of employment contained in Directives issued under s26(1) and (2) of the Ministerial and Other Office Holder Staff Act 2010 (PDF, 474 KB).
When the period of temporary appointment ends (or at any time where either the appointee, or the Director-General upon the recommendation of the Minister, decides that the appointment should cease) the staff member returns to the Department from which the leave without pay took place, at the classification level to which they were appointed prior to their temporary engagement in the ministerial office.
All paid leave taken after the end of the temporary appointment is paid at the staff member’s substantive departmental salary level.
Ministerial staff engaged from outside the Queensland Public Service
Non-public servants are engaged in a ministerial office under an Employment Contract pursuant to s6 of the Ministerial and Other Office Holder Staff Act 2010 (PDF, 474 KB). Under this engagement they are not officers of the Public Service.
The benefits and conditions of employment include:
- Employment in ministerial offices is subject to the Directives issued under s26(1) and (2) of the Ministerial and Other Office Holder Staff Act 2010 (PDF, 474 KB).
- The hours of work determined by the Chief of Staff.
- The Government meets all necessary expenses that a staff member incurs through performing their official duties in line with policies approved by the Premier.
- If the Engagement is terminated for other than a breach of contract the severance conditions detailed in the Employment Contract apply.
Completion of the three month temporary period
A review of a staff member’s service is to be made just prior to the end of the three month period to assess their suitability for ongoing employment.
If a staff member is not recommended for permanent employment, their engagement ceases at the end of the temporary period.
Ministerial Services will write to the employee when formal notification is received from the Office of the Premier.
Approval for the appointment of permanent staff
Ministers should provide a signed written recommendation to the Office of the Premier about the appointment of permanent staff, including proposed salary levels and commencement dates. The Office of the Premier will then advise the ministerial office and Ministerial Services of the Premier’s decision.
No salary will be paid to any employee until the Office of the Premier’s approval is received.
On receipt of advice from the Office of the Premier, Ministerial Services will send the engagement documentation.
1.1.4 Relief arrangements
Relief staff may be needed when staff are absent on leave or when the office workload temporarily increases beyond its normal capacity.
Relief staff may be sourced through:
- other Ministerial offices; or
- Departments within the Minister’s portfolio.
The Minister should provide a signed written recommendation to the Office of the Premier about the relief arrangement, including proposed salary level and commencement date. The Office of the Premier will then advise the ministerial office and Ministerial Services in regards to a decision.
Costs incurred in sourcing relief staff from departments are a charge to the Office of the Minister. While relieving, the employee is paid by their home agency with recoupment of costs made by way of tax invoice to Ministerial Services.
Relief arrangements will generally only be considered where funds are available within the existing Ministerial office budget.
Ministerial Services will not pay any salary, allowances or tax invoices for relief arrangements until the Office of the Premier’s approval is received.
Chauffeurs must be available, where practicable, for driving duties for other Ministers, if they are not required by their respective Minister.
The Principal Human Resource Consultant, Ministerial Services may be contacted when relief cannot be found from another office or other sources.
1.1.5 Salary level reviews
The Minister can review the salary levels of his/her staff at any time subject to their available budget for employee related costs.
The Minister should provide a signed written recommendation to the Office of the Premier. The Office of the Premier will then advise the ministerial office and Ministerial Services of the decision on the recommendation.
Salary levels will not be adjusted until the Office of the Premier has approved the increase.
1.1.6 Termination of employment
The Office of the Premier and Ministerial Services must be contacted before any action is taken to terminate the employment of staff.
Staff members who are ceasing employment must return any property that has been assigned to them as early as practicable before exiting the Office of the Minister.
Public Servants employed in Ministerial Offices
The temporary appointment of public servants to ministerial office positions may be terminated at any time if either the appointee or the Director-General, Department of the Premier and Cabinet, upon the recommendation of the Minister, determines that the appointment should cease.
The staff members return to the department from which they had taken leave without pay, and any allowance being paid or salary sacrifice arrangements in place while in the ministerial position will cease.
The Office of the Premier and Ministerial Services should be notified before any action is taken to terminate the temporary appointment of a public servant to a ministerial position.
Cessation of Minister’s Commission
When the Governor accepts the resignation or dismissal of a Minister, that Minister ceases to hold a commission and the following consequences will flow:
- All temporary appointments of public servants in the Minister’s office automatically terminate, unless otherwise determined, and those officers return to their respective Departments at the classification they held immediately prior to their engagement in the ministerial office.
- Employment Contracts remain in force pending advice to the Director-General, Department of the Premier and Cabinet, to terminate employment. If employment is terminated, the severance conditions detailed in the Employment Contract will apply.
Change of Government
Termination of existing arrangements
When it is known that there is to be a change of government, the employment of all staff members engaged under an employment contract is terminated effective from the date determined by the Director-General, Department of the Premier and Cabinet.
The temporary appointment of public servants to positions within the ministerial office automatically ceases, unless otherwise determined, and these staff members return to their respective Departments.
Interim staff arrangements for incoming Ministers
In the case of a change of government, the incoming Minister should sign and send an interim staffing list, including salary levels and commencement dates, to the Premier as soon as practicable.
The Office of the Premier will then advise the ministerial office and Ministerial Services in regards to the Premier’s decision.
No salary will be paid under the interim arrangements until approval is received from the Office of the Premier.
All interim staffing arrangements are on a temporary basis until ministerial staffing arrangements are finalised.
Transition of staff
Staff members who were formerly employed within the Office of the Leader of the Opposition may be directly transitioned into positions within Ministers’ offices following a change of Government.
Similarly, staff members who were employed within ministerial offices may be directly transitioned into the Office of the Leader of the Opposition following a change of government.