The Parliamentary Workplace Support Service (PWSS) is a new function established in September 2021 to provide independent and confidential service for everyone who works in, or has worked in, a Commonwealth parliamentary workplace (CPW).
During the reporting period, the PWSS worked closely with parliamentarians, their staff, the parliamentary departments and stakeholders to establish itself as a core service within CPWs. The PWSS has appreciated the warm welcome from CPW participants and has worked at pace to build trust and confidence in the new service.
The PWSS has 3 core functions: support, including conflict resolution; education; and workplace investigations for parliamentarians and their staff. The support it provides is intentionally far reaching and includes prevention, early intervention, local resolution or mediation of issues.
The PWSS’ targeted education and training function supports CPW participants to prevent and then manage workplace issues.
Where appropriate, the PWSS will also facilitate an independent investigation – referred to as a review – for complaints about workplace conflict involving parliamentarians and Members of Parliament (Staff) 1984 Act (MOP(S) Act) staff. An independent investigator is assigned to independently investigate the allegations, with each step of the investigation conducted independently of the PWSS.
The PWSS will see further change in 2023. Following government consultation with MOP(S) Act employees and the Parliamentary Leadership Taskforce, agreement was reached to establish a new independent statutory human resource entity in 2023, to be known as the PWSS.
The PWSS will work closely with the Parliamentary Service Commissioner, the Department of Finance, and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to ensure the new independent statutory entity and its services are geared around CPW clients and their needs.
Head, Parliamentary Workplace Support Service