What we do
The Parliamentary Workplace Support Service (PWSS) is an independent and confidential service for everyone who works or volunteers in a Commonwealth Parliamentary workplace (CPW). The PWSS is a function of the Parliamentary Service Commissioner and is independent of Government, employing parliamentarians, Parliamentary Departments and political parties.
The PWSS has three core functions:
- support, including conflict resolution;
- education; and
- workplace reviews or investigations for Parliamentarians and Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 (MOPS Act) staff.
The PWSS’ support services are available for all CPW participants. Support can include counselling, early intervention and, on a voluntary basis, facilitating the local resolution of workplace complaints. The PWSS support function is staffed by highly skilled case coordinators with a mixture of expertise in trauma-informed support, counselling and case work. The PWSS can provide immediate support and advice on your options.
The PWSS’ education function provides information and resources to build the capability of CPW participants to create and maintain safe, respectful and high performing workplaces. Education offerings are contextual and responsive to client needs, informed by the expertise and experience of PWSS staff and those reflections shared by PWSS clients.
The PWSS’ independent workplace review mechanism is available to both current and former MOPS Act employees, and Parliamentarians, in relation to a range of workplace conduct issues at the discretion of the Head of the PWSS. The scope of incidents the PWSS may review include incidents of bullying, assault, sexual assault, harassment, sexual harassment, and unreasonable conduct. Current and former MOPS Act employees and Parliamentarians can make complaints relating to the conduct of current and former MOPS Act employees and Parliamentarians.
Who can access our services
If you work or volunteer in a CPW you can contact the PWSS for assistance with any workplace conflict.
You can remain anonymous when reporting an incident and while receiving support from the PWSS. Anonymous reports of incidents or events in Parliamentary workplaces can also be made online through the PWSS website. You can chose to use a pseudonym and can also choose to provide contact information on the form if you would like follow up support from a case coordinator.
How you can contact us
You can contact a case coordinator at the PWSS 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Phone: 1800 PH PWSS (1800 747 977)
SMS: 0487 112 755
The PWSS office located in M2.105 at Australian Parliament House operates during business hours:
- Monday to Friday: 8:30am – 5pm
On parliamentary sitting weeks the PWSS operates extended hours:
- Monday to Wednesday: 8:30am – 8pm
You can make an appointment outside of these hours by contacting the PWSS.
Our service standards
Supportive and trauma-informed
The PWSS operates according to the principle of doing no harm. This approach acknowledges that workplace conduct issues can have a diverse and significant impact on an individual and that the support needed may be influenced by a variety of factors. The PWSS will:
- listen to you without judgement and acknowledge your experience;
- discuss your options with you and respect your ideas and preferences;
- ask about your needs and concerns;
- help you connect with appropriate and relevant information, services and support; and
- provide you with the appropriate resources and education to support respectiful workplaces.
The PWSS is underpinned by the five principles of trauma informed service: safety; choice; collaboration; trustworthiness; and empowerment. All parties to the complaint process will be empowered by the PWSS to understand the process, how they can access support and make informed decisions going forward.
Fair and consistent
The PWSS deliver a universally consistent service to all Commonwealth parliamentary workplace participants and other stakeholders, regardless of their position, party or other status.
All parties to a complaint process are offered support, treated fairly, with appropriate transparency around the process and how it might affect them.
Independent workplace reviews are conducted in accordance with procedural fairness and a person who has an adverse finding proposed against them is given an opportunity to comment before the reviewer’s report is finalised.
The PWSS will not share your information without your consent, unless required to do so by law. The PWSS will operate on the expectation that your identity, the identity of the complainant and details about the process remain confidential, in order to promote the integrity of the process and ensure that all parties are safe, supported and afforded fairness. In the event that your matter proceeds to an independent workplace review this expectation will be reflected in a good faith confidentiality agreement.
The PWSS is independent from government, Parliamentary Departments, and from employing parliamentarians, with oversight provided by the Parliamentary Service Commissioner. The PWSS will act impartially in the resolution of complaints.
The PWSS welcomes feedback, including complaints. Understanding your experience is important to us because it helps improve our service.
If you are unhappy with the PWSS we encourage you to speak with your case coordinator in the first instance, so that you can discuss your concerns with them directly. You can also choose to provide feedback to another PWSS officer.
You are also able to offer feedback or make a complaint through the Feedback Form or contact the PWSS:
Phone: 1800 PH PWSS (1800 747 977)
A written record will be made of any oral feedback or complaint received about the PWSS, though you can choose to provide feedback anonymously.
Details on how we collect and use feedback and manage complaints can be found in the Feedback and Complaints Policy.