What we do
The Parliamentary Workplace Support Service (PWSS) is an independent and confidential support and complaint pathway for Commonwealth Parliamentary Workplace (CPW) participants. The PWSS’ trauma-informed support services are available for all CPW participants. This includes counselling supports, early intervention and, on a voluntary basis, the PWSS facilitating the informal resolution of complaints.
The PWSS’ independent workplace review mechanism is available to both current and former MOPS Act employees, and Parliamentarians, in relation to a broad 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 and 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.
The PWSS is staffed by highly skilled case coordinators with a mixture of expertise in trauma-informed support, counselling and case work. The case coordinators are here to help and will provide immediate support and advice on your options.
The PWSS is established as a function of the Parliamentary Service Commissioner and is independent of Executive Government, employing parliamentarians and political parties.
What does trauma-informed mean?
- Safety – considering your physical and emotional safety is a priority.
- Trustworthiness – maintaining appropriate confidentiality and boundaries.
- Choice – prioritising your choice and control over all interactions with us.
- Collaboration – maximising our collaboration with you.
- Empowerment – prioritising your empowerment and skill-building.
Who can access our services
If you work, or previously worked in a Commonwealth Parliamentary workplace you are eligible to access the PWSS for assistance with any workplace conduct issue.
People can remain anonymous when reporting an incident and while receiving support from a case coordinator. Anonymous reports of incidents or events in Parliamentary workplaces can also be made online through the PWSS website. The person can chose to use a pseudonym and can also choose to provide contact information on the form if they would like follow up support from a case coordinator.
Your case coordinator will be able to provide advice on how the PWSS can best assist you.
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 days the PWSS operates extended hours:
- Monday to Friday: 8:30am – 8pm
You can make an appointment outside of these hours by contacting the PWSS.
Our service standards
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. PWSS case coordinators 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; and
- Help you connect with appropriate and relevant information, services and support.
All parties to a complaint process will be treated fairly, with appropriate transparency around the process and how it will affect them. This includes notifying the subject of a complaint that a formal complaint has been made against them.
Independent workplace reviews will be conducted in accordance with procedural fairness and a party who has an adverse finding made against them will be given an opportunity to comment before the reviewer’s report is finalised. All parties will also be advised of internal and external review mechanisms.
The PWSS will not share your information without your consent. 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 (including investigators who undertake a workplace review) is independent from government, other agencies and departments and from employing parliamentarians, with oversight provided by the Parliamentary Service Commissioner. The PWSS will act impartially in the resolution of complaints.
PWSS processes are designed to give you autonomy and choice, including by explaining the likely outcomes of pursuing different options and supporting you to make your own decisions about how to proceed.
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.
We welcome your feedback of the PWSS, including complaints. Understanding your experience is important to us because it helps improve our service and provide better support to parties through the process.
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.