HPW – Higher Duties Reviews & member update

Posted on November 11, 2020

I hope this email finds you well as we head towards the end of what has been a very challenging year. This year has presented many challenges for our members and the work they undertake – yet we have seen our members rise to the challenge and continue to provide the best services to Queenslanders in need.

Higher Duties Directive Update

Thanks to the work of Together members, changes were made to the Public Service Act that gave those working in higher duties roles a process to seek conversion to a permanent position in that role. You can read about those changes and the new process here.

Members are starting to receive outcomes of their review, both successful and unsuccessful. If you receive an outcome that does not offer you a permanent position its important to remember that the you may still have further avenues to appeal:

  • If you have been in your Higher Duties role for 24 months or more you have the right to appeal;
  • You have 21 days to appeal a decision from when it was made;
  • The decision must consider all necessary criteria and provide evidence on which the findings were made;
  • There is no requirement within the directive for the role to be vacant.

I encourage all members who receive a decision not to convert them to contact their union office and seek advice as to your appeal rights. Appeals are heard by the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission as an independent body and are not dealt with by the Department themselves. Members should contact us at yourunion@together.org.au and include a copy of the decision where possible.

Your union will be raising our concerns with the Department's process at the upcoming HPW Consultative Committee – the forum where union members and management meet to discuss any issues for our members in the workplace. If you have come across any difficulties with the process or have any other concerns please contact me at hpw@together.org.au

Temporary Employment Directive Update

Along with the introduction of the changes to higher duties there were also some improvements to the temporary employment directive. Previously, temporary employees were required to be in a same or similar role for 24 months before they could be reviewed for permanency. Thanks to the efforts of our members temporary employees can now request a review after 12 months of employment (the Department is still only required to initiate a review after 24 months).

If you are a temporary employee and have any questions regarding this change please contact me at hpw@together.org.au

Pandemic Directive

The Queensland Government's Pandemic Directive continues to be active and remains in place while a Pandemic is declared. While the Directive is in place, there are still provisions for continued working from home for vulnerable workers and workers living with or caring for vulnerable people. If you are being asked to return to the workplace and you are not comfortable doing so, please contact me at hpw@together.org.au

Workplace Health and Safety Representatives

The primary role of a Health and Safety Representative (HSR) is to represent the Health and Safety interests of a work group and raise any issues with their employer. It is an important role the ensures that workplace health and safety issues are dealt with quickly and appropriately. Health and safety is important in all workplaces.

Over the past couple of months we have seen the election of HSRs in a number of work groups within HPW around the state, but we know there are still some areas that don't have an HSR.

If your area doesn't currently have an HSR please contact me at hpw@together.org.au to discuss how the election of an HSR can occur.

As always, feel free to contact me should you wish to discuss anything that is impacting you in your workplace.

1800 177 244