Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas said today the Weatherill Government’s much hyped ‘forced redundancy for public servants’ policy was virtually unworkable for government departments.
In late 2014 the Weatherill Government introduced its new policy of allowing forced redundancy of surplus public servants after a 12-month period.
The Government proudly boasted that this policy, detailed in Determination 7, would signal the end of ‘departure lounges’ in departments for long-term surplus employees.
However, some senior public servants have reported to the Liberal Party that this policy is so complex it is virtually unworkable.
The fact that the Government has now confirmed that after two years not a single employee has been retrenched shows the policy is not delivering what it was meant to deliver.
The Department of State Development reported to the Budget and Finance Committee this month they had 36 excess employees but so far had not been able to use the new policy on any of those employees.
DSD reported in June 2015 they had had one surplus employee since November 2011 but had not been able to use Determination 7 because they were placed in a short-term position.
In fact, they reported that although one employee had reached the 12-month mark of being surplus because they had put that person in a short-term temporary position until 13 January 2017 the policy could not be used.
Mr Rick Janssan, Executive Director, Strategy and Business Services at DSD, when asked if the policy was unworkable replied:
“I think it’s challenging for us but we work within the constraints of the government’s policy position.”
When asked if DSD would be a more efficient organization if a surplus employee could be retrenched after 12 months if there was no permanent job for them, Mr Janssan said:
“I guess if they were the policy parameters that the government had accepted, yes, that probably would provide more flexibility. As I said, we work around the current policy dimensions.”
“Clearly if the policy is proving to be unworkable then significant taxpayers’ money is being wasted and a review should be conducted of the policy.
“This is yet another example of the financial mismanagement and incompetence of the Weatherill Labor Government.”