Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 4 Hansard (22 April) . . Page.. 1147 ..
MR BERRY (continuing):
Clause 7, though, is a different issue. Clause 7 allows the engagement of certain former officers and employees, in particular, executives and senior executive officers. Mr Speaker, the explanatory memorandum describes the reasons for the proposed amendment and it says:
The changed provision will parallel existing provisions applying to other public employees.
Well, that is untrue. What happens to other public employees when they are made redundant is that they are paid certain benefits in relation to previous employment. For example, they receive two weeks pay for every year of service, up to a maximum of 48 weeks. They receive three times their superannuation entitlements in some respects. They also receive everything they own - that is, accrued long service leave, annual leave and any other accrued leave. That is for previous employment.
In the case of senior executives it is quite different because they are on short-term contracts and they do not accrue those benefits. If they are paid out they are not paid for prior service. The only way that they can be paid out if their contract is concluded earlier than was intended is for the Executive to make provision for a special benefit. That is a standard clause which appears in senior executives' contracts. The Executive can make provision for a special benefit. A special benefit would take into account the remaining part of the contract.
Ms Carnell: Not always, no.
MR BERRY: Ms Carnell interjects, "not always".
Ms Carnell: Well, never in my - - -
MR BERRY: It depends on whether the public servant is going to scream about their contract being ended and go off to the courts. If they were to go off to the courts, like one public servant had to, they would receive payment for that part of the contract which was breached. It is all about the remainder of the contract and what the former employee would wear or have a right to were he or she to pursue the matter in the courts.
Now, this is the rub. If these people were paid out for the future part of their contract and then were re-engaged they would be being paid twice. That is not the case with other employees. It is quite a different set of circumstances and I am yet to be convinced that I should support that particular amendment. I think it is flawed.
When I was looking at this matter I had my attention drawn to section 114 of the Public Sector Management Act which deals with the engagement of certain former officers as employees and contracts with certain former officers, and it goes into great detail about how employees other than executives and chief executive officers might be re-employed. I will quote the section. It says:
... if the person has -