Section M – Workforce adjustment

Updated: 6 December 2016

82 Resignation or Retirement

82.1 An Employee may resign or retire from the AEC by giving at least two weeks' written notice to their supervisor that includes a date of effect. Where an Employee submits a notice that takes effect on a public holiday, it will be deemed effective from close of business on the working day immediately prior to the public holiday. The Electoral Commissioner may agree to a lesser period of notice upon request from the Employee.

83 Redeployment and Redundancy


83.1 Clause 83 applies to non-probationary ongoing excess Employees.

83.2 An Employee is excess to the requirements of the AEC, if the Electoral Commissioner determines:

  1. the Employee is included in a class of employees in the AEC, and this class comprises a greater number of employees than is necessary for the efficient and economic working of the AEC; or
  2. the services of the Employee cannot be effectively used because of technological or other changes in the work methods of the AEC or structural or similar changes in the nature, scope or organisation of the functions of the AEC; or
  3. where the duties usually performed by the Employee are to be performed at adifferent locality, and the Employee is not willing to perform duties at the different locality and the Electoral Commissioner has determined that these provisions will apply to that Employee.

83.3 Where the Employee nominates a representative, the Electoral Commissioner will hold discussions with the Employee and the Employee's Representative or, if the Employee requests, with the Employee's Representative only.

83.4 The Electoral Commissioner will provide the names of potentially excess Employees to the relevant Employee Representative only with the express authority of those Employees.

83.5 The Electoral Commissioner will comply with the requirements under the FWA, in situations where 15 or more Employees are likely to become excess, and will raise the issue for discussion with the AEC Consultative Forum.

Initial consultation

83.6 When the Electoral Commissioner becomes aware that an Employee is likely to become excess the Electoral Commissioner will advise the Employee of that in writing.

83.7 As part of the initial consultation process, the Electoral Commissioner will then hold discussions with the Employee or, the Employee's Representative, to consider options such as:

  1. reassignment of a potentially excess Employee to a suitable vacancy at the same level within the AEC and/or across the APS;
  2. mechanisms to assist in redeployment to other APS agencies; and
  3. any other measures that could be taken to resolve the situation, including redeployment opportunities for the Employee below the classification level or the appropriateness of voluntary redundancy.

83.8 The Electoral Commissioner may invite Employees who are not excess Employees to express interest in voluntary retrenchment, where the retrenchment of those Employees would permit the redeployment of Employees who are in a redundancy situation and who would otherwise be excess.

83.9 The initial consultation period will be no less than four weeks unless the Employee requests a shorter period of consultation.

Advice and information to be made available

83.10 In order to assist the Employee to make a decision, a potentially excess Employee is entitled to the following advice and information during the first two weeks of the initial consultation period:

  1. the amount of severance pay, payment in lieu of notice and paid leave credits they would be entitled to;
  2. accumulated superannuation contributions;
  3. options for contact with Comsuper regarding superannuation benefits, entitlements and superannuation advice;
  4. taxation rules applying to the various payments; and
  5. financial advice and/or career counselling up to a maximum reimbursement of $600.00.

83.11 The information at clause 83.10 will be updated at the Employee's request at later stages of the process of redeployment and redundancy.

Offer of Voluntary Redundancy

83.12 At the end of the initial consultation period, the Electoral Commissioner may make an offer of voluntary redundancy to an excess Employee. Only one offer of voluntary redundancy can be made to an Employee during each excess staffing situation.

Consideration period

83.13 Where the Electoral Commissioner makes an offer of voluntary redundancy, the Employee will have a four week consideration period in which to consider the offer and to advise the Electoral Commissioner in writing whether they wish to accept voluntary redundancy or prefer to be redeployed.

83.14 Where the Employee has received the information outlined at clause 83.10 above and requests to reduce the consideration period, the Electoral Commissioner may agree to do so. Where a consideration period of less than four weeks is agreed, the AEC will pay out any unexpired portion of the consideration period.

Notice of termination

83.15 If the Employee elects to accept the offer of voluntary redundancy when it is made, the Electoral Commissioner will give notice and terminate the employment under section 29 of the PSA and pay in lieu of notice (if applicable), and the Employee will be entitled to the severance benefits set out at clauses 83.18 to 83.25.

83.16 The period of notice will be four weeks, or five weeks for an Employee who:

  1. is 45 years of age with at least five years of continuous service; or
  2. has at least 20 years' service.

83.17 The Electoral Commissioner may elect to make payment in lieu of notice. An Employee terminated in these circumstances is entitled to voluntary redundancy severance benefits as set out at clauses 83.18 to 83.25.

Severance benefit

83.18 In addition to any other benefits payable on termination, an Employee who agrees to voluntary redundancy and whose employment is terminated is entitled to be paid a sum equal to two weeks of full time equivalent Salary for each completed year of continuous service, plus a pro rata payment for completed months of service since the last completed year of service, subject to any minimum amount the Employee is entitled to under the National Employment Standards.

83.19 The minimum sum payable as a severance benefit will be four weeks of Salary and the maximum will be 48 weeks of Salary.

83.20 The severance benefit will be calculated on a pro rata basis for any period where an Employee has worked or is working part-time hours during their period of service and the Employee has less than 24 years full-time service. Where the period of continuous service, on the basis of which a severance benefit will be calculated, is comprised of both full time and part-time service, eligible full time service shall be counted before the part-time service. Where part-time service has been worked over variable weekly hours, the periods of greater weekly hours will be counted first.

83.21 Service for severance pay purposes means:

  1. service in the AEC;
  2. government service as defined in section 10 of the Long Service Leave (Commonwealth Employees) Act 1976;
  3. service with the Commonwealth (other than service with a Joint Commonwealth-State body corporate in which the Commonwealth does not have a controlling interest) which is recognised for long service leave purposes;
  4. service with the Australian Defence Forces, except where the member has voluntarily retired with an employer-financed benefit;
  5. APS service immediately preceding deemed resignation under the repealed section 49 of the Public Service Act 1922, if the service has not previously been recognised for severance pay purposes; and
  6. service in another organisation where:
    1. an Employee was reassigned duties from the APS to that organisation with a transfer of function; or
    2. an Employee engaged by that organisation on work within a function is appointed as a result of the transfer of that function to the APS; and
    3. such service is recognised for long service leave purposes.

83.22 Where periods of service are not continuous, earlier periods of service will only count where there are no breaks between those periods, except where:

  1. the break in service is less than one month and occurs where an offer of employment with the new employer was made and accepted by the Employee before ceasing employment with the preceding employer; or
  2. the earlier period of service was with the APS and ceased because the Employee was deemed to have resigned from the APS on marriage under the repealed section 49 of the Public Service Act 1922.

83.23 Any period of service will not count for severance pay purposes if the previous service ceased:

  1. through termination on the following grounds, or on a ground equivalent to any of the following grounds:
    1. the Employee lacks, or has lost, an essential qualification for performing his or her duties;
    2. non-performance, or unsatisfactory performance, of duties;
    3. inability to perform duties because of physical or mental incapacity;
    4. failure to satisfactorily complete an entry level training course;
    5. failure to meet a condition imposed under subsection 22(6) of the PSA; or
    6. a breach of the APS code of conduct;
  2. on a ground equivalent to a ground listed in the previous paragraph under the repealed Public Service Act 1922:
    1. through voluntary termination at or above the minimum retiring age applicable to the Employee; or
    2. with the payment of a redundancy benefit or similar payment or an employer financed termination benefit.

83.24 Absences from work, which do not count as service for long service leave purposes, will not count as service for severance pay purposes.

83.25 For the purpose of calculating any payment, Salary will include:

  1. the Employee's Salary at their substantive Classification; or
  2. the Salary of the higher Classification, where the Employee has been paid at the higher Classification for a continuous period of at least 12 months immediately preceding the date on which the Employee is given notice of termination; and
  3. other allowances in the nature of Salary which are paid during periods of annual leave and on a regular basis, excluding allowances which are a reimbursement for expenses incurred, or a payment for disabilities associated with the performance of duty.


83.26 Employees who, during the consideration period, indicate a preference for redeployment will be advised in writing at the end of the consideration period that they are excess and may elect to be referred to the APS online redeployment register if available or an alternate redeployment service provider.

Retention period

83.27 Unless the Employee agrees, the employment of an excess Employee will not be involuntarily terminated until the relevant retention period below has elapsed:

  1. thirteen months, where an Employee has 20 or more years of service or is over 45 years of age; or
  2. seven months, for other Employees.

83.28 If an Employee is entitled to a redundancy payment in accordance with the National Employment Standards, the relevant period in clause 83.27 above is reduced by the number of weeks redundancy pay that the Employee will be entitled to under the National Employment Standards on termination, as at the expiration of the retention period (as adjusted by this clause).

83.29 The retention period will commence on the day that the Employee receives advice in writing that they are excess.

83.30 The retention period may, at the discretion of the Electoral Commissioner, be extended by any periods of paid personal leave with a certificate for personal illness or injury, or periods of compensation leave granted during the retention period.

83.31 During the retention period, the Electoral Commissioner and the Employee will cooperate to find alternative employment at the same level for the excess Employee.

83.32 The excess Employee may request assistance in meeting reasonable travel and incidental expenses incurred in seeking alternative employment if these expenses are not met by the prospective employer.

83.33 An excess Employee will be entitled to reasonable leave with full pay to attend necessary employment interviews.

83.34 An excess Employee who moves to a different locality as a result of a reassignment of duties or reduction in classification is no longer excess and will be entitled to reasonable relocation expenses.

83.35 If, despite taking reasonable steps, the Electoral Commissioner has been unable to find alternative employment at level for the excess Employee, the Electoral Commissioner may, with four weeks' notice, reassign the excess Employee to a job with a lower APS classification. If this occurs before the end of the retention period the Employee will receive income maintenance to maintain their Salary at the higher level for the balance of the retention period.

83.36 If the Employee:

  1. has received redeployment assistance for a period of at least two months; and
  2. the APS Online Redeployment Register or redeployment service provider suggests no prospect of redeployment; and
  3. The Electoral Commissioner is satisfied there is insufficient productive work available for the remainder of the retention period,

the Electoral Commissioner may, with the agreement of the Employee, terminate the employment of the Employee under section 29 of the PSA on the grounds that the Employee is excess to requirements.

83.37 Upon termination, the Employee will be paid a lump sum comprising:

  1. the balance of the retention period (as shortened for the National Employment Standards under clause 83.28) and which is not less than the payment in lieu of notice of termination of employment; and
  2. an additional redundancy payment equal to the amount the retention period was shortened by under clause 83.28 (i.e. the National Employment Standards component).

Involuntary termination of employment

83.38 The Electoral Commissioner may involuntarily terminate the employment of an excess Employee at the end of the retention period. The minimum period of notice of termination will be four weeks prior to the end of the retention period. The minimum period of notice will be increased by one week if an Employee is 45 years of age with at least five years of continuous service. An earlier period may be requested by the Employee.

83.39 An excess Employee will not have their employment terminated involuntarily if the Employee has not been invited to accept an offer of voluntary redundancy or has elected to have their employment terminated but the Electoral Commissioner has refused to approve the election.

83.40 An excess Employee will not have their employment terminated involuntarily without being given notice of termination in accordance with clause 83.16, or payment in lieu of notice.

83.41 The specified period of notice will as far as practicable be concurrent with the retention period.