Staff turnover: Canberra sets woeful example

by 13 Jan 2012

If you’ve been feeling defeated by high staff turnover and low engagement, spare a thought for the recruiters working behind the scenes in Canberra – 80% of staff for federal MPs burn out within three years.

The door to Parliament house seem to be a fickle one, and it was found that in 2009, from an annual pool of 1,531 political advisors to MPs in the capital, a staggering 1,202 employees resigned or had their employment terminated (a new record).

The cost created by this huge turnover of staff runs into the millions; retraining costs and redundancy payouts are the biggest items on the bill.

It also seems that those in Canberra’s top jobs are also the toughest bosses – the rate of staff turnover at the offices of the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and their senior colleagues is three times the national workplace average.

In the top offices, 2011 saw 400 staff departures – an improvement on the 521 who resigned or were terminated in 2010.


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