APS bosses warned to control hiring practices

by Chloe Taylor01 Jun 2015
Bosses at the Australian Public Service (APS) have been warned to control their activity when their hiring freeze is lifted in a few weeks’ time.

This comes as an aspect of the 2015 Federal Budget, which is granting the ability of public service heads to hire again, ending the restrictions on recruitment which have been in place since late 2013.

But it was reported on Friday that the Commonwealth workplace authority said it will revoke the hiring powers of departments that embark on “recruitment sprees”.
When the hiring embargo is lifted in July, the rules will lean in favour of former APS employees who lost their jobs but remain on the Commonwealth payroll. It is reported that this is likely to displease many departmental secretaries, who have put off recruiting for high level positions so that they could avoid rehiring executives from the names still on the payroll.

The APS Commission outlined what bosses will and won’t be allowed to do when it published a set of rules for post-July.

Limitations will be imposed when it comes to advertising jobs externally, with the Commission sending a warning that it will be monitoring both the internal and external job market closely.

“Internal advertising will be subject to rigorous compliance checks,” the Commission said. “In cases of persistent non-compliance, the APS Commissioner's approval will again be required for all subsequent recruitment activity of that agency.”

The Commission will also retain the power to approve – and disapprove – external hires. Only recruitment strategies intended to onboard indigenous or disabled people will be exempt from the Commission’s sign off.

Even the use of contractors and labour hire companies will be monitored, with bosses being warned to engage these types of agreements “sparingly”.

The Commission emphasised that vacant positions are to be offered to “redeployees” above all others.

“Priority in staffing decisions is to be given first to displaced APS employees, then to other ongoing APS employees,” the Commission’s rules said.


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