The Government has officially imposed a recruitment freeze on the Australian Public Service as part of its plan to cut 12,000 employees through natural attrition.
blows across APS
The Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service, Senator Eric Abetz said that under the new interim arrangements priority must be given to internal applicants and the redeployment of existing staff.
External advertising of APS vacancies and non-ongoing (temporary) employment would be limited to critical vacancies where a suitable employee could not be found within the APS.
But the APS will continue to support targeted recruitment programs for Graduate and Indigenous employees.
The Australian Public Service Commission said Agencies would need to seek the Commissioner's agreement to advertise for essential vacancies, where no suitable employee is available, within the Agency or on the redeployment register.
It said recruitment activity under way was to cease, unless an offer had already been made to a suitable candidate. No new non-ongoing arrangements are to commence, or existing non-ongoing arrangements to be extended, without Agency head approval.
More detailed guidance was being prepared for Agencies and would soon be available.
Mr Abetz said the Government would ensure that these arrangements would not compromise the ability of the APS to continue to support the Government and the Australian public to the highest standard.
"We are asking our Public Service to look carefully at every position that becomes vacant and ask whether that position is really necessary; or whether there is a better way to do business,” he said.
The APSC said more detailed guidance is being prepared for Agencies and will be available soon.
The Community and Public Sector Union said the recruitment freeze would lead to backlogs, delays and the loss of regional jobs.
CPSU National Secretary, Nadine Flood condemned the decision, saying it was massive staff cut.
"We are calling on the Government to confirm that they will stick by their election promise not to cut more than 12,000 jobs,” said Ms Flood.
“This decision is particularly tough on regional communities which have only a limited number of public sector employers in town. If someone loses their job and can’t be redeployed locally they’ll be forced to leave town to find other work. We call on the Government to change this new policy to allow Agencies to fill vacant positions locally and guarantee regional jobs are not lost.
“This policy is a recipe for widespread delays and queues and it will hit every Agency, from the Tax Office and Human Services to Customs and the Bureau of Meteorology.''
The union also said the move would shut the door on people seeking a career in the Public Service.
The interim arrangement from the APSC stipulating hiring procedures can be found at this PS News link.
Edition 386, 5 November 2013