At our last meeting we discussed concerns around the Department employing (or re-employing) retired Inspectors on contracts. The PSA engaged with the Department and your union has received the following response.
The Department has looked at engaging SafeWork Inspectors on a temporary contract as a mechanism to fill a gap while further work is being done on succession planning within the Inspector ranks and options to aid in an Inspector’s transition to retirement. There is no intention for this to be an ongoing practice and it is intended that the use of temporary contracts is only to be used where there is a need for business continuity and/or knowledge sharing.
In line with section 43 of the Government Services Employment Act 2013 (NSW), temporary employment is an option available to the Department for the employment of non-executive Public Service employees. Furthermore, there is nothing in the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW) nor the Crown Employees (Department of Customer Service – SafeWork NSW Inspectors 2007) Reviewed Award (SafeWork Award) that prohibits the employment of a SafeWork Inspector on a temporary basis. A temporary Inspector will be covered by the SafeWork Award and will be required to maintain currency of their qualifications, as such they will have all the same entitlements and authorities as an ongoing Inspector.
As discussed at the meeting on 22 February 2022, at present there is only one Inspector on a temporary contract in a regional office to ensure business continuity for this location.
If you have further concerns please let contact the PSA Member Support Centre on 1300 772 679.