Review of public sector employment laws — A Fair and Responsive Public Service for All
Queensland’s public services are essential to the delivery of services to the community, and to meeting the Government’s priorities set out in Our Future State: Advancing Queensland’s Priorities.
The A Fair and Responsive Public Service for All report (the Bridgman Review) (PDF) is the outcome of an extensive independent review of the Public Service Act 2008 and other Queensland public employment laws (including the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011). The review was undertaken by Mr Peter Bridgman and is the first review of public sector laws since the late 1980s.
The review was commissioned by the Government to ensure Queenslanders have the most responsive, consistent and reliable public service possible: a public service that is fair, an employer of choice, and a leader in public administration.
The review provides 99 recommendations and outlines how the laws should be changed to meet the objectives of:
- Fairness in the employment relationship
- Responsiveness of employees to the community and to the government
- Inclusiveness of public sector employment.
The review also reports on how the employment relationship is formed and managed, and how the public services are organised.
Read the Bridgman Review Terms of Reference (PDF, 235 KB) | (DOC, 64 KB).
The review has involved wide-ranging discussions with stakeholders inside government, trade unions and other stakeholders.
An Issues Paper (PDF, 1.63 MB) | (DOC, 1.77 MB) was made available to assist with further input. The review did not publish the input received, but emails are part of the public record and subject to both the Public Records Act 2002 and the Right to Information Act 2009.
The Queensland Government has acknowledged the Bridgman Review and expressly approved the establishment of the Queensland Governance Council (Recommendations 17 and 18) and the appointment of a Special Commissioner for Equity and Diversity (Recommendation 27).
The remaining Bridgman Review recommendations were placed with the Public Sector Reform Office in conjunction with the Queensland Governance Council and the Joint Advisory Committee to assess proposed legislative and policy changes. The Queensland Governance Council and the Joint Advisory Committee proposed a two-stage process to implement reforms arising from the recommendations.
Stage 1 reforms
The first stage identified priority reforms relating to employment security and positive performance management. This included recommendations: 3, 4, 5, 18, 20, 21, 27, 28, 29, 32, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 71, 72, 90 and 91.
Stage 1 reforms were advanced through the Public Service and Other Legislation Amendment Bill (PDF), which was introduced into the Queensland parliament on 16 July 2020, received assent on 14 September 2020, and is now in effect.
Stage 2 reforms
The second stage of the public sector reforms is currently underway.
As part of stage 2, all of the remaining Bridgman Review recommendations were accepted or accepted in principle. Grouped into six themes, these recommendations include:
- Purpose and principles: 1, 2, 33, 99
- Scope: 1, 2, 77, 89
- Governance: 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 17, 19, 22, 23, 30, 39, 62, 63, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 73, 74, 75, 76, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 95, 96, 97
- Employment arrangements: 12, 13, 16, 53, 64, 89, 93, 94, 98
- Equity and diversity: 24, 25, 26, 31
- Public sector ethics: 87, 88, 92.
These recommendations will be implemented either legislatively or non-legislatively. The legislative recommendations will be advanced through a new Public Sector Act, as recommended in Recommendation 1 of the Bridgman Review.
The new Public Sector Act represents the next step in ensuring fairness, responsiveness and inclusiveness in public sector employment. It is intended to be introduced to Parliament in the first half of 2022, with passage by the end of 2022.
The Bridgman Review (PDF) complements the Coaldrake Review, which is focused on employment data, benchmarks, definitions and related issues. The Bridgman and Coaldrake Reviews both demonstrate the Government’s commitment to the future of the Queensland public service.
For all enquiries, please contact the Public Sector Reform Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.