Part I – Workforce Management


  1. Employees engaged on an ongoing basis and non-ongoing engagements of greater than three months, will usually be engaged on probation for a period of three months. The Director-General may extend the probationary period of an ongoing employee for a further period, up to a total of six months, where there is reasonable cause to do so. An employee’s engagement may be terminated at any time during or at the end of the probationary period. A person engaged on probation remains on probation until that person has met all necessary performance and other requirements for engagement or the engagement is terminated.

Graduate employment

  1. Graduates will enter the Archives at the Graduate APS classification and be remunerated as provided for in Appendix B to this Agreement. On successful completion of the Graduate Training Program, Graduates will transition to the APS Level 3 classification and may be promoted to an APS Level 4 classification, subject to a merit selection process.


  1. Employees recruited as a Trainee APS (administrative) (Trainee) will undertake a course of training as determined by the Director-General. Upon successful completion of their training requirements, trainees will be advanced to the minimum point in the APS Level 1 Classification. The Trainee will be paid in accordance with the rates at Appendix C.

Termination of employment and Notice of Separation

  1. The sole and exhaustive rights and remedies of an employee in relation to termination of employment are in accordance with the Fair Work Act or other relevant laws.
  2. Nothing in this Agreement prevents the Director-General from terminating the employment of an employee for serious misconduct, without further notice or payment in lieu, in accordance with the Fair Work Act 2009, subject to compliance with the procedures established by the Director-General for determining whether an employee has breached the Code of Conduct under section 15 of the Public Service Act 1999.
  3. Employees resigning from the Archives are required to provide at least two weeks' notice to the Archives to ensure a smooth handover or completion of projects on hand. A lesser period may be agreed between the employee and their Director. Notice periods for promotion or transfers to other agencies will be in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Public Service Act 1999, and associated Regulations and Directions.

Redeployment, reduction and retrenchment

  1. These provisions apply only to ongoing employees who are not on probation and whose employment is identified as excess to the Archives requirements.
  2. In implementing these provisions the Director-General is required to comply with APS policies and principles that relate to redeployment and retention, including involuntary retrenchment. Further information can be found in the APS Redeployment Policy and Managing Redeployment in the APS: Guidelines for agencies.
  3. For the purpose of this Agreement, an employee is excess if:
    1. the employee is included in a class of Archives employees which comprises a greater number of employees than is necessary for the efficient and economical working of the Archives;
    2. the services of the employee cannot be effectively used because of technological or other changes in the work methods of the Archives or structural or other changes in the nature, extent or organisation of the functions of the Archives; or
    3. the duties usually performed by the employee are to be performed at a different locality (as defined), the employee is not willing to perform duties at the locality and the Director-General has determined that the provisions of this clause apply to that employee.
  4. Throughout the application of the following provisions:
    1. the Director-General will take all reasonable steps, consistent with the efficient management of the Archives, to reassign duties to an excess employee at an equal classification level within the Archives, including giving priority to Archives' excess employees, subject to suitability, when filling Archives' vacancies or to facilitate a move to another APS agency;
    2. the Director-General , in consultation with the employee, will take all reasonable steps to facilitate redeployment to another APS agency, where redeployment in the Archives is not likely;
    3. the Director-General will consider the retraining of an excess, or potentially excess, employee where:
      1. retraining would be in the Archives’ interest;
      2. retraining would lead to successful placement within the retention period applying to the employee (see clause 292); or
      3. retention in employment is unlikely to be possible without retraining; and
    4. an employee or a person of their choice may raise issues concerning a retrenchment situation directly with their supervisor or Director.

    Consultation process
  5. When the Director-General is aware that an employee is likely to become excess, the Director-General will at the earliest practicable time advise the employee of the situation. Where possible, a minimum of three months' notice will be given where redeployment or retrenchment is likely to occur.
  6. Discussions with the potentially excess employee or, where an employee requests, with the employee's representative, will be held to consider:
    1. measures which might be taken to reduce the incidence of an employee becoming excess;
    2. the method of identifying an employee as excess, having regard to the efficient and economical working of the Archives and the relative suitability of employees;
    3. redeployment opportunities for the employee concerned; and
    4. whether voluntary retrenchment might be appropriate and whether the employee wants to be offered voluntary retrenchment.
  7. The Director-General will not advise an employee that they are excess until the discussions referred to in clause 275 have occurred. The period of these discussions will not exceed one month (or lesser period as agreed).
  8. Potentially excess employees will be offered access to financial and career advice, on a reimbursement basis, at the time of notification in accordance with clause 279.

    Voluntary retrenchment
  9. Where the Director-General invites an excess employee to do so, the employee will have one month to elect for voluntary retrenchment. The Director-General will not give notice of termination of employment under Section 29(3)(a) of the Public Service Act 1999 before the end of that period or until such election is received (in circumstances where the election is received before the end of that period).
  10. Within the month of election the employee must have access to information on the amount of severance pay, pay in lieu of notice and paid up leave credits; the amount of accumulated superannuation contributions; options concerning superannuation; the taxation rules applying to the various payments; and assistance up to a maximum of $610 for financial counselling and a further $610 for career guidance and counselling, on a reimbursement basis and inclusive of GST, if not received previously under clause 277. Where the late provision of information does not allow reasonable time for the employee to consider their options, the election period will be extended to ensure the employee has a total of one month for consideration. The information is provided for guidance purposes only, and is not an offer capable of forming a binding contract.
  11. An excess employee will only be invited to elect for voluntary retrenchment once.

    Period of notice
  12. Where the employee elects to be voluntarily retrenched, the Director-General may accept this election and terminate the employee’s employment under the Public Service Act 1999 on the grounds that the employee is excess to requirements and, upon acceptance will give the required period of notice. The period of notice will be four weeks (or five weeks for an employee over 45 with at least five years continuous service).
  13. Where the Director-General directs, or the employee requests, a termination date within the notice period, the employee's employment will terminate on that date. The employee will be paid compensation instead of notice for the unexpired portion of the notice period. The payments an employee would have received in respect of the ordinary time the employee would have worked during the period of notice, had the employment not been terminated, will be used in calculating any payment in lieu of notice.

    Severance benefit
  14. An employee who elects voluntary retrenchment and whose employment is terminated by the Director-General under the Public Service Act 1999 on the grounds that the employee is excess to requirements is entitled to be paid two weeks salary for each completed year of continuous service, plus a pro rata payment for completed months of service since the last completed year of service.
  15. Subject to any minimum amount the employee is entitled to under the NES, the minimum sum payable under clause 283 will be four weeks salary and the maximum will be 48 weeks salary.
  16. The severance benefit will be calculated on a pro rata basis for any period where an employee has worked part-time hours during their period of service and the employee has less than 24 years full-time service, subject to any minimum amount the employee is entitled to under the NES.
  17. Subject to clauses 287 and 288, service for severance pay purposes means:
    1. service in an APS Agency;
    2. Government service as defined in the Long Service Leave (Commonwealth Employees) Act 1976;
    3. service with the Commonwealth (other than service with a joint Commonwealth-State body or a body corporate in which the Commonwealth does not have a controlling interest) which is recognised for Long Service Leave purposes;
    4. service with the Australian Defence Forces;
    5. APS service immediately preceding deemed resignation (as defined), if the service has not previously been recognised for severance pay purposes; and
    6. service in another organisation where the employee was transferred from that organisation with a transfer of function, or the employee was engaged by that organisation on work within a function and was appointed as a result of the transfer of that function to the APS, and such service is recognised for Long Service Leave purposes.
  18. Any period of service which ceased:
    1. through termination on the following grounds, or on a ground equivalent to any of the following grounds:
      • the employee lacks, or has lost, an essential qualification for performing their duties;
      • non-performance, or unsatisfactory performance of duties;
      • inability to perform duties because of physical or mental incapacity;
      • failure to satisfactorily complete an entry level training course;
      • failure to meet a condition imposed under Sub-section 22(6) of the Public Service Act 1999; or
      • a breach of the Code of Conduct; or
    2. on a ground equivalent to a ground listed in (i) above under the repealed Public Service Act 1922; or
    3. through voluntary retirement at or above the minimum retiring age applicable to the employee; or
    4. with the payment of a redundancy benefit or similar payment or an employer financed retirement benefit, will not count as service for severance pay purposes.
  19. Absences from work which do not count as service for Long Service Leave purposes will not count as service for severance pay purposes.

    Rate of payment – severance benefit
  20. For the purpose of calculating any payment under clause 284, salary will include:
    1. the employee's full-time salary, adjusted on a pro rata basis for periods of part-time service; and
    2. payment for temporary reassignment of duties where the employee has been assigned duties at a higher level for a continuous period of at least 12 months immediately preceding the date on which the employee is given notice of termination of employment; and
    3. other allowances in the nature of salary which have been paid during periods of annual leave and on a regular basis, excluding allowances which have been a reimbursement for expenses incurred, or a payment for disabilities associated with the performance of duty.

    Offer of voluntary retrenchment before involuntary retrenchment
  21. Where a redundancy situation affects a number of employees engaged in the same work at the same level and in the same location, and employees have been invited to elect for voluntary retrenchment, the Director-General generally should not involuntarily terminate the employment of those employees, if there are employees engaged in that work at that level in that location who have elected for voluntary retrenchment which has not been accepted by the Director-General and still wish to elect for voluntary retrenchment.
  22. The Director-General may invite employees who are not excess to elect for voluntary retrenchment where the termination of the employment of those employees would allow the redeployment of excess employees who do not wish to elect for voluntary retrenchment.

    Retention periods
  23. Where an excess employee has been invited to elect for voluntary retrenchment, and has not accepted the invitation to voluntarily retire, the employee will commence the following retention period:
    1. 13 months where an employee has 20 or more years of service or is over 45 years of age; or
    2. seven months for other employees.
  24. Each of the periods in clause 292 are to be reduced by the number of weeks redundancy pay that the employee would be entitled to at the expiration of the retention period under the NES.
  25. The retention period will commence on the earlier of the following:
    1. the day the employee is advised in writing by the Director-General that they are an excess employee; or
    2. one month after the day on which the Director-General invites the employee to elect to be retrenched.
  26. During the retention period the Director-General :
    1. will continue to take reasonable steps to find alternative employment for the excess employee; and/or
    2. may with four weeks' notice, in consultation with the employee, reduce the excess employee's classification as a means of securing alternative employment for the excess employee. Where an excess employee is reduced in classification before the end of the appropriate retention period, the employee will continue to be paid at the previous level for the balance of the retention period.
  27. The excess employee may request assistance in meeting reasonable travel and incidental expenses incurred in seeking alternative employment where these are not met by the prospective employer.
  28. The retention periods specified in clause 292 and 294 and the notice period specified in clause 300 will be extended by any periods of Personal/Carer's Leave arising through illness of the employee and supported by medical evidence which is taken during these periods.
  29. Where the Director-General is satisfied there is insufficient productive work available for an excess employee during the retention period and that there is no reasonable redeployment prospects in the APS, the Director-General may, with the agreement of the employee, terminate the employee’s employment under Section 29 of the Public Service Act 1999 and pay the balance of the retention period (adjusted for the NES under clause 293 above) as a lump sum. This payment will be taken to include the payment in lieu of notice of termination of employment. An employee whose employment is terminated in these circumstances will also be entitled to a redundancy payment in accordance with their NES entitlement.

    Involuntary Retrenchment
  30. An excess employee will not be retrenched involuntarily if the employee has not been invited to elect to be voluntarily retrenched as per clauses 278 - 298 or has elected to be voluntarily retrenched but the Director-General refuses to approve it.
  31. An excess employee will be given four weeks' notice (or five weeks' notice for an employee over 45 years of age with at least five years of continuous service) where it is proposed that the employee be involuntarily retrenched. The specified periods of notice will as far as practicable be served concurrently with the retention periods.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2019