ato logo
Search Suggestion:

Section E – Workforce planning and adjustment

Last updated 4 March 2020


72. Assignment of duties


The ATO utilises an appropriate mix of employment types.


Any employee can be assigned to carry out such duties as are within the limits of the employee’s skill, competence and training and are consistent with the employee’s classification, provided that such duties are not designed to promote deskilling. Employees do not have to carry out duties that are a threat to a safe and healthy work environment.

73. Advancement Programs


The ATO will use Advancement Programs (AP) that utilise an ATO advancement broadband.


The ATO advancement broadband will be used for those employees selected to undertake an advancement program and whose progression to the exit level classification is subject to the successful completion of an AP.


Existing employees who do not successfully complete the requirements of the AP will be assigned duties at the entry level classification of the AP.


Training classifications


An employee who undertakes the Graduate Program as a Graduate APS (that is where an advancement broadband has not been used) will be placed at the entry level of the relevant AP on completion of the Program. On meeting the requirements of the AP they will be advanced to the next level of the AP.

74. Permanent relocation of employees between offices


Intra-city transfers


This clause applies where the ATO proposes to permanently move employees between buildings in the same city.


Any such move will be voluntary to the fullest extent practicable, having regard to hardship factors of employees and the ATO’s business needs.


An employee will be given as much notice of the need to move as is reasonable in the circumstances. In the case of a move between suburbs or between the CBD and a suburb, the notice period will be at least one month.


Managers may allow employees up to three days leave when this is necessary to arrange personal matters associated with the move.


If significant relocation costs are likely to be incurred, the employee will be entitled to a one-off payment upon taking up duty in the new building in accordance with Attachment A, Schedule 5. For the purpose of this clause the employee’s level is their actual classification level at the date of the move.


Inter-city transfers


There will be no compulsory moves between cities. In this context, ‘cities’ means the greater metropolitan area.

75. Excess employees


Clauses 75 to 84 only apply to ongoing employees who are no longer on probation.


When is an employee excess?


An employee becomes excess for any of the following reasons:



a) the duties of the employee are transferred to a different capital city or to an office which requires a move of a similar scale, involving a necessary change of residence, and:




i. the employee is unwilling to perform duties at the new office; and

ii. the ATO is unable to provide ongoing work at the first office; and

iii. the delegate agrees redundancy is an economically viable alternative to relocation.



b) where the delegate determines the employee is a member of a given class that has more members than is necessary for the efficient and economical working of the ATO in a particular location; or

c) the employee’s services can no longer be effectively used in their current job because of changes in technology or work methods or changes in the nature, extent or organisation of the ATO. An employee who leaves the ATO under this subclause will be able to do so with dignity and respect for the contribution they have made in the past.


Subclause 75.2 c) will only be used where an employee’s job is still required and the employee will be replaced. If the job is no longer required the employee may become excess under subclause 75.2 a) or b).

76. Preventing excess employee situations


The ATO will, as far as practicable, prevent excess employee situations.


The ATO will consult with employees and their representatives when the provisions of this clause need to be exercised.


Measures to be used may include one or more of the following:



a) moving work and/or reassignment of duties;

b) redeployment; (including in the APS) and/or

c) retraining and developing new capabilities within an appropriate time to enhance redeployment and/or reassignment opportunities.


Employees identified by the delegate as being in a situation where they are likely to be excess will be assessed for suitability (including suitability within three months) for any identified ongoing job opportunity in their region prior to the ATO filling the opportunity in another way.


Where there are insufficient volunteers for ongoing job opportunities, the delegate may redeploy an affected employee to any suitable ongoing job.


Where there are more affected employees than required, a merit based assessment process may be conducted to determine which employees are assigned to the required duties.


The ATO is not obliged to redeploy employees between regions and such redeployments do not have priority over other vacancy filling methods in other regions. If the ATO and the employee agree on redeployment to another region, the move may be considered to be in the interests of the ATO.


Redeployment measures will continue to apply until an offer of voluntary redundancy is made. The measures will also apply through the retention period when the employee declines an offer of voluntary redundancy. Where redeployment involves an intra-city move, to the extent practicable, employee preferences and any hardship factors will be taken into account and the provisions of clause 74 will apply.

77. Consultation with employees and their representatives


If, despite actions taken in accordance with clause 76, an excess employee situation cannot be prevented, the delegate will inform the affected employee(s), in writing of the period over which, it is likely to occur.

The delegate will consult with the employee(s), and their representative(s) (if any) over a period of one month on a range of matters including:



a) the measures that could be taken to reduce or remove the likelihood of the employee(s) becoming excess;

b) redeployment prospects for the employee(s) concerned;

c) the appropriateness of using voluntary redundancy; and

d) the method of identifying an employee as excess.


Where the employee and the delegate agree, the consultation period can be extended or reduced.


Apart from employees who express interest in voluntary redundancy, no employee will be notified that they are excess within the consultation period.

78. Determination of excess employee


Notwithstanding any provision of this Agreement, the delegate may invite an employee, or a group of employees, to informally express an interest in voluntary redundancy at any time. Employees who lodge an informal expression of interest in voluntary redundancy will be provided with, or given access to information in relation to their likely entitlements. This could take the form of access to ‘self help’ methods of estimating final leave/severance payments and superannuation benefits.


If redeployment or other measures are not feasible or only partially remove the likely excess situation, the delegate will identify, by written determination, the employee(s) who are considered to be excess.


If the ATO determines that it is effective and economical to do so, the ATO will facilitate the use of swaps to maximise the extent to which redundancies are voluntary.


Employees who are identified as being excess will be provided with the following information:



a) the retention provisions which apply if the employee declines an offer of voluntary redundancy;

b) estimates of severance benefits, pay in lieu of notice and pay in lieu of any unused annual, purchased or long service leave credits; and

c) the estimated amount of taxation the ATO will deduct from any payments; and

d) for employees who are members of the CSS or PSS (defined benefit) schemes details of accumulated superannuation contributions and the options available to them.



Employees who are not members of the CSS or PSS (defined benefit) funds are responsible for obtaining details about their options from their superannuation fund. The ATO will, where possible, assist the employee to get this information


Once the employee has been provided with the information as set out in subclause 78.4 (and an employee who is not a member of a defined benefit fund has been provided with reasonable time to get the information), they will be made a formal offer of voluntary redundancy. An employee will have up to two weeks to accept or decline such an offer.


An employee who accepts the formal offer of voluntary redundancy will be given notice of termination and will be paid a voluntary redundancy severance benefit. With agreement from the employee follow on action may commence inside the two week period.


If the employee does not respond to the ATO within the two week period provided in subclause 78.5, they will be taken to have declined the offer.


The ATO will not make a further offer of a voluntary redundancy to the employee at later steps in the process.


Employees who decline the offer of voluntary redundancy will begin a formal retention period, to commence from the day after the offer was declined.

79. Retention period


An excess employee who declines the offer of voluntary redundancy will be entitled to the following period of retention:



a) 13 months when the employee has 20 years or more service or is 45 years of age or over; or

b) seven months for all other employees,


reduced by the relevant NES redundancy pay period that would apply to the employee at the end of the seven or 13 months retention period.


Employees who cannot be placed in a suitable job within the first three months of declining an offer of voluntary redundancy:



a) will be advised that, because there is sufficient work available, it is intended at this stage that the employee’s services will be retained for the remainder of their retention period. It is expected that this will normally be the case but it may be necessary for affected employees to move to a different type of work, for which they are suitable; or



b) if the delegate is satisfied at any time in the remaining retention period that there is insufficient productive work available for the employee during the remainder of the retention period and that there is no reasonable redeployment prospects in the APS, the delegate may:




i. give written notice of the involuntary termination of the employee’s employment in accordance with section 29 of the Public Service Act 1999; or

ii. by agreement with the employee, give written notice of involuntary termination of their employment; or



c) will be given four weeks' written notice of the intention to reduce their classification so that they can be redeployed to suitable employment, in which case income maintenance will apply instead of an involuntary redundancy benefit; or

d) may at any time, be given written notice of the involuntary termination of the employee’s employment under section 29 of the Public Service Act 1999.


Where the delegate and employee agree, the three month period referred to in subclause 79.2 may be reduced.


Excess employees will be assessed for suitability for any identified ongoing job opportunity in their region, in the ATO, prior to it being filled in another way.


Alternate Retention Period


Where an employee chooses to enter into the retention period provisions under this sub clause, the employee's retention period determined in 79.1 above will be:



a) 13 months where the employee has 20 years or more service or is 45 years of age or over; or

b) 7 months for all other employees.


Where an employee elects to enter into the Alternate Retention Period provisions in 79.5 their total pay throughout the retention period will be reduced by an amount equivalent to the employee’s redundancy pay entitlement under the NES, with such redundancy pay entitlement calculated as at the expiration of the retention period.


For the purposes of 79.6, the reduction of the employee's ordinary pay will be amortised over the duration of the retention period.


If during the Alternate Retention Period the employee ceases to be excess (other than by termination of employment for the reason of being excess) amortisation will cease and the amount deducted as part of the amortisation provisions will be paid to the employee.

80. Support for excess employees


An employee who is identified as being excess, or offered a voluntary redundancy, will be reimbursed for the costs of the following support if they choose to use it:



a) transition and/or financial planning by a qualified advisor; and/or

b) assistance with preparation of job applications.

The maximum total amount of reimbursement under a) and b) is set out in Attachment A, Schedule 5.


During any notice or retention periods referred to in clauses 79 and 80:



a) the ATO will provide assistance to the employees to try to find opportunities to redeploy the employee to another agency; and

b) excess employees will be given reasonable time to attend employment interviews, including reasonable travel and incidental expenses when these are not met by the prospective employer.


If an excess employee has to move their household to a new locality as a result of a movement at level or reduction in classification, they will be entitled to reasonable travel costs and relocation costs as if being promoted.


Payment if reduced in classification


If an employee is reduced in classification, the employee will maintain the base salary they had immediately prior to the reduction for the relevant period as determined by clause 84, less the period of employment since the offer of voluntary redundancy was rejected.


Notice period


The following notice periods will apply when employment is terminated:



a) if 45 years of age or over, with at least five years continuous service: five weeks' notice; or

b) other employees: four weeks' notice.

81. Voluntary redundancy benefit


An employee who accepts the offer of a voluntary redundancy and whose employment is terminated on the grounds that they are excess, is entitled to payment of a redundancy benefit of an amount equal to 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, subject to any minimum amount the employee is entitled to under the NES.


Attachment C lists certain conditions relating to service for redundancy benefit purposes.


The minimum sum payable will be an amount equal to four weeks' salary and the maximum payable will be equal to 48 weeks' salary.


The redundancy benefit will be calculated on a pro rata basis for part-time hours during the period of service if the employee has less than 24 years full time service.


This benefit will be in addition to any payment in lieu of the notice period and accrued Annual, Long Service and Purchased Leave credits.

82. Involuntary redundancy benefits


If employment is terminated involuntarily, employees will be paid a sum calculated as follows:



a) for employees with 20 or more years of service or 45 years of age or over: a lump sum equal to 13 months’ salary reduced by the amount of salary paid since the date the offer of voluntary redundancy was rejected; or

b) for others: a lump sum equal to seven months’ salary reduced by the amount of salary paid since the date the offer of voluntary redundancy was rejected.


Such employees will receive payment of an amount equivalent to payment in lieu of accrued Annual Leave calculated as if the date of termination of their employment is 13 months or seven months (as the case may be) later than the date the offer of voluntary redundancy was rejected.


If the total amount payable is less than the total amount (including pay in lieu of leave) that would have been payable had the employee accepted the offer of voluntary redundancy (reduced by any salary received since the date the offer was rejected), the employee will be paid an additional amount to bring the total benefit to that amount.

83. Salary for calculating benefits


For calculating redundancy benefits, an employee's salary will include:



a) HDA or HWVA, if received on the date notice is given and has been payable for a continuous period of at least 12 months at that date;

Where the higher duties or higher work value of an employee who has received HDA or HWVA for a continuous period of 12 months is ceased due to the workforce adjustment process necessitating the redundancy, and the employee would otherwise have continued to receive higher duties until the date notice was given, the higher duties will be taken to have continued to the date notice was given for the purpose of this clause.

b) an average of shift penalties over the 12 months prior to notice being given, provided shift work has been rostered in at least 26 weeks; and

c) any other regular allowance in the nature of salary received on the date notice is given.

84. Income maintenance period


Where clauses 77 to 83 refer to an employee’s base salary being maintained as a result of a reduction in classification, the relevant period shall be determined as follows:



a) for an employee with 20 or more years of service: 13 months;

b) for an employee who is 45 years of age or over: 13 months; or

c) for any other employee: seven months.

85. Resignation


An employee may resign from their employment by giving the delegate at least 14 days’ notice.


The delegate has the discretion to agree to a shorter period of notice or waive the requirement to give notice.


At the instigation of the delegate, the resignation may take effect at an earlier date within the notice period. In such cases, the employee will be paid compensation in lieu of the notice period which is not worked.

86. Termination of employment and reduction in classification


This clause only applies to ongoing employees who are no longer on probation.


Reduction in classification


An employee who is reduced in salary or classification without consent may request a review of the decision.



The ATO will stay the decision pending the outcome of the primary review:

a) Where the request is lodged by the employee within ten working days of being given notice of the reduction, and

b) A statement in support of the request for review is lodged within a further 14 working days.

The ATO will further stay the decision until the outcome of a secondary review by the Merit Protection Commissioner, if sought by the employee within ten working days of being notified of the outcome of the primary review.


Date of effect of termination


Subject to the special cases set out below, if an employee is terminated, the termination will take effect on the later of:



a) one month after the day on which the notice is given to the employee; or

b) after expiration of a period of notice required by the Fair Work Act 1999; or

c) on the date of effect of the notice of termination.


Except where an employee is guilty of serious misconduct warranting termination without notice, termination of employment due to a breach of the code of conduct shall take effect on the later of:



a) 14 days after the employee has been furnished with reasons for the termination; or

b) after any greater period of notice required by the Fair Work Act 1999.

The ATO is committed to ensuring that the ATO procedures for determining breaches of the APS Code of Conduct are properly applied. As provided by subclause 8.2 neither the APS Code of Conduct or the ATO procedures form part of this Agreement.


If an excess employee’s employment is terminated, the notice of termination shall take effect on the later of:



a) after expiration of the period of notice under this Agreement; or

b) after expiration of the period of notice required by the Fair Work Act 1999


Termination on grounds relating to an employee’s performance shall take effect on the later of:



a) 14 days after the day on which the notice is given to the employee; or

b) after the period of notice required by the Fair Work Act 1999


Termination of employment due to inability to perform duties because of physical or mental incapacity takes effect, unless there are special circumstances, on the later of:



a) One month after the day on which the notice is given to the employee; or

b) After expiration of a period of notice required by the Fair Work Act 1999


In all cases, termination may take effect after payment of compensation in lieu of the notice required. Payment in lieu of notice may be at the instigation of the delegate or the employee.


87. Accommodation


The ATO is committed to providing high quality office accommodation that meets the professional needs of employees and the nature of the employees’ work.


The ATO will continue to make more effective use of space, greater use of flexible work arrangements and rationalise accommodation holdings.


Where a decision has been made to have new accommodation or modify existing accommodation, affected employees and where they choose, their representatives will be consulted.


Without reducing the general requirements concerning quality and consultation, employees regularly engaged in field work may be required to use shared accommodation. The sharing arrangements and ratio of workpoints to employees will have full and proper regard to the nature of the employee’s work.


Disruptions due to building activity


If building activities are likely to cause disruption in an office, the delegate (in consultation with the affected employees and their representatives) will determine appropriate measures that can be used to prevent employees from being subjected to any disruption.


In situations where disruptions are unavoidable at a particular location, the delegate will consult with the affected employees and their representatives to determine an appropriate disability allowance.


If employees are required to temporarily relocate office due to disruptions to the office, the provisions of clause 41 will apply in regard to excess travel time and expenses.


Use of ICT equipment


Information and communication technology (ICT) equipment is supplied for work purposes. Employees may utilise the equipment for incidental personal use. Further information is available in relevant policies and guidelines, including but not limited to policies relating to information security and social media.


Automated employee monitoring


Automatic work measurement data may be captured and used. Employees will be advised about automatic monitoring of individual performance and the use of data collected, and have access to such data about them if requested. This data will not be the sole or primary source of performance assessment.


Employees may access team level work performance.


Access to individual data will be limited to those with a "need to know" in connection with performance appraisal and the efficient operation of a work area.


Access to and use of data on individual employees must be consistent with privacy laws. Performance information that is freely accessible will not identify specific employees.


Systems will not be used to measure the number of keystrokes made by an individual in any given period.