Independent Review into Parliamentary practices and procedures to support workplace culture (the Review)

The Anti-Discrimination Commissioner (Commissioner) is undertaking the Independent Review into Parliamentary practices and procedures to support workplace culture (the Review).

The Terms of Reference set out the scope of the Review. More information about what the Review involves, including how to participate, is set out in the FAQ below.

All current and former employees of the Tasmanian Ministerial and Parliamentary Services workplace from 1 July 2019 to present can participate in the Review.

Recent updates

The Survey into Workplace Culture in the Tasmanian Ministerial and Parliamentary Workplaces is open.

The Survey asks participants about their experiences with discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying, using internal complaint and reporting processes, witnessing unsafe workplace conduct, and their perceptions of workplace culture in the Tasmanian MPS workplace.

The Survey is anonymous and confidential.

The Survey closes on Friday, 10 December 2021.

Anyone who did not receive a survey link who thinks they should have, please contact MPSReview@equalopportunity.tas.gov.au or call the Review Team on (03) 6165 7515.

Media Releases

The following media releases are related to the Review:

Terms of Reference

The Terms of Reference outline the scope of the Review in more detail.

The Review and frequently asked questions

What is the Review about?

The Review involves:

  • gaining an understanding of:
    • the nature and extent of workplace discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying within the Tasmanian Ministerial and Parliamentary Services workplace;
    • perceptions of workplace culture;
    • the impact of such behaviour on workers; and
    • existing policies and complaint and report mechanisms available to workers.
  • publishing a report setting out findings from the Review; and
  • making recommendations about any changes that should be made to ensure a workplace free from discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying, and best practice policies and procedures to enable a safe and respectful workplace.

The Review will examine:

  • participants’ experiences with discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying, using complaint and reporting processes, witnessing unsafe workplace conduct and their perceptions of workplace culture in the Tasmanian Ministerial and Parliamentary Services workplace;
  • existing policies, procedures and practices in relation to workplace discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying; and
  • existing Human Resources practices.

Who will be able to participate in the Review?

Anybody who has worked in the Tasmanian Ministerial and Parliamentary Services workplace from 1 July 2019 to present.

This includes current and former:

  • members of Tasmanian Parliament;
  • people working in or for Parliament House;
  • people working in or for electorate offices and Ministers’ offices;
  • contracted services including security, catering and cleaning staff; and
  • volunteers, interns and students.

If you are not sure whether you are eligible to participate, contact the Review Team on (03) 6165 7515 or MPSReview@equalopportunity.tas.gov.au.

Is the Review independent?

The Review is being conducted by Tasmania’s Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, Sarah Bolt. The Commissioner is an independent statutory officer. The work on the Review is being undertaken by the Tasmanian Ministerial and Parliamentary Services Workplace Review team, working under the Commissioner's direction.

How can I participate in the Review?

There are a number of ways you can participate in the Review.

Survey

You can complete the Survey into Workplace Culture in the Tasmanian Ministerial and Parliamentary workplaces.
The Survey is anonymous and confidential.

A link to the Survey was distributed to all potential participants on Monday 22 November 2021 or shortly thereafter. If you did not receive a link to the Survey and you think you are eligible to do the Survey, please contact the Review Team on (03) 6165 7515 or MPSReview@equalopportunity.tas.gov.au.

The Survey is only open to people aged 18 years and over. If you are under 18, you can participate in the Review in one of the other ways set out below.

Written submission

Written submissions formally open in January 2022 and an announcement will be made at that time.

You can make a written submission to MPSReview@equalopportunity.tas.gov.au, or by post to:

Equal Opportunity Tasmania (MPS Review)
GPO Box 197
HOBART  TAS  7001

It is helpful if the content of the submission addresses issues raised in the Terms of Reference.

Verbal submission

If you do not want to make a written submission, you can make a verbal one.

If you would like to arrange to make a verbal submission, please contact the Review Team on (03) 6165 7515 or MPSReview@equalopportunity.tas.gov.au.

Interview

You can participate in a confidential interview. Interviews will be conducted from January 2022. Further information about interviews will be available shortly. You can contact the Review Team on (03) 6165 7515 or MPSReview@equalopportunity.tas.gov.au to arrange a time for interview.

Focus group

You can participate in a confidential focus group. Focus group sessions will be conducted in early 2022. Further information about focus groups will be available shortly. You can contact the Review Team on (03) 6165 7515 or MPSReview@equalopportunity.tas.gov.au to discuss your eligibility to participate.

What should I do if I have accessibility requirements?

If you need any help or changes made so you can participate in the Review, please contact Equal Opportunity Tasmania on (03) 6165 7515 or MPSReview@equalopportunity.tas.gov.au.

How will information I provide be used?

The anonymous data collected from the Survey will be analysed and used to help identify the current workplace situation, and areas for change and improvement.

A public report will be published setting out findings and recommendations.

Written and verbal submissions, and information obtained from interviews and focus groups will also inform the report. The report may include de-identified information, including quotes, from written or verbal submissions, interviews and focus groups. The report will not identify anyone who makes a written submission, or participated in an interview or focus group. A quote will not be used if it could identify who you or other people are. We will seek consent from you before publishing any de-identified quotes or stories.

The Commissioner will not be publishing any written submissions received on Equal Opportunity Tasmania's website.

How and when will I find out the results of the Review?

The Anti-Discrimination Commissioner intends to publish a report on the findings and recommendations by mid-2022. The Commissioner also intends to publish a progress report (interim report) in January 2022. The reports will be available on Equal Opportunity Tasmania’s website.

Can I also make a formal complaint?

Participating in the Review does not constitute making a formal complaint under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1998 (Tas). The Review will not make any findings about your personal experience of discrimination, sexual harassment and/or bullying.

If you want to make a formal complaint, this is separate to the Review. Equal Opportunity Tasmania can provide you with information about how to make a formal complaint.

If you make a formal complaint, the information you provide in relation to that will not be used for the Review. Any information you provide for the Review will not be used as evidence if you make a formal complaint.

To find out how to make a formal complaint, contact Equal Opportunity Tasmania on (03) 6165 7515 or complaints@equalopportunity.tas.gov.au, or visit the complaints information on Equal Opportunity Tasmania's website.

Who can I talk to if I have any questions?

Updates on the Review will be published on Equal Opportunity Tasmania’s website. If you have any questions about the Review, please contact the Tasmanian Ministerial and Parliamentary Services Workplace Review Team on (03) 6165 7515 or MPSReview@equalopportunity.tas.gov.au.

Accessing support services

If participating in the Review raises any issues for you, please contact:

Beyond Blue
1300 22 4636
www.beyondblue.org.au

1800 RESPECT
1800 737 732
www.1800respect.org.au

Sexual Assault Support Service (SASS)

1800 697 877
www.sass.org.au

Human Resources (for Department of Premier and Cabinet staff)
(03) 6232 7895
HR@dpac.tas.gov.au

Converge International - Employee Assistance Provider (for State Service employee)
The EAP provider will strictly adhere to confidentiality at all times.

1300 687 327
eap@convergeintl.com.au

If you are in immediate danger, please contact Tasmania Police on 000.

Terms of Reference

Independent Review into Parliamentary practices and procedures to support workplace culture (the Review)

Terms of Reference

1. Request that the Anti-Discrimination Commissioner (the Commissioner) undertake a Review of the Tasmanian Ministerial and Parliamentary Services (MPS) workplace to ensure a safe and respectful workplace and reflect best practice in preventing and dealing with workplace discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying.

2. Request that in the Review the Commissioner:

  • Provides a safe and supportive environment that elicits trust and fosters open engagement.
  • Ensures the Review is founded on the principles of natural justice, includes safeguards for confidentiality, and provides mechanisms for persons who wish to engage in the review anonymously.
  • Ascertains whether there is workplace discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying within MPS and understands its nature and extent.
  • Ascertains and understands the existing perceptions of workplace culture within MPS.
  • Ascertains the existing awareness and understanding of responsibilities prescribed under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1998 (Tas) within MPS.
  • Ascertains and understands the impact of workplace discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying on individuals, and any contributing factors, including workplace culture, on the prevalence of workplace discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying within MPS.
  • Reviews existing complaint and reporting mechanisms available to staff of MPS, and any cultural and/or structural barriers that may impede staff making complaints.
  • Reviews existing policies, procedures and practices that govern responses and outcomes, where workplace discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying is found to have occurred in MPS.
  • Reviews existing Human Resources practices within the MPS setting.
  • Refers through appropriate pathways including Human Resources, Tasmania Police, Equal Opportunity Tasmania and/or the Integrity Commission, for individual allegations by or against staff of MPS that require follow up or investigation.

3. With a focus on systemic issues, request that the Commissioner provide a report setting out findings and making recommendations as to:

  • Any actions that should be taken to increase awareness of the impact of workplace discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying and improve workplace culture within MPS, including training and the role of leadership in promoting a workplace culture that does not tolerate workplace harassment.
  • Any changes that should be made to legislative, regulatory, administrative, legal or policy areas to enhance protection against, and provide best practice responses to, workplace discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying within MPS.
  • Any other actions or changes necessary to ensure a safe and respectful workplace free from workplace discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying within MPS and that set the standard for the broader community on best practice workplace policies and procedures that enable safe and respectful workplaces.

Scope and Definitions:

The scope of the Review will include a survey, oral and written submissions.

Workplace sexual harassment: sexual harassment as defined in the Anti-Discrimination Act 1998 (Tas).

Workplace bullying: repeated and unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or a group of workers that creates a risk to health and safety as defined by Worksafe Tasmania.

Workplace discrimination: (including discrimination, prohibited conduct and victimisation) as defined in the Anti-Discrimination Act 1998 with particular reference to sections 14 – 18 inclusive.

MPS workplace: the workplace includes all members of parliament, and the people working (in whatever capacity) in or for Parliament House, electorate offices and Ministers’ offices. It also encompasses regularly contracted services including security, catering and cleaning staff. The scope of workplace extends to include work related travel and events.

Review participants: current and former staff and employees for the period 1 July 2019 to present.