Employment Stability and Security

The Public Service is still characterised by long-term and largely full-time employment relationships. Tenure patterns in the Public Service have not changed much over the five years since comprehensive turnover data have been available. Around a third of public servants have already been with their department for more than ten years, and around half of the rest of the employees are projected to also reach ten years service before they leave. Turnover rates tend to be much higher for younger employees.


The core unplanned turnover 10 rate for the Public Service was 12% (13% for women, 10% for men) for the year to 30 June 2004. The unplanned turnover rate has been stable over the five years that this measure has been available, while the gross turnover rate (which includes people on fixed-term employment) has been slowly decreasing.

Managers, and Personal and Protective Services Workers (mainly Prison Officers) have had relatively low turnover, while other groups such as Professionals and Office Clerks have had turnover rates consistent with the overall Public Service rate. In 2004, the two smallest groups, Customer Services Clerks and Trades and Production Workers (who together employ 5% of permanent public servants), had the highest turnover rates.


The number of people who received redundancy payments 11 has continued on the downward path that has been evident for the last four years. In the year to June 2004, 168 people received redundancy payments, the lowest number since data on redundancy payments began being collected in 1991 and down from 188 in 2003. These payments had an average value of $37,133, down from $42,804 in 2003.

Part-time Employees

9% of public servants worked part-time 12 (less than 30 hours per week) compared to 25% of employees in the labour force 13 .

Parental Leave

452 employees completed a period of parental leave during the year to 30 June 2004 14 . 55 (12%) of these were men. The average length of parental leave for women was 201 calendar days compared with 34 days for men. All but seven of the men took six weeks leave or less, and only one took more than 12 weeks parental leave.

19% of the women taking parental leave took 12 weeks or less. The average salary of women taking up to 12 weeks parental leave was around $900 higher than those who took more than 12 weeks parental leave.

Annual Leave

74% of permanent public servants were entitled to four weeks annual leave or more.

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