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Probe into public sector exit payments

A REVIEW is on its way into redundancy and Workforce Renewal Incentive Program payments made to Tasmanian public sector worker after the CPSU called on the Auditor General to investigate the way in which these payments occurred, after hearing cases of unfairness and discrimination.

CPSU General Secretary Tom Lynch told the Mercury that payments were “all over the place”.

“When we started to observe the cases we saw that there was a degree of discrimination, there was age discrimination … the closer people were to retirement age it seemed the less they were being offered.”
“We also observed a lot of women who seemed to be ¬offered less than men in similar situations and that was concerning.”

In today’s Mercury article Mr Lynch said there were ¬instances of WRIP payments being offered to employees whose position were not being backfilled. In particular he highlighted concerns with THO South.

As the name suggests, WRIPS are not redundancies – the purpose of these is to renew the workforce and replace the people who choose to leave and take these payments.

Back in February public sector unions raised that they were hearing that those who’d taken WRIPS were not being replaced. If the goal was to not replace staff, than these workers should’ve been offered redundancies.
This review was flagged in the recent Budget Estimates, where the Premier also said that only the government’s response to the audit, not the report itself, would be released publically because it included details of individuals. Mr Hodgman said:

“The reviews are designed to assist agencies to improve their internal processes. The reports on the reviews are likely to contain personal information. I raise this now, because I just want you to understand that the reviews are likely to contain personal information about particular individual cases, so it will not be appropriate now or at any time, or indeed in the public interest, to release them. With respect to the review itself and its recommendations to government when they come to Cabinet, I can advise this committee that the review, its findings and the Government’s response will be released publicly.”

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