Know Your Rights - Re Assignment Policy

01 February 2016

The Public Service Association (PSA) has recently been approached by members regarding the assignment of duties for Domiciliary Care employees. In particular questions have been raised about currently unassigned employees within the Department. This includes questioning the right of the employer to move employees to another job which could include a different location.

The details of assigning employees can be found in both the Public Sector Act and Determinations published by the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment. For example the Public Sector Act (2009) states:-

Section 47 Assignment of duties
A public sector agency may from time to time determine the duties of a person as an employee of the agency and the place or places at which the duties are to be performed.

In essence if an agency is to assign an employee it should be at the same classification and a similar role or skills match. It should be made clear though that the assignment of employees should involve the employee throughout the process and should not come as a 'bolt out of the blue'.

All employees have a right to question a management decision and to seek further consultation. If they consider that a reassignment would cause undue hardship then the grievance process can be used. The PSA will advocate on behalf of members.

For employees declared excess the rules governing their management by an agency is set out in

Determination 7 (Management of Excess Employees – Redeployment, Retraining and Redundancy)

As the objective of this Determination is to ensure ongoing employment within Government, it too contains reference to assigning employees under Part 5, namely:

The transfer of an excess employee to a suitable funded/substantive role/duties / position does not require the agreement of the employee.”

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this matter, some useful reference tools include not only the documents detailed above but also the DCSI Assignment Policy (see link). Please contact the PSA for further assistance.