The Queensland Public Sector Act

The Queensland Public Sector Act 2022 (the Act), effective 1 March 2023, provides a modern, employee focused framework for the Queensland public sector. It supports the government’s commitment to being fair, responsive and a leader in public administration.

The Act applies to all public service departments, public sector entities (including formerly declared public service offices) and public service entities (formerly scheduled public service offices).

The Act does not apply to government owned corporations.

There are four priority areas within the Act. These are to:

  1. ensure the public sector is responsive to the community it serves
  2. create a public sector that supports the government’s focus to reframe its relationship with Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  3. create a public sector that ensures fairness in the employment relationship, and fair treatment of employees
  4. establish a high-performing, apolitical and representative public sector.

It’s important to understand the key terms and definitions under the Public Sector Act 2022.

Public sector

The public sector is the sector that consists of public sector entities and public sector employees who are employed in public sector entities.

Public service

The public service consists of persons employed under chapter 4 or 5 of the Act, who are employed in departments or other public service entities.

Public sector entity

A public sector entity is either:

  1. a public service entity
  2. an entity other than a public service entity, prescribed by regulation as a public sector entity
  3. a registry or other administrative office of a court or tribunal of the state
  4. an agency, authority, commission, corporation, instrumentality, office, or other entity, other than an entity mentioned in paragraph (a), (b) or (c), established under an Act for a public or state purpose.

Public service entity

A public service entity is:

  1. a department
  2. an entity mentioned in schedule 1 of the Act.


A department is a department of government declared by Governor in Council under section 197 of the Act. Departments are a type of public service entity.

It’s critical to our success as a modern public sector to ensure the government can respond to complex issues that cross organisational boundaries and provide wrap around services based on the needs of Queenslanders.

The Act seeks to unify the sector through:

  • universal application of the employment arrangements
  • use of arrangements to mobilise employees
  • use of taskforces.

Employment framework

The Act establishes a framework which includes employment arrangements for public sector employees. The employment framework includes:

  • work performance and personal conduct principles
  • positive performance management principles
  • recruitment and selection processes
  • employment security (including measures aimed at helping non-permanent employees attain permanent roles)
  • independent appeals processes.

Mobility arrangements

The Act allows for the consolidation and simplification of work performance and interchange arrangements. This gives public sector organisations and employees greater flexibility when negotiating and agreeing to mobility arrangements.

Mobility arrangements may be made between:

  • public sector entities
  • public sector entities and government entities in different jurisdictions
  • public and private sector entities, universities or non-government organisations.

Mobility arrangements can be used for:

  • staffing taskforces established by the Premier under the Act
  • enabling surge mobility of public sector employees
  • providing professional development opportunities to employees.


The Act facilitates collaboration by empowering the Premier of Queensland to establish taskforces to manage complex issues on matters common to two or more public service entities.

Taskforce arrangements may assist in:

  • overcoming the challenges of cross-agency activities during a government response to emerging, high priority or regional issues facing Queenslanders
  • formalising a collaborative governance model aimed at delivering efficient, seamless service delivery, value for the community and facilitate the government’s access to robust advice on complex issues.

In 2019, the government released its Statement of Commitment to reframe the relationship between Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and the Queensland Government.

The Public Sector Act 2022 acknowledges that public sector organisations providing public services have a unique role and obligation to reframe relationships and recognise the importance of the right to self-determination for First Nations peoples.

Cultural capability in the workplace

The Act requires public sector organisations to take steps to ensure they create a culturally capable workforce, and culturally safe workplaces. This capability is built by learning about the experiences and aspirations of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and integrating this knowledge into workplace standards, policies, practices and attitudes.

Certain public sector organisations, including public service departments, Hospital and Health Services, and the Queensland Police Service, must also develop and publish a Reframing the relationship plan. This plan should identify measures for developing the cultural capability of these entities as they provide advice to the government and deliver services to the community.

Find out more about cultural capability and resources for Queensland public servants by visiting the Cultural capability portal.

The employment relationship between the government and public sector employees must be based on fairness. The Act contains recruitment and selection arrangements designed to provide fair and transparent processes when engaging employees, and system changes to ensure fair treatment of employees once engaged, including:

  • arrangements to improve job security
  • review mechanisms for employee performance and conduct
  • review mechanisms for employee disputes.

Fairness in the employment relationship will also be demonstrated through commitment to equity and a culture of respect and inclusion.

Job security

The Act contains arrangements aimed at converting the employment status of non-permanent public sector employees to permanent employees.

Positive performance management

The Act establishes positive performance management principles to guide the management of all public sector employees, including:

  • recognising obligations that apply to public sector managers, including their responsibility to help employees by supporting them to perform at their best
  • recognising employee responsibilities to deliver quality outcomes
  • ensuring public sector employees receive regular, constructive feedback on work performance and conduct.

Chief executives must ensure compliance with performance management principles before performance-based disciplinary action is taken.


The Act provides a clear commitment to fairness in the employment relationship through appeal rights for public sector employees. Employees aggrieved by certain decisions affecting their employment can have them considered by an independent tribunal via the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission.

Measuring and planning for equity

The Act includes measures to improve equity and diversity to ensure our workforce represents the varied views, experiences and backgrounds of the communities we serve.

Chief executives (as determined by the Act) must:

  • promote, support and progress equality and diversity
  • ensure people who are members of one or more diversity target groups (women, people with disability, Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples and those with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds) can pursue careers and compete for recruitment, selection and promotion opportunities
  • eliminate unlawful discrimination.

Under the Act chief executives (as determined by the Act) must also develop, publish and regularly review an equity and diversity plan with clear measures for improving equity and diversity.

Obligations to support a culture of respect and inclusion

The Act states that chief executives (as determined by the Act) are responsible for promoting and supporting a culture of respect and inclusion in their organisation. This means ensuring a culture where:

  • employee experiences and perspectives (from target and non-target groups) are invited and respected
  • employees feel safe in the workplace
  • workplaces foster a culture of belonging
  • employees are supported to work together to improve performance and wellbeing
  • employees possess the skills, knowledge and access to systems necessary to manage employment matters in a respectful, safe and appropriate way.

The duty to support a culture of respect and inclusion must be reflected in an organisation’s training programs, policies and practices.

See Workplace inclusion and diversity for more information.

The Act’s recruitment and selection framework focusses on attracting, retaining and developing the people best suited to each available role. It acknowledges the importance of fair and transparent recruitment and selection processes in shaping the culture and diversity of public sector entities and ensuring the work we perform is apolitical.

Recruitment and selection processes must:

  • be fair and transparent
  • be directed to the selection of the eligible person best suited to the position
  • reflect the obligations under Chapter 2 of the Act relating to equity, diversity, respect and inclusion.

The Act contains employment requirements for:

  • suitability for employment
  • eligibility for employment.

For more details and guidance, see Recruit for diversity.