The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia.

9.1.4 Commonwealth employment


The PPLAct applies to a person who is engaged by or on behalf of the Commonwealth as an employee to perform functions in a Commonwealth agency as if:

  • the employee were employed by the agency (rather than the Commonwealth), for whom the person is to perform functions, and
  • the agency were a body corporate, and
  • the agency head has all the rights, duties and powers of an employer in relation to the employee.

A Commonwealth agency for this purpose means:

  • a non-corporate Commonwealth entity within the meaning of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act)
  • any other unincorporated body established for a public purpose by or under a law of the Commonwealth.

This enables an employer determination (1.1.E.60) to be made for an employee and the specific Commonwealth department or agency they are employed with.

However, in determining whether an employer determination must be made for a Commonwealth employee and an employer, the length of employment with the Commonwealth, rather than with an individual department or agency, must be taken into account.

Centrelink must make an employer determination in relation to a claim for PLP, where all the criteria for making an employer determination are satisfied, including where the person has, or will have, been employed by the Commonwealth for at least 12 months prior to their child's expected or actual DOB.

Act reference: PPLAct section 6 The Dictionary, section 278 How this Act applies to Commonwealth employment

Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013

Policy reference: PPL Guide 6.1.1 Making employer determinations for PLP

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