This document is part of the Victorian Public Entity executive employment resource.

Summary of mandatory requirements and responsibilities

  • The Long Service Leave Act 2018 (Vic), Public Holidays Act 1993 (Vic) and the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (Vic) apply to public sector executives. These acts provide the minimum entitlements, but additional leave provisions may be included in contracts consistent with the employer’s policies.

5.1 Leave entitlements

Public entities are encouraged to establish policies relating to employment conditions, such as leave entitlements. Employers are provided with flexibility to amend the leave entitlements in the Standard Contract to ensure consistency with the employer’s policies. Executives should contact the HR unit with any queries relating to leave entitlements, policies and processes. Employers seeking advice on long service leave entitlements should refer to Business Victoria’s resource Long Service Leave – an overview.

5.2 Can executives be paid via a private company?

Executives cannot be paid via their private company. An executive is an employee of the public entity and a public official under the PAA. It is the executive who must be held accountable in the exercise of their functions – not their company.
Such an arrangement would not be an executive employment contract but the engagement of a contractor or a consultant. More importantly, in most situations, a contractor or consultant cannot hold key delegations, particularly financial delegations.

5.3 Reimbursements

Employers should develop policies and procedures for seeking prior authority for material expenses. The following guidance provides advice on common expenses claimed for reimbursement.

Relocation policy

An executive who is relocated for a position may be reimbursed necessary and reasonable expenses of relocation for themselves, their family and their effects (for example, airfares, temporary accommodation costs during settling in and settling out periods, and insurance). Relocation expenses may be considered appropriate at the start and conclusion of a term of appointment. Optional expenses may also be reimbursed on a case by case basis. See Appendix 2 for further detail on relocation expenses.
Relocation arrangements should be agreed to by the employer prior to the executive accepting the offer of employment. Employers should ensure that agreed relocation terms are appropriately documented.
Any caps on relocation allowances decided between an employer and executive should be considered as an upper limit, not as an entitlement. The need and reasonableness of each individual item should be considered by the executive and employer.
The executive should keep track of expenses against agreed relocation terms and provide receipts for reimbursements as required by the employer.

Travelling and personal expenses

Executives may be reimbursed for any necessary and reasonable expenses incurred during the course of their duties. The VPS Travel Policy is mandatory for all public service entities. It is not mandatory for all public entities but does provide a guide for employers when establishing their own policies.

Telephone expenses

Executives who make work-related calls or are required to be available by telephone outside normal working hours can have their service charges reimbursed by the employer. The reimbursement should be related to the number of work-related calls. Employers should note that mobile devices (such as a mobile phone, iPad or laptop) are considered business expenses and should not be included in contracts or in TRP.

Living away from home allowance

Depending on the employer’s policies, an executive who is living away from home1 may receive an allowance that reimburses additional costs incurred for living in another place. This arrangement would be for a short-term assignment and the allowance must be negotiated between the executive and employer. A living away from home allowance should not be paid for an entire contract.
Reimbursements may be subject to fringe benefits tax. Any fringe benefits tax liability must be included in the executive’s TRP. Refer to the ATO for more information.
1 A person is considered to be living away from a usual place of residence if, ‘but for a change in residence in order to work temporarily for the employer, the person would have continued to live at the former place’. It must also be the intention of the employee to return to the former locality.

Hospitality

Executives and employers should refer to Section 3.3 Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality Policy Guide when considering reimbursements for hospitality expenses.