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Division 2: Bonus framework

3.5.4 Purpose

This Division intends to provide the following outcomes.

  1. It sets out a single framework for benefits paid in the form of a retention bonus under section 58B of the Defence Act 1903.

  2. Members in individual positions necessary to capability in a critical trade or work unit are retained.

  3. Reduction of personnel numbers to levels below that required to sustain operational or supporting capability is prevented.

  4. Members are retained in individual positions critical to their Service's capability.

3.5.5 Some concepts used in this Division

  1. An agreed period of service is a period of up to three years which the member agrees to serve in a specified position, employment category or primary qualification in return for a bonus under this Division.

  2. A current capability shortage is critical when both the following conditions are met.

    1. A position requirement cannot be met with fit, trained and available personnel, within respite rules.

    2. Failure to meet the position requirement impacts negatively on delivery of Service capability.

  3. A workforce structure shortage is critical when some or all of the recruiting, retention, training throughput, strength and future health elements of the employment category combine so that the shortage in numbers is unlikely to recover within five years.

3.5.6 Member eligible for a bonus

A member who meets the following conditions may be offered a retention bonus under this Division by their Service Chief.

  1. They are a member of the Permanent Forces or a member of the Reserves on continuous full-time service.

  2. Note: In the total workforce model, the Permanent Force may be said to comprise members in Service categories 6 and 7. The Reserves may be said to comprise members in Service categories 2, 3, 4 and 5. Reserve members on continuous full-time service are also on Service option C.

  3. The member has completed an initial minimum period of service.

    Note: This concept is defined in a determination made by the Chief of Air Force under sub-regulations 53(1), 58(7), 58(9), 90(6), 90(7) and 97(6) of the Defence(Personnel) Regulations 2002.

    Related Information: The initial minimum period of service is defined in Chapter 1 paragraph 1.11 of the Military Personnel Policy Manual.

  4. The member is not on a return of service obligation.

    Note: This concept is defined in a determination made by the Chief of Air Force under sub-regulations 53(1), 58(6), 62(6), 90(5), 94(8) and 97(5) of the Defence (Personnel) Regulations 2002.

    Related Information: The return of service obligation is defined in Chapter 1 paragraph 1.13 of the Military Personnel Policy Manual.

3.5.7 Member who is not eligible

A member in any of the following circumstances is not eligible to be offered a bonus under this Division.

  1. The member is medically unfit for service and the unfitness is to continue for a period of two years or more.

  2. The member has less than two years to serve until the end of the following periods.

    1. The member's fixed period of service.

      Exception: The member's Service Chief has accepted the member's application to have their fixed period of service extended to cover the period of service required for the bonus.

    2. The member's compulsory retirement age.

      Exception: The member's Service Chief has accepted the member's application to have their retirement date extended to cover the period of service required for the bonus.

  3. The member has been given a notice of termination.

3.5.8 Offer of a bonus

  1. The amount of the bonus is to be determined by the Service Chief relevant to the member, having regard to section 3.5.9, up to a maximum of $100,000 for the period of service determined at subsection 2. The amount must be notified to the member as part of the offer.

  2. The period of service that must be performed in return for the bonus to be offered is to be determined by the Service Chief, for a fixed period of between one and three years. The period must be notified to the member as part of the offer.

    Note: The offer must not include a past period as part of the agreed period of effective service.

  3. After a Service Chief has made the decisions under subsections 1 and 2, the offer may be made by whichever of the following positions is relevant to the member.

    1. Director General Navy People.

    2. Director General Personnel – Army.

    3. Director General Personnel – Air Force.

    See: Annex 3.5.B Part A, Bonus framework form

3.5.9 Factors that are considered before a bonus is offered

Before offering a bonus to a member or a class of members, the Service Chief must consider the following matters:

  1. Any evidence that there is a workforce structure shortage that is critical in the member's employment category.

  2. Any evidence that failure to retain the member in the position will result in a current capability shortage that is critical.

  3. Any evidence that the number of personnel in the member's employment category or specialisation is falling.

  4. Whether the position that the member fills is essential to the delivery of the Service's capability.

  5. Whether the member holds qualifications and skills that are essential to the delivery of Service capability.

  6. Whether the member has applied to achieve qualifications and skills that are essential to the delivery of Service capability.

  7. Any evidence about the period of the workforce shortage that the position, employment category or specialisation that the offer is affected by.

  8. Any actions that have been taken to remedy the workforce shortage in the longer term.

  9. Any market forces that are contributing to the shortage.

  10. Any evidence of productivity improvement linked to the payment of the bonus.

  11. Any other relevant matter.

3.5.10 Effective service for the purpose of the bonus

  1. The member's agreed period of service must be served as effective service.

  2. For the purpose of this Division, effective service means service that meets all these conditions.

    1. It is continuous full time service.

    2. Note: In the total workforce model, continuous full-time service may be described as service in Service category 6 or 7. A member who is in Service category 3, 4 or 5 who is also on Service option C is also on continuous full-time service.

    3. It is paid.

      Exception: Unpaid leave of less than 21 calendar days.

    4. It is counted as a period of effective service under subsection 3.

  3. This table lists a range of leave types and activities and sets out how a period of that leave or activity counts toward member's period of effective service.

    Effective service
    Item Activity Effect
    1. Part-time leave without pay. The paid component counts as effective service.
    1A. Flexible service determination.
    2. Leave at full pay.
    Examples: Recreation leave, full pay long service leave.
    The whole period of this leave counts as effective service.
    3. Unpaid leave for less than 21 calendar days.
    Examples: Leave without pay, maternity leave without pay
    4. Leave at half pay.
    Example: Long service leave at half pay.
    Half the period of the leave counts as effective service.
    5. A period when the member is discharging an undertaking for service for the purpose of another bonus payment under this Division. The period counts as effective service only toward the earlier undertaking.
    6. Unpaid leave for 21 calendar days or more.
    Examples: Leave without pay, maternity leave without pay

    The period for which the member is in this situation does not count as effective service.

    7. Absence without leave.
    8. Imprisonment, detention or suspension from duty without pay.
    9. An undertaking for further service under Part 8 of the Military Superannuation and Benefits Act 1991, as preserved by item 4 of Schedule 4 Defence Legislation Amendment Act (No. 1) 2005.
    10. A period when the member is discharging a return of service obligation for the purpose of the Defence Personnel Regulations 2002.
    11. A period when the member is discharging an undertaking for service for the purpose of another bonus payment under this Part.

3.5.11 How the offer is accepted

  1. An eligible member may accept a bonus under this Division any time after they receive an offer, until the latest of the following dates.

    1. Twenty-eight days after the day the offer is made.

    2. If the member was deployed when the offer under paragraph a. was made – the day 28 days after the day the member returns to Australia after a deployment.

    3. A longer period that the member's Service Chief decides is reasonable, having regard to the member's circumstances.

  2. A member must take both the following actions to accept an offer.

    1. Accept the offer using the acceptance form at Part B to Annex 3.5.B.

      See: Annex 3.5.B, Bonus framework form

    2. Elect how the benefit is to be paid, using the form at Annex 3.5.J.

      See: Annex 3.5.J, Bonus payment election

  3. The acceptance must include an undertaking to serve for the period specified in the offer, (a fixed period of up to three years of effective service) in the position, specialisation or employment category for which the bonus was offered (this is called the agreed period of service), using the form at Annex 3.5.B.

3.5.12 Transfer in from another bonus

  1. A member who is serving on another bonus scheme contained in Chapter 3 Part 5 of this Determination ('the other scheme') may be offered a bonus under this Division.

  2. If the member accepts the offer of a bonus under this Division, the acceptance has the following effects on the member's liability to serve in return for a bonus under the other scheme.

    1. The member's period of service under the other scheme continues until the day that the member commences serving the period of service agreed under this scheme.

    2. If the other scheme has a completion bonus and the member will not complete their agreed period of service under that scheme, the member may receive a pro rata amount for the period they have completed under the other scheme. The pro rata payment is calculated as follows.

    Pro rata calculation
    Step Action
    1.

    Work out the number of calendar days in the period.

    1. The period starts on the day the member is taken to start their undertaking to serve under the other scheme.

    2. The period ends on the day before the date the member commences serving under this scheme.

    2. Work out the number of days of ineffective service in the period in Step 1.
    3. Subtract the outcome of Step 2 from the outcome of Step 1.
    4. Divide the outcome of Step 3 by 365 for each year of the agreed period of service under the other scheme. If the period includes 29 February, add an additional day.
    Example: If the other bonus was for a two year period divide by 730. If the period includes 29 February, divide by 731.
    5. Multiply the outcome of Step 4 by the bonus amount the member would have received under the other scheme.
    6. The member may be paid the outcome of Step 5.

    Example: A member joined the other scheme on 12 January 2009. On 5 August 2010 the member commences service under this bonus scheme. The member had 25 days of leave without pay in December 2009. The bonus amount the member would have received if they had completed a three year period of service under the other scheme is $15,000.

    Pro rata calculation example
    Step Action
    1. There were 571 calendar days between 12 January 2009 and 5 August 2010.
    2. The 25 days the member was on leave without pay was ineffective service.
    3. 571 – 25 = 546 calendar days
    4. 546 divided by 1095 = 0.4986301
    5. 0.4986301 multiplied by $15,000 = $7479.45.
    6. The member may be paid $7479.45.
  3. If the other scheme had an obligation payment or other initial payment, no amount of the obligation or initial payment is repayable under that scheme.

3.5.13 Payment of the bonus

A retention bonus becomes payable to an eligible member when the member has submitted both forms required under subsection 3.5.11.2.

See:
Annex 3.5.B, Bonus framework form
Annex 3.5.J, Bonus payment election

3.5.14 Member leaves scheme

  1. The member is not required to repay the bonus when the member fails to complete their agreed period of service under this Division for any of the following reasons.

    1. The Service Chief determines that the member's reason for ceasing to serve is beyond the member's control.

      Example: The member is terminated because of medical unfitness, or dies.

    2. The member transfers from the Permanent Forces to the Reserves at the Service Chief's initiative.

      Authority: Chapter 8 Part 2 Division 2 or 3 of the Defence (Personnel) Regulations 2002.

    3. Note: In the total workforce model, the Permanent Forces may be said to comprise members in Service categories 6 and 7. The Reserves may be said to comprise members in Service categories 2, 3, 4 and 5.

  2. The member is not required to repay the bonus if they complete their agreed period of service but not in the agreed position, employment category or specialisation when any of the following circumstances apply.

    1. The member transfers to another position, employment category or specialisation due to a restructure.

    2. The member's Service initiates the member's transfer to another position, employment category or specialisation.

    3. The member is promoted and so must leave the agreed position, employment category or specialisation.

  3. A member will be required to repay the full amount of a retention bonus if they fail to complete their agreed period of service for any of the following reasons.

    1. The member voluntarily leaves the employment category or specialisation for which the bonus was offered.

    2. The member voluntarily transfers out of the Service.

    3. The member voluntarily transfers to the Reserves.

    4. The member voluntarily applies to terminate service in the Permanent Forces.

    5. The member's service is terminated for performance or disciplinary reasons.

Application to Reservists: Yes, in certain circumstances.




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