As the ‘caretaker period’ of government looms followed by the slack season of Chrissy and post-Chrissy summer hols, people who are contemplating signing up with an agency in Canberra should be aware of one called TPA (The Public Affairs agency, and its umbrella Vedior Pacific Asia, based in Sydney).
Do NOT confuse this one with the much longer established Public Affairs Recruitment Company, headed by the very professional Karen !
Maybe I was unlucky, but my experience with Vedior Asia Pacific was a nightmare.
I was offered a contract at the APS 5 level (a bit under the mark for a PAO these days, but what the hell, it was all going into my super fund, or so I believed). Now, as I said, I may have been unlucky, but subsequent events were unbelieveable – the small administrative issue of depositing the whole 100 % of salary into a super fund (entirely legal and approved by the ATO) seemed to present mammoth difficulties for Vedior – there was never more than one person in the office and I was handed on to Kalena in Brisbane, someone called Larsh or Lark in Sydney and the two ladies in the Canberra office Vanessa who always seemed to be on a course somewhere and Laura who stoically held the fort between times.
The really annoying thing was that, after having difficulty getting into the electronic timesheet system, I found that it ran on a weekly, rather than a fortnightly span, (and seemed to start on a Sunday, rather than the usual Thursday to Wednesday run) and my first month’s salary was paid into my bank account, (with a big bite of tax taken out) rather than paid entire into my super fund (as a retired APS officer I can live, albeit frugally,for a while, on my Comsuper pension).
Vediot admitted they had made a mistake, and offered to reverse the payment, if I repaid the entire amount – by that time I was waiting for my salary to be deposited into AGEST and I decided it was going to take too long. My contract ended the second week of September – and I had to wait until the 24th (yesterday) before I saw part of the funds deposited intop AGEST.
When I kicked up a fuss and threatened to notify the Department, I was told the next amount would be paid into AGEST on 20th October – almost two months after I had ended the contract.
Moral of this story – check out the agency that offers you a contract as carefully as they check you out – if you want to salary sacrifice, ask how long they hold on to your money, and insist, if you can, that when your contract ends, all the monies owed to you should be paid to you.
And don’t deal with Vedior Asia Pacific unless you’re feeling really lucky.