Secretary of Labour
The Department of Labour was first established in 1891. The title of Secretary of Labour has existed since 1903. For the purposes of the State Sector Act, the statutory responsibilities of the Secretary of Labour are those of a chief executive of a public sector department as set out in the State Sector Act 1988 and the Public Finance Act 1989.
In addition, the Secretary of Labour, (or Chief Executive of the Department of Labour) holds a number of specific statutory powers, including:
- power to designate employees of the Department as Labour Inspectors under the Employment Relations Act 2000
- authority to warrant qualified people as inspectors under the Health and Safety in Employment Act (HSE) and the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996
- authority under the Immigration Act 1987 to:
- issue general instructions on the order and manner of processing visa and permit applications (Section 13BA)
- designate persons employed by the Department as refugee status officers under section 129E and as immigration officers by issuing a warrant of designation under section 133
Under Part 4A of the Immigration Act 1987, the Chief Executive has specific responsibilities in the special procedures in cases involving security concerns.