Public Trustee | Complexity Model Reviews

14 February 2020

Public Service Association (PSA) Worksite Representatives (WSRs) for Personal Estates and Deceased Estates sought to establish complexity models in 2019 that would ensure allocation of files to workers would be fair.

This followed the WSRs raising concerns that the file allocation limits did not adequately resolve the workload issues they were intended to resolve.

WSRs identified a number of concerns:

  •  That everyone at an equivalent ASO level might have had similar numbers of files but the individual files could be quite complex or required significant work while others might be dormant. As a result, some workers had higher workloads than others.
  •  That some workers were consistently getting certain types of files when they were considered better at them. This led to higher workload, minimal relief when on leave and co-workers not gaining new skills by getting experience on certain files (e.g. complex real estate).
  •  That the complexity of a file could change, become more or less complex over time, even fluctuate over extended periods.


Complexity models were proposed and implemented for Personal Estates and Deceased Estates last year, while Trusts implemented a model that does not reflect time involved working on different files.

As part of the implementation, a review was planned to see if the implemented models were working. Those reviews are happening now. You are encouraged to consider what is working and what is not.

Members have already communicated a number of issues:

  •  Lack of training and members having to make up solutions
  •  Many staff not aware of complexity models/measures
  •  Some elements of the model not being reflective of the work involved and therefore needing more or less weight in determining the file complexity
  •  How files change over time and how members deal with that
  •  Some tasks not having complexity measures
  •  Some Team Leaders not using the measures
  •  All tasks are not included into complexity/models
  •  Some complexity items are due to file management styles


All members are encouraged to review the models and provide your comments by email to your PSA Worksite Representatives or to PSA. A meeting for affected staff is being arranged and notification will follow once that is confirmed.