Wortley has served as a member of a number of government and community organisations including the Occupational Health and Safety Commission, the Workers Appeal Tribunal and the Industrial Relations Advisory Committee. He was a councillor for the Fitzroy Ward of the Prospect City Council from 1987 to 1993. He is a Justice of the Peace.
Elected to parliament in 2006, Wortley's policy interests include education, health, industrial relations, aged care, environment and natural resources. Wortley has served in many committees and select committees.
Wortley was sworn in as Minister for Industrial Relations and State/Local Government Relations on 23 June, 2011.