Merit Protection Commissioner

We contribute to safe, effective and harmonious public sector workplaces through our review, complaint and inquiry functions

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If you are an APS or Parliamentary Service employee, we can assist you by conducting an independent review of a workplace action or decision that you think isn't fair, or isn't correct.
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Review of workplace decisions

Review of workplace decisions

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When you’re involved in a workplace dispute, finding the right pathway can be difficult. Especially if you think a decision made about you is wrong, unfair, or unreasonable.

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Has your application for flexible work arrangements or leave been rejected? Are you unhappy with how your complaint about bullying or harassment was handled? Have you been found to have breached the Code of Conduct, received a poor performance review, a sanction, or a suspension?

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If you’re an APS or Parliamentary Service employee, you have a right to review certain decisions or actions that relate to your employment.

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The Merit Protection Commissioner offers an independent review for all ongoing, non-ongoing, and casual employees.

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For some types of disputes, you will need to seek a review with your agency first to resolve the issue.

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If you’re not satisfied with the outcome, you can tell your agency that you would like a secondary review by the MPC, and they must send your matter to us.

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For significant work-related decisions and actions, you can come directly to us for a first and final review.

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Things like:

 • if your agency head was involved or is the decision maker,

• you’ve been found to have breached the Code of Conduct, or been given a sanction,

• the issue is so serious or sensitive that it’s inappropriate for your agency to deal with it,

• or, there’s an action that you think is victimisation or harassment for a previous review application you have made.

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If you’re unsure of the right pathway, get in touch with us.

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Find out more on our website, or contact one of our team members.

[MPC contact details appear: mpc.gov.au, (02) 8239 5330, review@mpc.gov.au]

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The Merit Protection Commissioner: supporting integrity and accountability in the public and Parliamentary Service [MPC brand mark appears].

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Understand your entitlement to have actions or decisions that affect your employment reviewed as an APS or Parliamentary Service employee. Find out how to apply, if you’re eligible, and what actions and decisions the Merit Protection Commissioner can and cannot review.

Review of promotion decisions

Review of promotion decisions

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You’ve been working hard and applied for a promotion, but were unsuccessful in getting the job.

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Did you know, as an ongoing APS or Parliamentary Service employee, you have a right to have certain promotion decisions reviewed by the Merit Protection Commissioner?.

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We can help if you applied for a role at a higher classification than your current role, from levels 1 to 6

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The role was advertised in the APS Gazette with the location that you applied for,

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And an ongoing public servant was promoted into that role.

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We aren’t able to review internal acting opportunities, Expressions of Interests, roles filled by a fellow public servant at the same level as the advertised job, a non-ongoing employee, or someone outside of the APS or Parliamentary Service.

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If you see a ‘promotion notice’ in the APS Gazette, and it was a job and location you applied for, you have 14 days to apply to us for a review.

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Simply fill out an online form. Tell us a bit about you, which position you applied for, and who was promoted into the role.

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We will review the decision and ensure the person with the most merit is promoted into that job.

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Find out more on our website, or contact one of our team members.

[MPC contact details appear: mpc.gov.au, (02) 8239 5330, review@mpc.gov.au]

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The Merit Protection Commissioner: supporting integrity and accountability in the public and Parliamentary Service [MPC brand mark appears].

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As an APS or Parliamentary Service employee, you have the right to have certain promotion decisions reviewed by the Merit Protection Commissioner. Find out if you’re eligible, and how to apply.

Review of performance decisions

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If you’re an APS or Parliamentary Service employee, and have been through a performance process that you think is wrong, unfair, or unreasonable...

 

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…you have the right to review performance management decisions that affect you- by the Merit Protection Commissioner.

 

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We review things like:

  • a poor or unsatisfactory performance rating
  • a decision to implement a performance improvement plan or a ‘managing underperformance process’
  • any action taken as a result of an unsatisfactory performance management process (excluding a decision to terminate your employment)

 

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You will need to seek a review with your agency first to resolve the issue.

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If you are not satisfied with the outcome, you have 60 days to tell your agency that you would like a secondary review by the MPC, and they must send your matter to us. Your agency will provide us with the information relevant to the decision.

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We will conduct a full merits review, and may look at:

  • your point of view
  • your manager’s point of view
  • your job description
  • performance expectations
  • work samples
  • whether performance discussions have taken place between you and your manager
  • and if you were provided with constructive feedback so that you were not surprised by the decision.

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We then notify you, and your agency- our recommendation to ‘uphold’ their decision as fair, or whether we have found the decision to be unfair, and should be ‘varied’ or ‘set aside’.

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The agency should then reconsider their decision or make a different decision.  

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In addition to performance management decisions, the MPC can also review other workplace decisions that affect you for free, and independently.

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Find out more on our website, or contact one of our team members.

 [MPC contact details appear: mpc.gov.au, (02) 8239 5330, review@mpc.gov.au]

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The Merit Protection Commissioner: supporting integrity and accountability in the public and Parliamentary Service

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Review of code matters

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Are you an APS or Parliamentary Service employee who is subject to a Code of Conduct process?

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Are you worried that a decision is wrong, unfair or unreasonable?

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If so, you are able to seek review by the Merit Protection Commissioner.

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The MPC can review any finding that you have breached the Code of Conduct or a decision to impose a sanction of a

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reduction in classification, reassignment of duties, reduction in salary, deduction from salary by way of fine, reprimand.

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The MPC cannot review a decision to terminate your employment.

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For that, you need to apply to the Fair Work Commission.

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There are many reasons why an agency will investigate an employee.

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Common allegations are that an employee has made an unauthorised access of client databases,

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not recorded their attendance correctly, bullied or harassed another person,

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failed to follow directions or agency procedures, failed to perform their duties with care and diligence.

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For a breach or sanction decision, you can make an application directly to the MPC

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for a first and final review without going through your agency. Time limits apply.

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The breach and sanction are two separate decisions.

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So don't wait until the sanction decision is made to apply for a review of the breach decision.

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You have 60 days from each decision to apply to us for review.

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When we review a breach decision, we look first at the process, for example

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were your agency's procedures followed and were you given procedural fairness?

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We then consider the evidence the agency has gathered in its investigation and whether you actually did what was alleged.

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Finally, we decide whether your actions were a breach of the Code of Conduct.

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When it comes to reviewing a sanction decision, we consider whether the sanction imposed on you is fair and proportionate.

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Once we have completed our review, we will notify you and your agency of our recommendation

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to either uphold the breach finding, or sanction decision, or whether it should be varied or set aside.

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Other code of conduct related decisions, such as a suspension decision or the decision to start

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an investigation, must be reviewed first by your agency.

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If you are not happy with your agency's decision, you can then seek a review by the MPC.

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In addition to Code of Conduct decisions, the MPC can also review other workplace decisions that affect you.

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If you would like more information about your review rights and how to apply, visit our website or contact one of our team members.

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The Merit Protection Commissioner. Supporting integrity and accountability in the Public and Parliamentary Service.

Our performance 1 April – 30 June 2022

Received application
Review of workplace decisions

Finalised in 58 days.

Received application
Review of promotion decisions

Received 109 applications.

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Enquiries

Responded to 140 enquiries.