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Follow the disciplinary process

Discipline process

Following a preliminary assessment and appropriate enquiries - and where necessary an internal or external investigation - an authorised decision maker who is ‘reasonably satisfied that grounds for disciplinary action exist’ may commence a disciplinary process in accordance with section 187 of the Public Service Act (PSA) 2008.

1. Pre-week 1 - employer

2. Weeks 1 and 2 - employee

  • Receives and responds to letter - show cause 1.

3. Weeks 3 and 4 - employer

  • Considers response to letter show cause 1.
  • Determines whether there are grounds for disciplinary action based on ‘balance of probabilities’ - Briginshaw test.
  • If grounds, proposes disciplinary action – prepares letter show cause 2 (anchored link).

Factors taken into account when determining an appropriate disciplinary action include:

  • The employee’s response (if any)
  • Overall, work performance and employee’s potential for modified behaviour.
  • Seriousness of the matter.

Letter will include relevant appeal rights

4. Week 5 - employee

  • Receives and responds to letter show cause 2 – opportunity to propose any justification for why a different disciplinary action should apply.

5. Weeks 6 and 7 - employer

  • Considers response to show cause 2
  • Prepares decision letter (anchored link to show cause 2 templates) – outlining what disciplinary action (if any) will be taken and the date the decision will be implemented.

6. Week 8 - employee

  • Receives decision letter and advice on appeal rights – appeal must be made within 21 days from receipt of Decision letter.
  • Terminations implemented immediately – an unfair dismissal application can be lodged with the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission.

7. Post week 8 - employer

  • Implements disciplinary action if no appeal or appeal is concluded.
  • Provides advice to human resources, payroll etc.

Disciplinary action may include:

  • Termination of employment
  • Reduction in classification
  • Monetary penalty
  • Increment reduction/deferral
  • Reprimand
  • Transfer
  • Other.

Management action - instead of or as well as disciplinary action - may include:

  • Performance improvement process
  • Change of duties
  • Training and development
  • Other.

8. Show cause 1 letter template

9. Show cause 2 letter templates