To help support a fair, responsive and inclusive public sector in Queensland, the Public Service and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2020 came into effect on 14 September 2020, resulting in significant public sector employment reforms. The reforms include amendments to the Public Service Act 2008, including the requirement for the Public Service Commission (PSC) to develop directives about suspension, discipline and workplace investigations.
While work performance matters should always be managed fairly, agencies now have specific procedural obligations under the amended provisions of the Public Service Act 2008 and the directives relating to suspension, discipline and workplace investigations.
Public service employees may appeal certain decisions that affect their employment. Section 88IA of the Public Service Act 2008 is a new provision that enables an employee to ask the PSC to review a procedural aspect of the department’s handling of a current work performance matter, for example a suspension, discipline, or workplace investigation.
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An employee who is subject to a current work performance matter, for example suspension, discipline process or workplace investigation, may request a PSC review only if the following criteria are met:
- the matter is not a corrupt conduct matter
- the employee holds a reasonable belief that the agency has not complied with a relevant directive or principles of natural justice
- the employee has utilised their agency’s internal review procedures under the directive about managing individual employee grievances
- the employee remains dissatisfied after using their agency employee grievance process, and
- there has been no decision made in relation to the suspension, discipline process or workplace investigation that can be appealed under Chapter 7, part 1 of the Public Service Act 2008.
If you want the PSC to review a current work performance matter, email email@example.com. You will then be provided with further information and a link to the review request form which you can use to start the review process.
Upon receiving a request for review, the PSC may determine to conduct a review of a procedural aspect of the agency’s handling of the work performance matter, under section 88IA(4) of the Public Service Act 2008. The legislation defines ‘procedural aspect’ as an aspect of the matter relating to compliance with:
- a procedure under a directive applying to the matter, or
- principles of natural justice.
If a review of a work performance matter is conducted, the PSC may give the chief executive of the agency a report about the review that includes any recommendations and directions about how any defects in the procedural aspects are to be rectified.
- determine eligibility for review
- conduct review
- report on review outcomes with recommendations/ directions if relevant
5. Options for employees who are dissatisfied with the process or outcome of a request for a PSC review
If an employee is not satisfied with the process or outcome of their request for a PSC review, or considers that their relevant human rights were not considered, they may make a complaint to the PSC.
Where the PSC issues a direction to an agency about a work performance matter, it may be open to the employee to appeal the decision in accordance with section 194(1)(ba) of the Public Service Act 2008. For further information please refer to the directive relating to Appeals.