Discipline Standard

Outcome

The discipline process observes procedural fairness.

The Standard

The minimum Standard of merit, equity and probity is met for discipline if:

  • decisions are based on a proper assessment of the facts and circumstances prevailing at the time of the suspected breach of discipline.
  • the employing authority ensures procedural fairness is applied to all parties.
  • decisions are impartial, transparent and capable of review.

Explanatory notes

The explanatory notes are a guide and are not part of the Discipline Standard.

Application

The Standard applies to the disciplinary process used by an employing authority following a suspected breach of the employment contract by an employee.

The Standard does not apply to:

  • judging the merits of the facts and circumstances of the particular case
  • sub-standard performance
  • the appropriateness of any sanction imposed by the employing authority at the conclusion of a disciplinary process.

Rights and obligations

Employing authorities should inform employees about their rights and responsibilities and advise about access to appropriate support services. Employing authorities may find it useful to obtain appropriate advice about the conduct of a disciplinary procedure before proceeding.

Period

The Standard does not impose a time period to complete a disciplinary process.

All parties should attempt to complete a disciplinary process as quickly as possible. If it cannot be completed within a reasonable time, the parties should be informed about the delay and the reasons for it.

It is open to an employee to seek relief about an alleged undue delay of a disciplinary process. This may include the Industrial Relations Commission, or the dispute resolution process specified in the applicable award or industrial agreement.

Confidentiality

Information produced during the discipline process is kept in trust and divulged only to those with a need to know, with due regard to the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 1992.

Review

Documentation about a discipline decision should describe clearly and concisely the grounds upon which the decision was made.

Public Sector Management (Breaches of Public Sector Standards) Regulations 2005

In accordance with s.96 of the Public Sector Management Act 1994, the breach of Standard procedures do not apply to the Discipline Standard.

Obligations

The Standard does not override specific requirements applicable to discipline in the public sector, which may include:

  • judging the merits of the facts and circumstances of the particular case
  • sub-standard performance
  • the appropriateness of any sanction imposed by the employing authority at the conclusion of a disciplinary process.
    • discipline procedures specified in Part 5, Division 3 of the Act
    • Commissioner’s Instructions issued under the Act that relate to Discipline
    • unfair dismissal legislation administered by the Industrial Relations Commission
    • any dispute resolution process specified in an applicable award or industrial agreement.

Terms

Reviewable decision A decision made by a public sector body as a result of the completion of a process to which a Standard applies.
Registered employee As provided for by the Public Sector Management (Redeployment and Redundancy) Regulations 2014.
Job Reference to job in the Standards refers to an office, post, position, item or function in a public sector body, department or organisation.
Proper assessment A genuine and thorough examination that takes into account all relevant facts and circumstances that are reasonably available and known at the time of the decision.

 


Page last updated 5 May 2015