Termination Standard


Termination decisions are fair and all entitlements are provided.

The Standard

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

  • decisions are based on a proper assessment of the public sector body’s requirements and employee’s circumstances.
  • employees are informed of their rights, entitlements and responsibilities about the termination process.
  • decisions are impartial, transparent and capable of review.

Explanatory notes

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


The Standard applies to the process used by an employing authority to reach decisions about termination of an employee’s employment and/or to respond to an employee’s request for cessation of employment.

Cessation of employment includes:

  • resignation
  • retirement
  • retirement on the grounds of ill-health
  • completion of a fixed term contract of service
  • severance (i.e. redundancy, voluntary severance).

The Standard does not apply to the cessation of employment as a consequence of sub-standard performance or disciplinary action. Other legislation applies.

Rights and entitlements

Employees should be informed about their entitlements prior to the cessation of employment.

Employee rights and entitlements are mentioned in the enabling legislation, awards, employment contracts or industrial agreements. Employing authorities must act in accordance with these terms and conditions.


Information produced during the termination 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.


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

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

Once a reviewable decision is made about the cessation of an employment contract, the process is subject to the breach of Standard procedures. Employees have up to 10 working days to lodge a breach claim from first becoming aware of the decision, or 30 days after the decision was made, whichever period expires first.


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

  • Commissioner’s Instructions issued under the Act
  • unfair dismissal legislation administered by the Industrial Relations Commission
  • any dispute resolution process specified in an applicable award or industrial agreement.


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