Timeframes for all types of review

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Information on timeframes for different types of review

Are there timeframes for applying for different types of review?

Yes there are important timeframes. They are different for different types of review.

It is important to apply for review within the time limits (Regulation 5.23).

How we calculate the number of days depends on what you want reviewed. The days may be calculated from the date of:

  • 'the action' about which you are concerned, or
  • decision that affects you.

The number of days depends on the type of review you are seeking.

There are four main types of review for current APS employees:

  1. Code of Conduct matters
  2. Other general employment matters
  3. Matters involving an agency head and/or are serious and sensitive
  4. Promotion decisions.

Former APS employees can only apply for review of:

  1. A decision by the agency head after they ceased APS employment that they breached the Code of Conduct during their APS employment.
  2. The final entitlements paid on leaving the APS.

What are the timeframes for review of Code of Conduct matters?

For review of a breach of the APS Code of Conduct:

You have 60 days to apply to the Merit Protection Commissioner.

The 60 days is calculated from the date your agency advised you that you breached the APS Code of Conduct.

This is called a Merit Protection Commissioner primary review.

Note: the breach decision and the sanction decision are two separate decisions.

Do not wait to receive a sanction decision before applying for a review of the breach decision.

I need to know about breach decision and/or sanction decisions

For review of a sanction for a breach of the APS Code of Conduct:

You have 60 days to apply to the Merit Protection Commissioner.

The 60 days is from the date your agency advised you of the sanction decision for the breach of the Code of Conduct.

Note: this is NOT the date the sanction takes effect.

This is also called a Merit Protection Commissioner primary review.

It is important to apply for review with the time limits (Regulation 5.23).

What are the timeframes for a review of a general employment matter?

For review of a general employment matter, including performance management and bullying and harassment complaints:

You have 120 days to apply for review to your agency. It is important to apply with the time limits (Regulation 5.23).

The 120 days is from the date of the employment action or decision you want reviewed.

Your agency's review of these matters is called an agency primary review.

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of this primary review, you may apply to the Merit Protection Commissioner for a review.

When we review a decision already reviewed by an agency, it is called a Merit Protection Commissioner secondary review.
 
You have 60 days to lodge the secondary review.

The 60 days starts from the date your agency advised you of the outcome of the primary review.

Diagram: the different timeframes and where to apply for Code of Conduct and general employment matters

It is important to submit your review application within the time limits and to the right agency (Regulation 5.23).

Merit Protection Commissioner primary review Breach of Code decision   60 days   Submitted to the Merit Protection Commissioner   Merit Protection Commissioner primary review Sanction decision   60 days   Submitted to the Merit Protection Commissioner   Agency primary review  General employment decisions   120 days   Submitted to your agency   Merit Protection Commissioner secondary review General employment decisions  60 days  From the agency's review decision   Submitted to your agency  <strong>BUT</strong> addressed to the Merit Protection Commissioner

What happens if I don’t apply within the correct timeframe?

Applications received outside the time limits will only be reviewed if the decision maker considers there are exceptional circumstances to explain the delay in applying for review.

What is and isn’t an exceptional circumstance?

What is and isn't an exceptional circumstance depends on the particular facts of each case.

Exceptional circumstances may include:

  • cases where extended sick leave significantly hinders an employee's ability to consider making a review application
  • where the significance or main effects of the action only became known some time after the action.

An exceptional circumstance would not usually include:

  • an employee arguing that they were not aware that they had a right to review
  • a circumstance that was ordinary or usual. For example moving to a new job or taking recreation or long service leave.

Note: APS employees have an obligation under Regulation 3.16 to inform themselves of the Public Service Act, the Regulations and the Public Service Commissioner's Directions.

What happens when there is a long list of actions for review over a long period of time?

Sometimes employees want a review of actions that occurred over a long time and not all are within the relevant timeframe. This can be difficult.

In this context, it is important not to be too prescriptive about the timeframes.

To conduct a review that meaningfully addresses the employee's concerns, it may be necessary to consider the process that led to the actions that are within the timeframe.

This does not mean that an agency needs to review all events and processes that occurred some years ago. Because the review applicant considers them relevant, doesn't always mean they are.

For example: An employee is concerned about the fairness of a performance management process. The final rating on their performance is in time, but actions taken to improve performance during that management cycle were not. Is it appropriate to include all the actions, not just those in time when the review application was made?

In this example, there are unlikely to be 'exceptional circumstances' to require a review of the out-of-date actions taken in the performance management process.

However, taking into account the processes leading up to the rating decision may be important. This may help the decision-maker make a more effective review decision and determine whether the outcome was fair and reasonable in the circumstances.