Making a review application directly to the Merit Protection Commissioner

Back to question list

What will the Merit Protection Commissioner consider before accepting a direct application for review of a general employment matter?

APS employees and Parliamentary Service employees can make a review application directly to the Merit Protection Commissioner without first applying for review in their agency in certain circumstances. You can do this if you have been found to have breached the Code of Conduct. For more information on reviews of Code of Conduct decisions click here.

The information below explains the other circumstances in which you can make an application directly to the Merit Protection Commissioner.

You can apply directly to the Merit Protection Commissioner for review of an employment matter if:

  • an agency head or secretary has personally been involved in decision-making affecting you
  • the matter is so serious or sensitive that it is not appropriate for the agency to do a review
  • you claim that the relevant action or decision is victimisation or harassment because you have previously applied for review.

If accepted, this is called a Merit Protection Commissioner primary review of a general employment matter.

If you believe your matter meets one of the above criteria, you should contact the Review Team for advice before you make an application directly to the Merit Protection Commissioner.

Are there timeframes?

You have 60 days to lodge an application with the Merit Protection Commissioner (Regulation 5.23).

This is from the date of the decision or action you want reviewed.

Exceptional circumstances

Applications may be accepted outside of these time limits if there are exceptional circumstances to explain the delay in lodgement.

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.