Are there timeframes?

Yes, there are timeframes.

You have 120 days to apply for review with your agency.

'When' the 120 days starts depends on what you want reviewed. The 120 days may be calculated from the date of:

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

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 review.

When we review decision already reviewed by agencies, 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 primary review outcome.


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

Primary review – General employment decision - 120 days - Submitted to your agency Secondary review – General employment decisions - 60 days from the agency's primary review decision - Submitted to your agency BUT addressed to the Merit Protection Commissioner

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.