Review of Action—bullying and harassment

Key words

  • Review not justified in the circumstances
  • reasonable management action

Disclaimer

The following case summary illustrates how the Merit Protection Commissioner has reviewed a particular case and should not be relied on as legal advice.

Review not justified in the circumstances

An employee sought review of a range of decisions including the allocation of work and removal of access to home-based work. The employee also alleged that his manager had bullied and harassed him.

This matter had been subject to a harassment investigation by the agency and a primary review of actions. As part of these processes, evidence was gathered, including speaking with witnesses. The employee was dissatisfied with the outcome as he considered that the investigations were not thorough enough. The employee also sought a finding that his manager had engaged in bullying and harassment and a recommendation that the manager be investigated for a suspected breach of the Code of Conduct.

The Merit Protection Commissioner declined to review the matter further under Regulation 5.23(3)(g). This Regulation provides that an action is not, or ceases to be, reviewable if review, or further review, of the action is not otherwise justified in all the circumstances.

The Merit Protection Commissioner was of the view that the employee's concerns had been thoroughly investigated by the agency and there were no further lines of inquiry that could profitably be pursued that would resolve the issues raised by the employee. In addition, the prima facie evidence suggested that the manager had engaged in reasonable management action rather than bullying and harassment and, for that reason, the outcome the employee was seeking (to have his manager investigated for suspected misconduct) was unlikely to be achieved.