Home' Managing Performance : Issue 1 Contents 41
review of action
VPS employees also have a right to have an action taken in relation to their
employment reviewed in accordance with the PA Act, the PA Regulations
and any relevant standards issued by the Public Sector Standards
Commissioner. All Government Departments must establish a process for
the review of an action taken within the public service body that relates to
the employment of an employee who then alleges the action to be:
► unfair; or
► inconsistent with the PA Act, the PA Regulations or any relevant standards
issued by the Public Sector Standards Commissioner.
Under the PA Regulations, the review process:
► must adhere to the rules of natural justice;
► may provide for mediation or conciliation of the application;
► must be conducted as quickly, and with as little formality, as proper
consideration of the matter allows;
► must require an application by an employee to be lodged within a
specified period after the employee was notified (or otherwise became
aware) of the action;
► must require an application to be in writing and to specify key information,
including the action to which the application relates, the name and title of
the decision-maker who took the action, the basis of the employee’s
complaints, the remedy sought (if any) etc.; and
► must require the Public Service Body Head to make reasonable inquiries
or investigations prior to the making of a determination, unless the Public
Service Body Head declines to conduct a review because of one or more
of the prescribed reasons (including, for example, because he or she
considers that the matter is frivolous, vexatious or lacking in substance).
The PA Regulations also outline circumstances during which it is appropriate
to refer the matter to the Public Sector Standards Commissioner for review
and how such a review process is to be conducted.
It is important for employers to be familiar with the relevant review of actions
process applicable to their Department.
Part 7: ProduCtIvIty
A manager’s failure to properly manage VPS employee performance and
conduct issues often has broader implications for the workplace and its
productivity. For example, ongoing poor performance and/or conduct may:
► result in inferior products/services which, in turn, may lead to adverse
publicity or other liabilities;
► diminish morale, teamwork and productivity in general;
► result in termination of employment and the need to recruit replacement
employees (which can be costly and time-consuming); and
► if managed poorly, give rise to a wide variety of legal risks and claims
(discussed further in Part 8: Risks, compliance and claims).
Maximising productivity in the workplace is fast becoming a significant focus
of many organisations. In this complex regulatory and political climate, it is
vital that VPS employers understand their obligations to employees when
managing performance and conduct issues, and the benefits of seeking
early strategic advice to maximise productivity and minimise the likelihood of
successful claims being made against them.
Discussed below are two suggested approaches for increasing productivity
in the workplace.
remove barriers to productivity
Employers should, as far as possible, remove barriers to a manager’s ability
to efficiently and effectively manage employee and conduct issues. These
barriers often include lengthy, complex and convoluted performance and
conduct management procedures.
To the extent that these procedures can be streamlined, employers should
seek to clarify and simplify the number of stages and requirements that must
be undertaken to satisfactorily complete the process. This may be done by
amending such procedures, where possible, in employment policies and
Doing so will increase workplace productivity by increasing the efficiency of
the processes themselves, resulting in quicker and more accurate outcomes
that are less likely to give rise to further complaints or be appealed. A simpler
performance and/or conduct management procedure will also reduce the
likelihood of errors occurring throughout the process, which in turn will
facilitate more productive outcomes.
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