Research & Information
Announcement - Public Sector Appeals, Transport Appeal Boards and Police Hurt on Duty Appeals

28 June 2010

Legislation in relation to the above has recently passed both houses of Parliament and is awaiting assent. The legislation will change the jurisdictional arrangements in relation to public sector appeals, transport worker appeals and police hurt on duty appeals. The information below is drawn from the Explanatory Notes to the legislation.

Public Sector Appeals .

On assent, the Government and Related Employees Tribunal Act 1980 will be repealed and, essentially, very similar provisions will be placed in the Industrial Relations Act 1996 that will deal with promotional and disciplinary appeals for public sector employees (new Part 7).

Section 91 defines terms and expressions for the purposes of new Part 7. The definitions of public sector employee and public sector employer are substantially the same as those under the GREAT Act. Some changes have been made to update the definitions in line with recent amendments to the Public Sector Employment and Management Act 2002.

Sections 93–100B are substantially the same as sections 19–26, 28 and 29 of the GREAT Act. They specify the grounds on which public sector employees to which new Part 7 applies may appeal against decisions relating to their promotion and discipline and outline the procedures relating to giving notice of, and lodging, appeals.

Sections 100C and 100D are substantially the same as sections 48 and 48A, respectively, of the GREAT Act. They specify the general powers that will be able to be exercised by the Commission in relation to the determination of appeals under new Part 7.

The procedures for hearing of appeals currently contained in Part 4 of the GREAT Act are largely replaced by provisions of the IR Act governing proceedings of the Commission (see in particular sections 162 and 163 of the IR Act).

Sections 100E and 100F require the Commission to endeavour to settle disciplinary appeals by conciliation. Section 100E is substantially the same as section 36A of the GREAT Act.

Section 100G (1) requires an employer to present the employer’s case in a disciplinary appeal at least 7 days before any hearing of the appeal. Section 100G (2) and (3) require the employer’s case to be presented first at the hearing of an appeal. Section 100G(2) and (3) are substantially the same as section 42 of the GREAT Act.

Section 100H requires promotion appeals to be heard informally, subject to the rules of the Commission and any practice notes. It specifies the persons entitled to be present and prevents those persons from being represented by an Australian legal practitioner, agent or otherwise.

The Commission has developed a Practice Note which will be available on our website shortly. This Practice Note will set out in some detail the practices and procedures that will be followed by the Commission in determining both promotional and disciplinary appeals. Information will also be available on our website under the Public Sector Appeals banner.

Transport Appeal Boards.

Amendments to the Transport Appeal Board Act 1980 and the Industrial Relations Act 1996 will provide for the President of the Commission to review decisions concerning the promotion and discipline of officers and employees of the State Transit Authority, Sydney Ferries, the Roads and Traffic Authority and RailCorp. In practice this power will be delegated by the President to other members of the Commission.

Under the TAB Act as amended, the grounds on which officers and employees of the State Transit Authority, Sydney Ferries, the Roads and Traffic Authority and RailCorp may appeal against decisions relating to their promotion and discipline will remain the same and the entitlement to be represented at formal hearings is retained. Amendments to the TAB Act, however, will replace the procedures for hearing of appeals currently contained in that Act with the provisions contained in the IR Act governing proceedings of the Commission (see in particular sections 162 and 163 of the IR Act).

The Commission has developed a Practice Note that sets out the procedures to be followed. Significantly that requires promotion appeals to be heard informally and it specifies the persons entitled to be present and prevents those persons from being represented by an Australian legal practitioner, agent or otherwise.

The Practice Note will be available on our website shortly and will set out in some detail the practices and procedures that will be followed by the Commission in determining both promotional and disciplinary appeals. Information will also be available on our website under the Transport Appeal Boards banner.

Hurt on Duty Appeals.

The Commission has been granted jurisdiction under section 186 of the Police Service Act 1990 in relation to appeals relating to leave in respect of police officers hurt on duty.

The Commission has also developed a Practice Note setting out the practice and procedure that is to be followed in relation to these appeal matters and it will placed on the website shortly. Additionally, information in relation to appeals of this nature will be found under the Police Hurt on Duty Appeals banner.

Transitional Arrangements.

The Industrial Relations Amendment (Public Sector Appeals) Bill 2010 provides for transitional arrangements for inclusion in both the IR Act and the TAB Act relating to matters that are pending or have been filed prior to the commencement of the legislation.

In respect of all appeals

    • an appeal lodged before repeal is taken to have been lodged under the relevant new provision; and
    • in respect of a matter in which a hearing has commenced prior to the repeal, the President may make such directions as he considers appropriate in relation to the continuation of the hearing including who is to hear the matter (Note: a member of the Commission who replaces a member of the former appellate body is to have regard to the evidence and decisions made in relation to the appeal before the replacement).

General.

Further announcements and information will be published to our website over the next few days as policies and procedures are finalised.

Industrial Registrar