30 September 2021

Merit Protection Commission launches new website, resources and webinars

| Ian Bushnell
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Linda Waugh merit protection commissioner

Merit Protection Commissioner Linda Waugh. Photo: APSC.

The Commonwealth body set up to review workplace decisions in the Australian Public Service and the Parliamentary Service has launched a new website and range of resources for agencies, their staff and HR professionals.

The Merit Protection Commissioner is also hosting free webinars for all APS and Parliamentary Service employees about what it is and does, and public sector employees’ review entitlements.

New content on the site includes case studies of recently reviewed cases, tip sheets to assist in best-practice decision making across the public service and FAQs to assist employees and agencies.

Commissioner Linda Waugh said visitors to the new site would find important information on her functions, information about review entitlements, some practical steps on how to apply for a merits review using online forms and what to expect if you are involved in a complaint, investigation or inquiry.

“My staff and I have designed, what I hope, is a valuable resource for all our stakeholders,” she said.

“Whether you are an employee, an employer or a human resources practitioner, I trust you will find useful and constructive information about what we do, how we do it, and maybe most importantly, why.”

Ms Waugh said the publication and resources page included de-identified case studies with examples of real cases and how decisions were reached.

“Take some time to look around, read the resources compiled over many years of service and learn about our work and how it may relate to you,” Ms Waugh said.

“For example, did you know you may be able to volunteer to sit on an Independent Selection Advisory Committee or a Promotion Review Committee?”

READ ALSO New support service and complaints mechanism starts at Parliament House

The Merit Protection Commissioner can look at a range of issues in the workplace including performance reviews that staff disagree with, bullying and harassment complaints that an agency may not have handled fairly, and the denial of a request for a flexible work arrangement.

Ongoing, non-ongoing or casual employees in the APS or Parliamentary Service, employed at any classification from Executive Level 2 or lower, can apply to the commissioner to have a workplace issue reviewed.

They can also apply for certain promotion decisions to be reviewed up to APS or Parliamentary Service classification Level 6.

The commissioner also investigates complaints about final entitlements, the handling of certain public interest disclosures and conducts inquiries and investigations.

The next webinar is on review of promotion decisions on 19 October, followed by a review of workplace decisions on 21 October.

To register, visit the Merit Protection Commissioner website.

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