Staff appeals


DATE OF APPROVAL: 1 November 1993

AMENDMENTS: 14 June 2005
30 August 2006

REFERENCE AUTHORITY: Executive Director: People, Talent and Culture


The University acknowledges that workplace grievances can and do arise. The majority of these grievances will be resolved through discussions between the staff member and their supervisor. There may be times however, when discussion with the supervisor fails to resolve the grievance and the staff member wishes to pursue a more formal process.

This policy provides an internal mechanism that staff may choose to implement to have grievances addressed in a prompt and fair manner.

Nevertheless a staff member can submit a complaint or grievance to the state ombudsman or other external agencies, e.g. Equal Opportunity Commission, for consideration.

Scope of Policy

This policy may be initiated by a staff member wishing to seek resolution of a grievance based on the process leading to a decision that may affect their employment.


This policy shall not apply if the subject of the grievance is based on:

  1. Decisions of the University Council;
  2. Appointments;
  3. The merit of decisions about promotion;
  4. Dismissal; and
  5. Termination of contracts.

This policy can not be implemented for grievances which have already been pursued through the grievance and dispute resolution procedure outlined in the relevant collective/enterprise agreement.

1. Procedures

1.1 In the first instance, the staff member must attempt to resolve the matter through discussion with the University Officer having responsibility for the decision leading to the grievance.

Discussions should be commenced within 15 working days of the publication of the decision leading to the grievance. A colleague may be present at these discussions at the request of the staff member.

1.2 If the matter is not resolved through discussion, the staff member may lodge a formal notice of appeal with the University Council Secretary within one month of the disputed decision. An extension of time may be granted by the Vice Chancellor or nominee in extenuating circumstances.

1.3 Notwithstanding that a formal notice of appeal has been submitted, it should be open to the parties to continue discussions to resolve the matter.

2. Appeals Committee

2. If the grievance is not resolved within one month from the date of the formal appeal notice, the matter may be referred by the staff member to an Appeals Committee.

2.1 The staff member's written notice of appeal and the decision which is being appealed must be sent by the staff member to the University Council Secretary stating:

2.1.1 What breach of process it is believed has occurred;

2.1.2 What attempts have been made to resolve the matter;

2.1.3 The grounds for the appeal; and

2.1.4 What remedy is sought.

2.2 A copy of the staff member's written notice of appeal will be provided to the Executive Director: People, Talent and Culture.

2.3 The Executive Director: People, Talent and Culture will provide the Appeals Committee with a written response to the staff member's grievance. The staff member will be provided with a copy of the response.

2.4 The Appeals Committee will consist of three members, namely:

a) A Chair to be appointed by the Vice Chancellor following consultation with the employee;

b) A nominee of the Vice Chancellor; and

c) A nominee of the staff member.

2.5 The Appeals Committee will endeavour to meet within 15 working days or as soon as practicable thereafter to consider the written submissions.

2.6 The Appeals Committee will determine its own procedures which will accord with principles of natural justice.

2.7 At the conclusion of its deliberations the Appeals Committee will submit a recommendation to the Vice Chancellor recommending whether the decision of the University be confirmed, varied or quashed. This must be submitted to the Vice Chancellor within 5 working days of the conclusion of the deliberations of the Appeals Committee.

2.8 The staff member and the Appeals Committee must be advised of the outcome of the Vice Chancellor's deliberations within 7 working days.

2.9 The Appeals Committee must provide a final written report, including any minority report to the Vice Chancellor and the staff member within 21 working days.

3. Guidelines for the conduct of appeals

Prior to the hearing

3.1 The Appeals Committee will:

a) consider the staff member's submission and determine whether it has jurisdiction to hear the appeal; and

b) determine procedures for the conduct of the hearing.

3.2 Documentation from the staff member should clearly state the nature of the grievance, the grounds on which the appeal is made, and the redress sought should the appeal be successful (noting that the Appeals Committee shall not be bound to recommend the redress sought).

3.3 The Council Secretary will ensure that copies of all documentation are provided to the Committee at least five working days prior to the Committee's first meeting.

3.4 The parties will inform the Council Secretary in writing if they intend to call witnesses, the names of those witnesses, and will provide a brief pr�cis of the matters the witnesses will address.

3.4.1 The Appeals Committee may determine that there is no need to hear from witnesses and that the written submissions and/or statements from the staff member and University representative(s) are sufficient.

3.4.2 The Student Ombud will not be called to appear as a witness before the Appeals Committee.

3.5 The staff member will advise the Council Secretary in writing whether he/she intends to be accompanied by a representative. Note that the representative must not be a legal practitioner. Note also that the University representative must not be a legal practitioner.

4. Conduct of the hearing

The following is custom and practice for the conduct of staff appeal hearings. However, these guidelines may be varied from time to time as Appeals Committees deem fit.

4.1 Both the staff member and the University representative(s) are expected to be present at the hearing of an appeal. The Committee may invite other persons to the hearing if it deems it helpful to the process.

4.2 The staff member or their representative, will present the case; addressing the matters outlined in the written submission and answer questions of the Committee.

4.3 The staff member may also be invited to answer questions raised by the University representative.

4.4 The University's representative(s) will respond to the staff member's submission and in turn, may be invited to answer the staff member's questions.

It is also noted that:

4.5 The Committee may impose time limits on the hearing of statements from both parties and any witnesses.

4.6 The hearing will be held in camera unless determined otherwise by the Committee.

4.7 Each member of the Committee will have a vote in determining its recommendations. Consensus will be sought but a majority vote will suffice. The Chairperson will be responsible for making all procedural rulings.

4.9 At any time during the hearing, the Committee may adjourn for the purpose of private informal committee discussion or with either or both parties with a view to resolving the appeal.

4.10 At any time during the hearing, either party may seek an adjournment which will be at the discretion of the Chairperson.

4.11 The Committee is not bound by the rules of evidence and may inform itself as to any matter which it considered relevant to the appeal by such means as it sees fit.