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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Chapter 9 - Workplace conduct and behaviour

SSMO has also continued to work with agencies to support the State Service Code of Conduct and the State Service Principles.

Raising awareness

In 2015-16, agencies continued to deliver a range of awareness and training events to ensure that there is equity, respect and flexibility in the workplace, consistent with the State Service Principles and Code of Conduct For example, agencies provided face-to-face and e-learning training opportunities on topics such as:

  • integrity and ethics;
  • State Service Principles;
  • grievance and resolution processes; and
  • workplace behaviour (and Conduct).

Addressing conduct matters

Agencies are required to take reasonable and appropriate action to address conduct that does not meet the requirements of the State Service Principles or Code of Conduct, for example under the requirements of Employment Direction No. 5 – Procedures for the Investigation and Determination of whether an employee has breached the Code of Conduct.

Code of Conduct investigations

In 2015-16, there were 55 matters of alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct investigated, 38 of which were finalised. Of those finalised, 22 were determined to be breaches and sanctions, such as counselling, professional development, reprimand and termination, were applied. The others were determined to not be breaches, or resolved through other means.

What our employees said

  • 70% of employees agreed with the statement ‘I am aware of the State Service Principles’.
  • 83% of employees agreed with the statement ‘I am aware of the Code of Conduct’.
  • 68% of employees agreed with the statement ‘I am aware of my organisation's processes for reporting improper officer/employee conduct’.
  • 69% of employees agreed with the statement ‘In my organisation, engaging in improper conduct is not tolerated’.

* 2016 People Matter Survey results. See Appendix B for more information.

Inability investigations

Six agencies undertook 17 investigations under Employment Direction No. 6 – Procedures for the Investigation and Determination of whether an employee is able to efficiently and effectively perform their duties in 2015-16. Of these, six were finalised, with the rest carried over. Of those finalised, four were determined ‘inability’ and counselling was undertaken where appropriate. A number were finalised as  the employee resigned and a number of matters are still pending.


There are a number of grounds under which an employee’s employment may be terminated, as provided in Section 44(3) of the Act. Terminations in 2015-16 were:

Termination type No. of permanent employees No. of fixed-term employees
Termination of a probationary employee 2 0
Abandonment of employment 2 0
Breach of the Code of Conduct 9 0
Inability 0 0
Termination following ED 26 process 0 0
Termination under section 47 of the Act 0 0

Grievance investigations  

Employees are able to lodge information with, or notify, their agency if they have grievances or matters requiring resolution. In 2015-16, 65 formal grievances were lodged. The nature of these grievances covered matters such as work performance, negative workplace behaviour, discrimination/harassment, work-life balance and selection matters.

The outcomes of formal grievances were as follows:

Type Number
Satisfactorily resolved by agreement 11
Withdrawn 1
Upheld 16
Dismissed 14
Not resolved 2
Still pending 21

Resolution of the above grievances included mediation, counselling, additional training and a range of the other measures, including taking the case to the Tasmanian Industrial Commission.

Employees are able to seek resolution of a grievance matter by taking it to an external organisation including the Tasmanian Industrial Commission, Equal Opportunity Tasmania, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission and the Ombudsman. Thirty-five matters were taken to an external organisation, 20 of which had initially been through the organisation’s grievance process. External grievance matters included award classification, and management decisions.

As seen in the People Matter Survey results, more work is required to ensure employees are confident in the grievance processes. This is an area that SSMO will focus on in 2016-17 in consultation with agencies.

What our employees said

  • 68% of employees agreed with the statement ‘In my organisation there are clear procedures and processes for resolving grievances’.
  • 83% of employees agreed with the statement ‘I would be confident in approaching my manager to discuss concerns and grievances’.
  • 52% of employees agreed with the statement ‘I am confident that if I lodge a grievance in my organisation, it would be investigated in a thorough and objective manner’.

* 2016 People Matter Survey results. See Appendix B for more information.

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