Promotion appeals

Eligibility for a promotion appeal

A promotion appeal can be made against a selection for a vacancy in excess of 6 months if the following criteria are met:

  • the selection constitutes a promotion* for both the appellant and the provisional promotee;  and
  • both were NTPS employees at the time of their application for the vacancy. 

Appellants must have been an applicant for the vacancy, or if not, must be granted leave to appeal by the Commissioner. The only exception is appeals against promotions in accordance with section 30(1)(b)[direct appointments] which are open to all employees.

* Promotion means giving to an employee higher attainable maximum salary than the salary previously attainable by the employee at their nominal level.

Grievances about selection decisions

There are no promotion appeal rights against selections that are not promotions, such as transfers at level, selections of persons who were not NTPS employees, or selections to positions advertised as executive contract positions. 

Employees wishing to dispute selections that are not promotions may seek a section 59 review of the decision by the Commissioner for Public Employment. 

The Commissioner has the power following review to either confirm the selection or direct the agency involved to take another action.

Time frames and how to lodge promotion appeals

The appeal period is 14 days, commencing on the day on which the provisional promotion is notified.

Notice of an appeal must be given to the Public Sector Appeals Board. (A form for lodging a Promotion Appeal is available here (543.5 kb), or by request from the Public Sector Appeals Board office.)

The notice of appeal must state the:

  • Date provisional promotion was notified;
  • Agency making the promotion;
  • Position name and job number of the vacancy;
  • Name of the provisional promotee; and
  • Appellant’s name, designation, agency, address for correspondence, email address and contact telephone number

Advice of appeal should be provided to:

Public Sector Appeals Board
Level 10
Charles Darwin Centre
19 The Mall
Darwin NT 0800
Email: psab.ocpe@nt.gov.au
Phone: (08) 8999 4129

Grounds for promotion appeals

There are no grounds for promotion appeals specified in PSEMA or elsewhere.  However, because it is a requirement pursuant to PSEMA and various Employment Instructions that employment in the NTPS must be based on merit, the issue considered in both promotion appeals, and grievance reviews about selections, is whether the selection decision is consistent with the merit principle as set out in PSEMA and discussed in the Merit Selection Guide.

Selection reports

Appellants often appeal against selection decisions because they are not satisfied that their merit has been adequately assessed in the selection process, or that the successful applicant is superior to them. 

Detailed and complete written post-selection feedback can help to address such concerns. Selection panels are urged to provide meaningful written feedback to applicants in reports to unsuccessful applicants provided at the end of the selection process.  

These reports should make it clear to applicants exactly why the successful applicant was found to have superior merit for the position including specific information about the successful applicant’s work history, qualifications, skill, experience and potential. It is recommended, particularly in cases where applicants are highly rated but not selected, that comparative information regarding the superior merit of the successful applicant is included in the individual report, to help unsuccessful applicants to understand why someone else was selected. 

Promotion appeals process

Steps in the promotion appeals process flowchart (34.0 kb)) as follows:

  • the appellant’s eligibility to appeal is assessed and, if the appeal is accepted, the provisional promotee and agency are advised that an appeal has been lodged
  • initial recruitment selection papers are obtained from eRecruit
  • the public sector appeal board is constituted and date set for the board to meet
  • all selection documents are provided to the appellant, provisional promotee and agency along with advice regarding the requirement for confidentiality
  • the agency is requested to supply within 7 days, copies of any further documents relating to the selection process
  • copies of any further documents received from the agency are provided to appellant and provisional promotee and the appellant then has a further 7 days to submit a statement of appeal
  • copies of the statement of appeal are provided to the provisional promotee, and a further 7 days allowed for any response.  If a response is received, copies are provided to the appellant, with an opportunity to make final comments
  • appeal papers are provided to board members to prepare for the hearing, including deciding which persons may need to be contacted to provide further information to the board
  • The appellant and provisional promotee are not required to attend in person when the board meets.

Conduct of appeals

The board may conduct the appeal in any way it considers appropriate and is not bound by the rules of evidence or required to hold a hearing with the parties in person.  

However, in conducting an appeal the Board must do so as expeditiously and with as little formality and technicality as is reasonably practicable. 

Possible determinations

The Board can make any of the following decisions:

  1. affirm the decision
  2. vary the decision
  3. set aside the decision
  4. set aside the decision and return the matter to the relevant CEO for reconsideration
  5. set aside the decision and replace it with the Board’s decision

Appeal decisions

The Board usually reaches a decision on the day of the hearing. Following a decision, each of the parties to the appeal is contacted by telephone and advised of the Board’s determination. Detailed written reasons for decision are then provided to all parties at a later date.

Legislative basis

Section 59B – Promotion Appeals, and Division 2 – Appeals Public Sector Employment and Management Act
Section 59 – Grievances Public Sector Employment and Management Act and Employment Instruction Number 8

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Last updated: 06 January 2017