Grievances

If you have a grievance in relation your employment with the Northern Territory Public Service (NTPS) you may ask for a grievance review through the Office of the Commissioner of Public Employment.

Cases where you can ask for a grievance review

Examples of when you may be able to ask for a grievance review include any of the following:

  • selection decisions
  • management actions
  • termination of probationary employment
  • disciplinary and inability decisions that don't affect remuneration
  • agency handling of bullying complaints.

What happens first

Your complaint will first undergo your agency's internal employee complaint procedure. If you are not satisfied with the outcome, you can then lodge a grievance review with the Commissioner.

If your complaint is about the termination of your probationary employment, you will need to lodge a grievance review straight away.

Lodging a grievance review

There is no application form to lodge a grievance review.

You must write to the Commissioner and include all of the details below: 

  • the treatment which has directly affected you
  • the action, inaction, intended action, or decision of your agency
  • all details of the circumstances, and the specific agency action, inaction, intended action or decision which has aggrieved you.

You must send your letter to grievance.ocpe@nt.gov.au

Time frame for lodging grievances

Employment, disciplinary and inability decisions

A request for a grievance review must be lodged within 14 days.

All other cases

Your grievance review must be lodged within three months of the action, intended action or decision that caused the grievance.

Grievance review process

Your grievance review request will first be looked at by the grievance review manager. 

Your agency will normally be contacted to provide a written response to your grievance before the matter goes to the Commissioner.

Your grievance may be resolved quickly without needing to going through the formal grievance review process. 

It may need further investigation and some more information from you and your agency before it is given to the Commissioner.

You must follow certain legal requirements while your complaint is being reviewed. This includes any instructions given by the CEO of your agency.

The Commissioner is required to complete the review within three months but has the power to extend that period if they think it is necessary.  

Most cases are resolved within less than 1.5 months.

Outcomes of grievance reviews

Probationary employment decisions

The Commissioner may do one of the following:

  • confirm the decision to terminate your employment
  • direct the agency to reinstate your employment
  • extend your period of probation with the agency.

All other cases

At the end of the review the Commissioner may do one of the following: 

  • confirm the action, intended action or decision
  • direct the CEO of your agency to take or stop from taking a specified action 
  • support the action of your agency and provide recommendations and direction to the agency.

Many grievance reviews are resolved through discussion and negotiation without the need for the Commissioner to make a determination.

More information on grievances

Read section 59 of the Public Sector Employment and Management Act and Employment Instruction Number 8.

You can also read Employment Instructions Number 1 – Filling VacanciesNumber 2 - Probation and Number 5 - Medical Examinations.

Last updated: 28 November 2017