Compassionate transfer status


Employees (other than principal class employees) may apply for compassionate transfer status if they consider their circumstances require a transfer to another location for compassionate reasons, including on health and safety grounds. Applications for compassionate transfer status will be considered having regard to the circumstances applying in each case but generally will only be approved where the circumstances are compelling and outside the employee’s control. For example, family or personal illness may require a move to be closer to a family member or to obtain treatment.

Where an employee is seeking compassionate transfer in circumstances where the employee’s medical condition precludes continued duty at the current workplace, the following additional information will be required:

  • a medical assessment from a medical practitioner approved by the Secretary, indicating that the employee is fit for duty but not in the nominated location
  • a statement from the principal detailing strategies used to resolve the issues within the school. These may include workplace modifications, support groups and mediation
  • a statement from the principal confirming that there are no other relevant issues that remain unresolved. These may include issues relating to conduct and performance matters

Application and approval

An employee who wishes to be considered for compassionate transfer is asked to complete the Application for Compassionate Transfer Status Form (available on the Resources tab) which requires a recommendation from the principal.

Approval for an employee to be considered for transfer on compassionate grounds will be determined by the Executive Director, People Division (or nominee) on the recommendation of the principal.

Where compassionate transfer status is granted this will be for a specified period. Where transfer is not obtained within the specified period, a request to extend the application for the following school year will be required prior to the end of the currently specified period, providing the circumstances that lead to the initial application remain unchanged.

Applying for positions

An employee approved as eligible for compassionate transfer will be issued with an approval letter in a hard copy and will also be emailed an electronic copy of the letter. The employee may then apply for advertised vacancies at or below their salary range and, or classification level. The employee must be interviewed for any position for which they are an applicant and considered on merit against other applicants.

When applying for suitable vacancies through the Recruitment OnlineExternal Link system the employee with compassionate transfer status will need to attach an electronic version of the approval letter in order to verify their status and signal their recruitment priority. Where an applicant submits a hard copy application, a copy of the letter of approval for compassionate transfer should be attached.

An employee who accepts transfer to a vacancy is required to accept the terms of the position including the salary determined in accordance with the salary on transfer policy.


An employee may lodge a personal grievance with the Merit Protection Boards where compassionate transfer status is not approved.

Chapter explaining compassionate transfer considerations, application, approval and grievance processes

Reviewed 09 June 2020

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