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Human resources

Complaints — Information for Employees

Overview

All staff should feel safe and confident to raise concerns, issues, complaints and provide feedback about their workplace.

It is important that employee complaints are appropriately addressed, managed efficiently and effectively and resolved at the workplace level if possible. 

How to raise concerns and complaints

Employees who want to raise a concern or make a complaint should speak to an appropriate manager or principal first. This is the best way to reach a quick resolution.

Principals and managers are expected to be responsive and manage concerns and complaints fairly, respectfully, transparently and in a timely way. The Department's Guidelines for Managing Complaints, Misconduct and Unsatisfactory Performance — Teaching Service are used by principals and managers when managing complaints, misconduct and unsatisfactory performance.

In some circumstances, it may be inappropriate for employees to raise the issue directly with their manager or principal as the allegations may relate to their conduct. In other circumstances, employees may not be satisfied with the outcome of the complaint they originally raised with their principal or manager. If this is the case employees can:

  • approach their manager's manager or their regional office
  • obtain more information about lodging a formal grievance about employment decisions or actions, including appointments or leave, to the Merit Protection Board
  • seek advice on raising concerns about unprofessional conduct from the Employee Conduct Branch on 03 7022 0005
  • report suspected fraud, corruption and serious conflicts of interest  (for example, on contracts) to the Department's Speak Up service by phone 1800 633 462 or email educationspeakup@pkf.com.au

Whistleblowers

Victorian law also provides some legal protections to 'whistleblowers' making 'public interest disclosures' under the Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012 (Vic) — formerly known as the Protected Disclosure Act 2012 which replaced the earlier Whistleblowers' Protection Act. Public interest disclosures are disclosures about a range of types of 'improper conduct' which are defined by the Act.

There are specific requirements that must be fulfilled for a report or complaint to be a public interest disclosure and for an employee to receive the legal protections of making a public interest disclosure. It is important that anyone who thinks they may be a whistleblower or anyone wanting to make a public interest disclosure to have their complaint or report properly assessed to determine whether it meets the requirements of the Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012 (Vic). Refer to the Fraud and Corruption Control Policy for more information on the Public Interest Disclosures Act or contact the Fraud and Corruption Control Unit on 03 7022 0121.

Relevant legislation

Overview explaining how employees can raise concerns and complaints including fraud, corruption and whistleblowers

Reviewed 11 February 2021

Policy last updated

15 June 2020

Scope

  • Schools

Contact

Employee Conduct Branch

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