Policy and Guidelines
Where an employee seeks to contest a state or federal parliamentary election, they may be required to absent themself from duty or resign from their employment with the Department. At all times, employees seeking to contest a parliamentary election must adhere to the appropriate standards of conduct as set out in the Public Sector Code of Conduct for Victorian Public Sector Employees.
Contesting state elections
In accordance with section 61 of the Victorian Constitution Act 1975, an employee is eligible to be a candidate for an election to the Legislative Council or the Legislative Assembly.
Standing as a candidate for election is likely to create a conflict with the proper performance of an employee’s public duties. Employees who nominate for election are encouraged to discuss their circumstances with their manager, and if an actual, potential or perceived conflict of interest is identified, make a formal declaration of the conflict of interest in eduPay with an approved management plan. The department’s includes advice on how to identify, declare and manage conflicts of interest.
An employee who is a candidate for election may apply for leave in accordance with the Department's leave policies. Except in special circumstances, leave would not be granted earlier than the date on which nominations closed.
An unsuccessful candidate in a state election should resume duty immediately after the close of the election. A successful candidate is required to resign.
Contesting federal elections
Section 44 of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act provides that any person who holds any office of profit under the Crown shall be ineligible to be chosen or to sit as a senator or member of the House of Representatives.
An employee who wishes to contest a federal election is required to resign from the Department before the date on which nominations close
If the Governor in Council is satisfied that any person employed in the public service or the teaching service (whether before or after the commencement of Schedule 1 of the Public Administration Act 2004)
- resigned from the service in order to contest any Commonwealth election for the Senate or the House of Representatives, and
- contested that election, and
- failed to be elected at that election
the Governor in Council, despite anything in the Public Administration Act 2004 or the Education and Training Reform Act 2006, may, within 2 months after the declaration of the poll at that election, by Order published in the Government Gazette re-employ that person in the public service or teaching service (as the case requires) at the same classification as they had immediately before their resignation.
The employee may apply to recommence duty on a temporary basis pending the completion of the formal process for reinstatement.
Where a principal class employee resigns to contest a federal election, the position to which they have been appointed will not be advertised until the outcome of the election is known. If the candidate is unsuccessful in the election, they will be offered a contract on the same terms and conditions as previously held.
Reinstatement after unsuccessfully contesting a Federal Election
Where a former Teaching Service or VPS employee seeks reinstatement after unsuccessfully contesting a Federal Election, it is their responsibility to submit a reinstatement request as soon as reasonably practicable following the declaration of the polls, to ensure sufficient time for the Governor in Council to consider the request.
For quick processing, the request should be marked urgent and:
Step 1: Include the following information
- Name of former employer (department and branch).
- Position title and classification (e.g. teacher classification or VPS Grade) at time of resignation.
- Employment status (i.e. ongoing, fixed term (including contract expiry date) or casual).
Step 2: Attach the following documents
- Copy of the letter of resignation tendered to former employer, stating that the reason for the resignation is to contest a federal election, and giving the effective date of resignation.
- Evidence of candidacy in the federal election (acknowledgement of nomination from the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) and qualification checklist published on the AEC’s website).
Former employees may return to their employment once the Governor in Council has approved their reinstatement.
Reinstatement on ceasing to be a Member of Parliament
A public service or teaching service employee who:
- was an elected member of Parliament before the commencement of section 10 of the Parliamentary Superannuation Act 2004, and
- ceases to be a member of parliament at any time after the commencement of Schedule 1 of the Public Administration Act 2004 without being entitled to a pension under the Parliamentary Salaries and Superannuation Act 1968 or the Parliamentary Contributory Superannuation Act 1948 of the Commonwealth or any similar Act
is entitled, on application in writing to the Secretary within 3 months after so ceasing to be a member of Parliament, to reinstatement in the public service or teaching service (as the case requires) subject to the provisions in relation to classification, superannuation, personal leave and long service leave specified in sub-clause (3) of Schedule 1 of the Public Administration Act 2004.
Upon re-employment in the public service or teaching service the employee is to be credited with the amount of personal leave outstanding immediately prior to being elected as a Member of Parliament.
The period from ceasing to be employed in the public service or teaching service until re-employment does not count as service for long service or personal leave purposes, but is recognised for the purpose of maintaining continuity of service.
With regard to reinstatement after ceasing to be a Member of Parliament, a former principal class employee will be reinstated as a teaching service employee at a classification level not inferior to that held before election. No guarantees can be given regarding the principal class position which would be offered to the person.
Reviewed 08 September 2022