Policy last updated
25 August 2023
Where an employee considers they have been treated unfairly or unreasonably in any matter related to their employment, the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 (the Act), the regulations and orders made under that Act and various industrial instruments provide for access to appeal, review, grievance or dispute resolution processes depending on the nature of the matter.
- Merit Protection Boards
- Disciplinary Appeals Boards
- reviews of selection decisions
- personal grievances
- employment limitation review
- Victorian Government Schools Agreement 2022
Policy and Guidelines
Policy and Guidelines
Merit Protection Boards
Merit Protection Boards are established under section 2.4.44 of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 (the Act) to advise the Minister about principles of merit and equity to be applied in the teaching service and to hear reviews and appeals in relation to decisions made under the Act (with the exception of Divisions 9A or 10 of the Act).
In addition, Ministerial Orders 1388 and 1389 authorise Merit Protection Boards to hear and determine personal grievances.
An application to have a matter heard by the Merit Protection Boards must be lodged within 14 days of the decision (or action in the case of a personal grievance) with which the employee is dissatisfied.
The Merit Protection Boards may request the attendance of the employee, including any person asked to act as an agent in relation to matters before the Boards. Employees will be released to attend hearings in these cases.
The Merit Protection Boards will ensure that procedures are conducted in accordance with the principles of natural justice that provide for both sides to have the opportunity to present their case before an independent body, and to hear and comment on the other party's version of the events.
The Merit Protection Boards provide guidelines on the procedures relating to hearings. For further information regarding appeals, reviews and grievances, refer to Merit Protection Boards below.
Disciplinary Appeals Boards
Disciplinary Appeals Boards are established under section 2.4.72 of the Act, to hear and determine appeals in relation to decisions made under sections 2.4.61 and 2.4.59F of the Act.
Further information is available from the Merit Protection Boards who administer the Disciplinary Appeals Boards.
Under the Act, an employee in the teaching service may appeal a decision to a Merit Protection Board in the following circumstances:
- Section 2.4.11(2) of the Act provides for an appeal if an employee feels aggrieved by a decision not to grant a salary or wages progression where provision is made for the progression of salary or wages
- Section 2.4.41(7) of the Act provides for an appeal against a decision to cancel a promotion or transfer because the person does not possess the necessary qualifications
- Section 2.4.57 of the Act provides for an appeal where employment is terminated on account of physical or mental incapacity
Under Section 2.4.68 of the Act an employee in the teaching service may appeal to a Disciplinary Appeals Board against a determination to take action under Division 9A (Unsatisfactory Performance) or Division 10 (Misconduct) of Part 2.4 of the Act.
Reviews of selection decisions
Under the Act an employee in the teaching service may seek that a Merit Protection Board review a selection decision in the following circumstances:
- Section 2.4.7(5) of the Act provides for review where employment in the teaching service is refused on the grounds that the person does not possess the necessary qualifications or experience required under the relevant Ministerial Order
- Section 2.4.51 of the Act provides for review where an ongoing employee considers that they have a better claim to be transferred or promoted to a vacant position, other than a principal position, than the ongoing employee provisionally transferred or promoted to that position
- Section 2.4.54(2) of the Act provides for review where an ongoing employee considers that they have a better claim to be transferred or promoted to a vacant principal position than the ongoing employee provisionally transferred or promoted to that position
A transfer or promotion of an ongoing employee is provisional and is subject to review and does not have effect pending confirmation.
The details of a provisional transfer or promotion, including the closing date for lodging a review, will be available from the day after applicants have been notified through of the selection outcome. The details will be accessible through the ‘view the provisional appointments link' on Recruitment Online for 14 calendar days for all applicants to view and determine their eligibility to seek a review.
A transfer or promotion is confirmed when the Merit Protection Boards advises either that no review has been lodged or that any review has been resolved.
To access the list of provisional transfers or promotions, refer to Recruitment Online for jobs in Victorian Government Schools.
School council employees
Ministerial Order 1389 provides for school council employees to lodge a personal grievance in relation to a selection decision. The grounds are limited to deficiencies in the selection process which prevented the selection of the person best suited to the position. The following matters are excluded from the definition of a selection personal grievance:
- the selection of a person who is not an employee
- the selection of an employee in circumstances where the aggrieved employee is not qualified, eligible, or an applicant for the position
Ministerial Orders 1388 and 1389 provide for the right to lodge a personal grievance with the Merit Protection Boards in respect of an action taken within a work location that directly affects an employee which the employee considers:
- is in breach of the Act or Ministerial Orders 1388 and 1389, or
- infringes the principles of merit and equity, or infringes any personnel policy or guidelines issued by the Secretary, or
- is otherwise unreasonable
Action means a decision and includes refusal or failure to take an action.
The following matters are excluded from the definition of a personal grievance:
- employment, transfer or promotion under the Act
- proceedings under Divisions 8, 9, 9A, 10 or 11 of Part 2.4 of the Act
- decisions prescribed by regulation under Section 2.4.44(2)(d) of the Act
- termination of employment, other than the annulment of the employment of a probationer under section 2.4.8(3) of the Act or abandonment pursuant to Division 2 of Part 12 of Ministerial Order 1388 or Division 6 of Part 3 of Ministerial Order 1389
- decisions made by the Senior Chairperson, Merit Protection Boards, to refuse an application or request for review
- determinations or directions by the Senior Chairperson, Merit Protection Boards
Employment limitation review
An employee in the teaching service or a school council employee may lodge a personal grievance with the Merit Protection Boards where following an internal review an employment limitation is maintained. The only ground for review is that there was a significant deficiency in the process. The Employment Limitation Policy is available in the Guidance tab of .
Victorian Government Schools Agreement 2022
An employee in the teaching service may pursue a grievance under clause 12(8) of the Victorian Government Schools Agreement 2022. The procedures for dealing with such a grievance are available under the procedures and forms available in the tab.
Reviewed 02 April 2020