The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) has updated the Handling Misconduct: a human resource manager’s guide (the guide).
The guide provides best practice guidance on the conduct requirements in the APS Values, Employment Principles and Code of Conduct, and options for addressing behaviour that does not meet these standards.
The guide, and accompanying supplementary resources, will empower agencies, and build the capabilities of APS employees, to make decisions about individual instances of misconduct that are proportionate to the specific circumstances of that case.
The guide expands significantly on considerations for agencies at the preliminary stage—that is, when a conduct concern is first identified—and offers a diagnostic approach to understanding the issue and assessing its seriousness to support an effective and proportionate response.
In addition, the guide includes new content setting out a range of management actions agencies can take in less serious conduct matters, where a misconduct investigation would be disproportionate.
Together, this additional material seeks to encourage agencies to explore a range of options in managing employee conduct issues, and emphasises the importance of taking a proportionate response in every case. The aim is to ensure that agencies across the APS have regard to a consistent set of principles in assessing each matter on its merits.
Further guidance has been included on learning from employee conduct matters to improve agency practices and support a culture of integrity.