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Statutory employees

Some people are employed in public or statutory authorities which are created by Acts of Parliament and are often controlled by Regulations made under the Acts. Usually the specific legislation contains detailed provisions on both employment and dismissal procedures. When an employee is dismissed, the authority must strictly follow these procedures. Further, the person carrying out the dismissal must be authorised to do so. Unless all necessary steps are observed, the dismissal may be of no effect (the dismissal is annulled and the person is still employed). Each case depends on the particular facts and the particular Act and Regulations involved.

The principles of natural justice also apply to public sector appeals made by employees who unsuccessfully apply for a position. The courts have held that each person involved in the appeal is entitled to notice, in advance of the hearing, of any material in the board or tribunal's possession that is adverse to the applicant for the promotion. In particular the material itself must be provided to the applicant sufficiently ahead of the hearing or interview to give the applicant an opportunity to consider it and prepare an answer. An applicant who is taken by surprise in respect of matters raised for the first time at the hearing is entitled to an adjournment to enable a proper reply to be prepared.

The remedies available vary according to the Acts concerned. Some Acts and Regulations contain their own provisions for the review of decisions concerning public employees, and normally the aggrieved party is required to take a complaint to the appropriate appeal body.

Statutory employees  :  Last Revised: Mon Apr 30th 2007
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.