Disciplinary unfairness in Queensland public service legislation

Lauchs, Mark A. & Webster, Julianne (2012) Disciplinary unfairness in Queensland public service legislation. International Employment Relations Review, 18(1), pp. 1-19.

[img] pending for publisher permission (PDF 236kB)
Accepted Version.
Administrators only | Request a copy from author

View at publisher


A just system of discipline within an organisation requires four characteristics: a clear set of offences, proportionate punishments clearly linked to the offences, oversight and appeals from disciplinary decisions and independence from political masters. This paper examines Queensland public sector legislation and policy from 1863 to the present to demonstrate how well these four criteria are addressed. An analysis of the presence of these four characteristics in the Queensland context finds that the public sector legislation in Queensland is in breach of the guidelines that define a just and fair system in which disciplinary action is dispensed. We argue that creation of arbitrary powers to punish or dismiss staff is unjust if the legislation does not fully inform staff of what constitutes a breach of discipline, does not guarantee proportionate punishments to offences, and/or it allows the disciplinary process to be used as a tool to coerce staff to perform in a politicised or otherwise unethical manner. We conclude by making recommendations as to how this situation may be rectified.

Impact and interest:

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 55330
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Discipline, public administration, employment, fairness
ISSN: 1324-1125
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200) > Criminology not elsewhere classified (160299)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION (160500) > Public Administration (160509)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Justice
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 International Employment Relations Association
Deposited On: 10 Dec 2012 01:36
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2012 21:18

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page