Decisions for review


Click this ŕ Review of Employment Actions

Now follow the main underlined headings and rephrase things in your own words.

·      What are the issue(s) involved?

o   Decisions pose a risk to revenue, reputation, etc.

o   Decisions compromise the ATO’s reputation as an employer

o   Decisions have not been made according to appropriate decision making doctrine

o   Decisions will not stand up under challenge

o   Decisions both breach and fail to meet obligations and duties required by law (Work Health and Safety Act, Fair Work Act, Disability Discrimination Act)

o   Decisions breach policy

o   Decisions have not been conducted with openness and transparency

o   Decisions have not been adequately documented or communicated

o   Reasons for imposing changes have never been adequately provided

o   Decisions have been misrepresented, e.g. the grounds for decisions have been changed after they were challenged

o   Decisions are harmful to the staff and have resulted in injuries

o   Decisions have not included consultation with, or accounted for, the concerns of stakeholders

o   Decisions were made without seeking or adequately addressing the concerns of team members

o   Dispute resolution processes have not been followed

o   The value of the team and it members contributions to ATO achievements have not been acknowledged

o   No contingency has been made for fulfilling the team’s obligations and servicing its clients

o   Team leader was removed under the guise of rotating team leaders after an initial attempt to replace them failed

o   The managerial staff appointed to, or provided acting higher duties to implement the changes are known to be best mates with the EL2 driving the changes. This potentially fails to meet the requirement of avoiding the actual or apparent misuse of powers.

o   After advising the team of the proposed changes the EL2 went on holiday and was not available to engage in genuine consultation

o   Managers admitted to not reading all the responses from staff prior to implementing the proposed changes

o   The decision appears to be based on the presumption that team performs a single function instead of a range of work


·      Why are you concerned by the action?

o   I have been told that …

o   I feel …

o   Where once I was … now I am …

o   What about …

o   Why was …

o   Shouldn’t this …

o   How come …

o   How do …

o   How is …

Like this

o   It appears that the requirement to follow the APS Code of Conduct and APS Values applies to me but not to those in charge.

o   The officers involved seems to genuinely feel they have done a good thing and appear oblivious to the harm they have caused

o   It seems that what the ATO says and the ATO does are very different things

o   I just bought a … and now it looks like there is no future for me with the ATO

o   After … years of commitment to the ATO it seems the ATO has no interest in my accumulated knowledge or ability

o   The changes were described as “always going to happen”. The changes proposed were published in the Perth Site Plan before the initial consultation period closed. These clearly the decision to disband the team or alter its functional basis was made prior to the supposed date of the decision being communicated to staff

o   I am required to make decisions that are legal, ethical, equitable, overt, sensible, timely, and aligned with the principles of natural justice. I should be able to expect the same from ATO management.

o   My work in the team has allowed me to develop a wide variety of skills and knowledge with opportunities to advance my career. Those abilities mean nothing now and there is obviously no career path, just a job.

o   I was told that if I cannot perform telephony work there is no job for me.

o   I was told that after training we would not return to our prior work. I was decided it was no longer required. The team has not been told this or consulted on it.

o   The assurances management were prepared to provide have not been met.

o   Decisions on my future work have been made without consulting or informing me.

o   No thought has been given to redeploying me if I do not fit the new pigeon hole.

o   I was requested to obtain medical advice detailing my capacity to perform specific tasks but was only provided the broadest role description as management did not know what work-types I would be directed to undertake. The decision to implement changes was taken before this information was available.

o   Different team members have been individually informed verbally of a variety of decisions that have not been communicated to all staff. Some of these constitute major changes themselves which we were not consulted on.

o   The whole area, not just my team, is treated as a problem child because of incompetence at the APS6 level and above yet it is the APS3s that cop it in the neck.

o   I am very good at what I do. I am not good at what I will be expected to do. Taking a team of specialists and turning them into mediocre generalists make no business sense and makes me feel


·      What is the outcome you are seeking?

o   Stop it now.

o   Do it again, from the beginning, properly.


·      Are you requesting a stay of action?

o   Yes


Working notes, you can probably ignore these bits

Discrimination against APS2

Discrimination against people with medical issues.

Not including Gillian in training

Staff taken off priority work to backfill DRT staff in training when there were 2 capable and experienced DRT staff available to do the work, one of which was told the work was not available and sent home as unfit for duty because they could not attend training.

All changes made were implemented in breach of the WHS Act.

Management have at no time been able to articulate what situation the changes are intended to remedy.

Management have at no time consulted with the DRT as to what stakeholders would be affected by the changes.

Management have not followed either the ATO’s own Good Decision Making Model or the Australian Standard Risk Management model.


Change to duties for staff with medical conditions that prohibit or restrict their ability to perform certain tasks.

Staff were requested to obtain medical advice providing detailing their capacity to perform specific tasks at a fine level of detail but were only provided reference to the broadest role description as management did not know what work-types staff would be directed to undertake. The decision to implement changes was taken before this information was available.

At each stage when asked if staff would be asked to do work they were unable to perform management could not provide an adequate answer.

Management have failed to provide the implementation plan they promised.

Having been informed that there were staff that are unable to perform certain duties and not knowing what work staff would be required to undertake, the changes implemented assume that staff will be required for duties they cannot perform and were directed to train in those duties. This has resulted in harm to staff. This harm was a direct result of management’s decisions. As they were aware of the hazard, these decisions were made recklessly. The ATO failed to meet its duties and obligations under the WHS Act. This is potentially a criminal offence for those involved in making the decision. If the decision is found to be discriminatory that offence extends to those that requested, instructed, induced, encouraged, authorised or assisted another person to implement the changes.

Section 72.2 of the EA is simply a reiteration of a requirement under the discrimination act. The WVA advice used section 72.2 as justification for changing team member’s tasks. ATO People Policy confirmed that this section of the EA is not a justification to change duties, it exists as a measure to prevent being reassigned new duties, i.e. being deliberately targeted for discrimination.