Contesting an Election

Contesting state elections

In accordance with section 61 of the Victorian Constitution Act 1975, an employee is eligible to be a candidate for an election to the Legislative Council or the Legislative Assembly.

An employee who is a candidate for election may apply for leave in accordance with the Department's leave policies.  Except in special circumstances, leave would not be granted earlier than the date on which nominations closed.

An unsuccessful candidate in a state election should resume duty immediately after the close of the election.  A successful candidate is required to resign.

Contesting federal elections

Section 44 of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act provides that any person who holds any office of profit under the Crown shall be ineligible to be chosen or to sit as a senator or member of the House of Representatives. An employee who wishes to contest a federal election is required to resign from the Department before the date on which nominations close.

If the Governor in Council is satisfied that any person employed in the public service or the teaching service (whether before or after the commencement of Schedule 1 of the Public Administration Act 2004)

  • resigned from the service in order to contest any Commonwealth election for the Senate or the House of Representatives; and
  • contested that election; and
  • failed to be elected at that election,

the Governor in Council, despite anything in the Public Administration Act 2004 or the Education and Training Reform Act 2006, may, within two months after the declaration of the poll at that election, by Order published in the Government Gazette re-employ that person in the public service or teaching service (as the case requires) at the same classification as they had immediately before their resignation. 

The employee may apply to recommence duty on a temporary basis pending the completion of the formal process for reinstatement.

Where a principal class employee resigns to contest a federal election, the position to which they have been appointed will not be advertised until the outcome of the election is known. If the candidate is unsuccessful in the election, they will be offered a contract on the same terms and conditions as previously held.

Reinstatement on ceasing to be a Member of Parliament

A public service or teaching service employee who -

  • was an elected member of Parliament before the commencement of section 10 of the Parliamentary Superannuation Act 2004; and
  • ceases to be a member of parliament at any time after the commencement of Schedule 1 of the Public Administration Act 2004 without being entitled to a pension under the Parliamentary Salaries and Superannuation Act 1968 or the Parliamentary Contributory Superannuation Act 1948 of the Commonwealth or any similar Act -

is entitled, on application in writing to the Secretary within 3 months after so ceasing to be a member of Parliament, to reinstatement in the public service or teaching service (as the case requires) subject to the provisions in relation to classification, superannuation, personal leave and long service leave specified in sub-clause (3) of Schedule 1 of the Public Administration Act 2004.

Upon re-employment in the public service or teaching service the employee is to be credited with the amount of personal leave outstanding immediately prior to being elected as a Member of Parliament.

The period from ceasing to be employed in the public service or teaching service until re-employment does not count as service for long service or personal leave purposes, but is recognised for the purpose of maintaining continuity of service.

With regard to reinstatement after ceasing to be a Member of Parliament, a former principal class employee will be reinstated as a teaching service employee at a classification level not inferior to that held before election. No guarantees can be given regarding the principal class position which would be offered to the person.

Other Resources

Procedures

Former employees seeking reinstatement following an election should contact the manager of Schools People Services for advice on 1800 641 943.

Legislation - Victorian

  • Constitution Act 1975
  • The Constitution Act Amendment Act 1958
  • Parliamentary Contributory Superannuation Act 1962
  • Parliamentary Salaries and Superannuation Act 1968
  • Public Administration Act 2004

To view current versions of Victorian legislation visit the Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents Home Page (http://www.legislation.vic.gov.au). Select the 'Victorian Law Today' button and then use the alphabetical list to find the Act or Regulation you want.

Legislation - Commonwealth

  • Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act
  • Parliamentary Contributory Superannuation Act 1948
  • Parliamentary Superannuation Act 2004

To view current versions of Commonwealth legislation visit the ComLaw home page (http://www.comlaw.gov.au) and search under 'Find Current Law'.

Additional Information

The Victorian Public Sector Commission has published specific and detailed guidance on the issue of public sector employees standing for election at: Codes of Conduct (http://vpsc.vic.gov.au/resources/codes-of-conduct-election-guidance-material/)

The School Policy and Advisory Guide provides information on the provisions relating to employees undertaking political activities at: Political activities

Contact Information