Political Activities

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Purpose of this policy

To confirm the political freedoms granted in law to officers and employees of the Victorian Government.


Department employees:

  • have the right to freedom of  association with others, including the right to form and join trade unions
  • have the right to freedom of expression, subject to lawful restrictions such as protecting public order and breach of confidence
  • may conduct political activities outside of working hours provided that it is clearly undertaken in a private capacity
  • must apply for leave of absence in the usual way to conduct political activities in working hours
  • should ensure that their political activities do not create a conflict of interest with their official duties. Such conflict could arise for a variety of reasons but more so when the area of political involvement corresponds in some measure with the official duties of the officer or employee.
  • should inform the Secretary if they believe they may be in a conflict of interest so a judgment may be made about the extent of any conflict and any necessary interim arrangements
  • must not use information gained at work for any other purpose than official duties
  • must not solicit students to become agents of any organisation or individual by distributing notices, pamphlets or literature of any description that contains material of a controversial nature, whether originating from a union, professional association, parent–teacher group or any other source
  • must not use their position to support particular issues, parties or candidates in relation to an election campaign.

Important:  The public display of posters, notices, broadsheets and the like containing controversial material (whether originating from a union, parent–teacher group or any other unauthorised source), is prohibited. Principals are required to ensure staff are aware of these instructions as disciplinary action may be taken against any staff members infringing these instructions.

However these instructions do not apply to the display of notices or the preparation or distribution of material that relates to Government policy in education that is the subject of public debate encouraged by the Government or approved by the Department.

Related policies

Related legislation

  • Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic)
  • Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic)
  • Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)
  • Section 95(1)(b) of the Constitution Act 1975 (Vic)
  • Sections 49 and 61 of the Constitution Act 1975 (Vic)
  • Section 44 of the Commonwealth Constitution