Statement regarding employee conduct and public sector values during the marriage equality debate.

At the request of the Australian Government, the Australian Bureau of Statistics conducted a voluntary postal survey on whether or not federal law should be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry.

The process commenced on 12 September 2017 and concluded on 7 November 2017. The majority of Australians supported a change to marriage law.

A Bill was introduced into the Australian Parliament on 15 November 2017 to amend the Marriage Act 1961. The Bill redefines marriage as the union of two people, and is currently being debated in Parliament.

For many public sector employees, marriage equality is a deeply personal issue about which they hold strong views.

During this period, there is potential for debates to impact our lives and those of our colleagues, inside and outside the workplace.

Public sector employees are responsible for promoting environments that encourage respect and that are free from discrimination, harassment and bullying. Valuing and promoting diversity is an important element of demonstrating respect.

With this in mind, I remind all public sector officials and employees about the Code of Conduct and our core public sector values: respect, responsiveness, integrity, impartiality, accountability, leadership and human rights.

I ask all public sector employees to be particularly mindful of the need to remain respectful, inclusive, impartial and apolitical during the marriage equality debate. Being apolitical means not using the workplace, work resources, or your role to support or advocate for a particular position.

I encourage employees who are experiencing personal distress to speak with their managers, human resources department or employee assistance programs.

Elizabeth Langdon
Victorian Public Sector Commission

Review the Victorian Public Sector Values

Review the Codes of Conduct materials