Employee makes Fair Work claim over no demotion

by Iain Hopkins16 May 2013

An Australian Federal Police (AFP) officer has taken an unusual claim to the Fair Work Commission – he says his employer failed to demote him.

The employee, Michael Stevens, was a long-serving AFP officer who was “encouraged” to train for a higher rank, but had a change of heart and wanted to return to his former role.

“Policing is not for everybody,” the AFP worker said, adding that he didn't enjoy the new role.

According to the claim the AFP refused, instead offering the option of redundancy or to stay in the new role. As a third option, he could have returned to the former rank, but this would have required a move from Darwin to Alice Springs.

“To me it's not suitable - I can't just up and move my whole family,” Stevens commented to the Northern Times. “My understanding was I could return (to my old job).”

Stevens said he and the other officers were "encouraged" to apply for a 16-week training course in Canberra, but said they were sent an email during the course forcing them to revoke their former status or they would be refused graduation. “A question came up about what if we wanted to go back to PSO [protective services officer] and (a human resources staffer) said: 'why would you want to do that?'," he said.

At present the worker is still employed as an AFP officer, but took the AFP to a Fair Work hearing in Darwin this week. The AFP has declined to comment, and Commissioner Lee has reserved his decision until a later date.


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