All Public Service employees and contractors are entitled to a safe and inclusive workplace, where people treat one another with respect and work together to deliver for people in New Zealand.

This takes organisational commitment and real effort from leaders, managers, and individual staff members. There is need for strong leadership, constructive working relationships, and good policies and procedures.

Unfortunately, our agencies are not immune to the challenges that all workplaces face. The way we deal with inappropriate behaviours is important. Building a workplace culture that promotes respect, inclusion, trust and productivity will go a long way to preventing inappropriate behaviour from occurring.

These model standards set out the Public Service Commissioner’s minimum expectations for staff and organisations in the Public Service to ensure positive and safe workplaces.

Please note: The current model standards reflect language used under the State Sector Act 1988. All model standards will soon be updated to reflect the language used in the Public Service Act 2020. The current model standards continue to apply until then.

Ngā kōnae e hāngai ana 
Related files

Positive and safe workplaces model standards(PDF, 216 KB)

Response role cards for managers, employees and bystanders: inappropriate behaviour concern/complaint(PDF, 502 KB)

Sexual ethics and respectful relationships: Creating a positive workplace culture(PDF, 59 KB) — a New Zealand Defence Force case study 

Government Health and Safety Lead’s Positive Workplace Cultures agency workbook — a tool to support agencies in creating positive workplace cultures.

Safe to talk | Kōrero mai ka ora — this helpline provides free, confidential 24/7 support to people affected by sexual harm.

1737 — Need to Talk? Is New Zealand’s national mental health helpline number, and part of the National Telehealth Service

Bullying is Worksafe’s prevention toolbox that provides tools and resources to help guide organisations and individuals in preventing bullying in the workplace.

Employment mediation services within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is a free service for any employee or employer with an employment relationship problem.