Part K: Managing ill health and injury
The relevant Delegate may require a staff member to undergo an examination by an independent medical practitioner (who will be nominated by the University) where:
- the University considers that the staff member’s ability to perform their duties may be adversely affected by illness or injury;
- the University considers that the safety or welfare of the staff member and/or other staff or students may be at risk of being adversely affected by the staff member’s illness or injury; or
- the staff member has taken more than 20 days sick leave in the preceding Year of Employment.
Where a staff member is required to undergo a medical examination under clause 291:
- the University will provide the staff member with a copy of the referral document sent to the medical practitioner when it is provided to the practitioner and at least one month’s notice of the date of the medical examination;
- the medical practitioner will be required to provide a report to the University, and a copy of the report will normally be provided to the staff member by the University; and
- all expenses incurred in relation to the medical examination will be paid for by the University.
Termination of employment on grounds of ill health
The University may terminate a staff member’s employment on grounds of ill health if they are unfit for duty where:
a medical practitioner’s report indicates that the staff member:
- has a permanent medical condition which prevents them from performing their normal duties; or
- will be unable to perform their normal duties within 12 months (or in the case of a fixed term staff member, within 12 months or the balance of the term of their contract, whichever is the lesser); or
- the staff member has been absent from duty due to illness or injury for 12 months (either continuously or for periods totalling 12 months over the previous two years) and has exhausted their paid sick leave entitlement and been absent for a further three months after doing so.
- a medical practitioner’s report indicates that the staff member:
Where the University proposes to terminate a staff member’s employment for a reason specified in clause 293(a) the staff member must be given written notification of the proposed termination. The staff member will be given seven days to respond to the notification, and may request a review of the proposed termination by a Medical Review Panel.
A staff member may:
- elect to resign before the University terminates their employment provided that their resignation takes effect within one month of receiving the notification under clause 294; or
- initiate their own medical retirement or seek a temporary disability pension under their superannuation scheme. In these circumstances, the University will, on receipt of evidence that an application for medical retirement or temporary disability pension has been made, refrain from taking any action that would preclude the staff member from medical retirement or disability pension benefits.
Where a staff member requests a review in accordance with clause 294, the termination process will be deferred until the completion of the review and the University will convene a Medical Review Panel comprising three medical practitioners as follows:
- a Chairperson appointed by the Vice-Chancellor from a pool of Chairpersons established by the University for this purpose in consultation with the Unions through the Management and Staff Consultative Committee;
- one medical practitioner nominated by the Delegated Officer (Staffing); and
- one medical practitioner nominated by the affected staff member or their Representative.
The Medical Review Panel will review the decision that the staff member is unfit for duty as defined in clause 293.
The Medical Review Panel will determine its own procedure and complete its deliberations and submit its report to the University within 15 working days of the Medical Review Panel being convened under clause 296 (or such longer period as may be reasonably necessary for it to complete its review).
After considering the Medical Review Panel’s report the University will make a final determination in relation to whether to terminate the staff member’s employment.
Where the University decides to terminate a staff member’s employment on grounds of ill health it may terminate the employment by providing written notice in accordance with clause 306 and a severance payment in accordance with the following scale:
Period of Continuous Service Severance pay (weeks) More than 1 year but less than 2 years 4 2 years or more but less than 3 years 6 3 years or more but less than 4 years 7 4 years or more 8
Where a staff member who is required to undergo a medical examination pursuant to clause 291 fails to do so without reasonable cause, the University may terminate the staff member’s employment by giving notice and providing a severance payment in accordance with clause 300. The failure to undergo a medical examination pursuant to clause 291 will not be treated as Misconduct, and the staff member will not be subjected to any greater penalty or loss of entitlements than would result from an adverse medical report.
If at any time following the commencement of a process under clause 291 or 293 the affected staff member applies to their superannuation fund for a permanent disablement or temporary incapacity benefit, further action under this Part will be suspended until the superannuation application is determined. Where a temporary incapacity benefit is granted, further action under this Part K will be suspended for the period during which the benefit is paid.
Nothing in this Part K precludes the University from taking any action it considers necessary to meet its obligations under applicable occupational health and safety legislation.