7.3.1 General Principles The provisions in this clause do not apply to casual or sessional staff members or to continuing or fixed-term staff contract members during their minimum period of employment. In accordance with the University’s general duty of care to provide a safe working environment, where the University may have a doubt about a staff member’s wellbeing, it is appropriate for the University to seek information about a staff member’s health. Separation from employment for medical reasons will be managed in accordance with the University policy and procedures relating to Separation from Employment for Medical Reasons. A staff member may initiate their separation from employment on medical grounds by providing notice of their resignation in accordance with the requirements of this clause. A staff member may apply to their superannuation fund for ill-health retirement benefits or for temporary disability benefits, however described by the particular fund.

7.3.2 Assessment May Be Required Where the University believes there is reasonable concern regarding a staff member’s capacity to perform the inherent requirements of their position, the staff member may be required to undergo a medical and/or psychological assessment, the outcome of which may lead to medical separation due to medical reasons. The University will choose a registered medical practitioner or specialist to conduct the assessment at the expense of the University. The University will normally provide the staff member with written notice of not less than four (4) weeks, except in exceptional circumstances, that the assessment is required. If, within this notice period the staff member elects to apply to their superannuation fund for ill-health retirement (or equivalent) or temporary disability benefit and, they provide the University with evidence of the application and of their cooperation with the superannuation fund in the processing of the application, the requirement for a medical examination will be deferred. In this case, subject to the provisions of this clause, the University will take no further action until such time as the superannuation fund has reached a decision on the application. In the event the superannuation fund determines that the staff member does have the capacity to perform the inherent requirements and duties of their position, in line with the University’s duty of care obligations, the University will require the staff member to undergo the deferred medical examination as soon as possible, or give the staff member a further notice under sub-clause A staff member who is granted an ill health retirement benefit (or equivalent) by their superannuation fund (e.g. a Permanent Incapacity Benefit from UniSuper) will be deemed to have separated from employment with the University by taking medical retirement at their initiative. The staff member’s date of medical retirement will take effect from either:

(i) the date that the superannuation fund advises the University of its decision to grant ill health benefits to the staff member,


(ii) the date of effect advised to the University by the superannuation fund,

whichever advice is received first by the University. Where an assessment is conducted in accordance with this clause, the medical practitioner responsible for the assessment will be asked to advise whether the staff member is or will be able to perform the inherent requirements of the position, and whether the staff member will be able to resume work and perform those requirements within a reasonable time, being not less than twelve (12) months. A copy of the report will be made available to the University. If the medical practitioner undertaking the assessment requires additional information in order to complete the assessment, including but not limited to:

(i) consideration of the staff member’s medical records,

(ii) discussion with the staff member’s treating medical practitioner and/or treating specialist, and/or

(iii) a separate examination/assessment by a second independent practitioner,

the staff member is required to cooperate with the request for additional information and the University will meet the costs of any additional appointments. The University will supply a copy of the report to the staff member, together with written advice that a staff member may elect to make an application to refer the report to a panel of three (3) medical practitioners for independent medical assessment within fourteen (14) days of the medical report being supplied to the staff member. Notwithstanding any other provision of this clause, where a staff member has been continually absent from employment on account of a medical and/or psychological condition, including, but not limited to, one which has been the subject of an assessment under this Agreement; and the absence has been for a period of not less than twelve (12) months, the University may terminate the staff member’s employment by providing six (6) months’ notice, or notice equal to the period before the staff member’s fixed-term contract of employment expires in accordance with its terms, whichever is the lesser amount. The University may construe failure by a staff member to undergo a medical/psychological assessment as prima facie evidence that a medical examination would have found the staff member unable to perform the inherent requirements of their position, and unlikely to be able to resume them within twelve (12) months. In such a case, the University may provide six (6) months’ notice of separation due to medical reasons, or notice equal to the period before the staff member’s contract of employment expires in accordance with its terms, whichever is the lesser amount. However, such a failure by a staff member in these circumstances will not constitute misconduct nor lead to any greater penalty or loss of entitlements than would have resulted from an adverse medical report.

Page last updated on 17/11/2021

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