55. Ill health assessment

55.1.  Before the University commences action related to the following provisions it will first determine whether it is possible to provide reasonable workplace adjustments to staff who have a disability or medical condition affecting their ability to undertake the inherent requirements of the position.

55.2.  A staff member whose capacity to perform the duties of their position is in doubt, apparently as a result of a medical condition, can be required by the University to undergo a medical examination. The University will arrange and pay for a medical examination and advise the staff member of the details of the appointment for the staff member to attend. The University will provide reasonable notice to allow the staff member to make any necessary personal arrangements to be able to attend the examination. Unless there is well founded concern regarding immediate harm as a result of the illness to the staff member or others, the notice period will normally be no less than four weeks. Any request by a staff member for a postponement of the medical appointment will not be unreasonably refused by the University.

55.3.  The medical practitioner will, so far as possible, apply the same standards that would be used by the staff member’s superannuation scheme in granting permanent disablement or other similar benefit.

55.4.   A copy of the medical practitioner’s report will be provided to the delegate and the staff member.

55.5.  Where the medical report states that the staff member is unable to perform their duties, and is unlikely to be able to perform them and/or resume them within 12 months:

  1. the University will first determine whether it is possible to provide reasonable workplace adjustment before it takes any action;
  2. if reasonable workplace adjustment is not possible the University may take action it considers reasonable under the circumstances;
  3. if the University decides to terminate the employment of the staff member, it will do so by providing the staff member with six months’ notice in writing;
  4. the staff member may seek review of the termination decision in accordance with clause 55.11 and
  5. the staff member may submit a resignation before the University terminates their employment, provided the last day of duty is within a reasonable period. 

55.6.  Within three months of written notification to do so, where a staff member refuses to undergo a medical examination:

  1.  the University may reasonably conclude that the staff member is unable to perform their duties and/or is unlikely to be able to resume them within 12 months;
  2. the University may terminate employment  of the staff member; it will do so by providing the staff member with six months’ notice in writing; and
  3. this will not constitute misconduct.

Superannuation applications

55.7.  At any time during the processes in clauses 55.1 – 55.5 above, a staff member may apply to their superannuation fund for a permanent disablement or temporary incapacity benefit due to a medical condition. Further action under this clause will be suspended, including the notice period, until the outcome of the superannuation application is known. Action will resume from the point of suspension once the superannuation fund decision is known.

55.8.  Pending the superannuation fund’s decision, and subject to the provision of medical certificates, the staff member may use accrued leave entitlements and, if all paid leave entitlements have been used, will remain on leave without pay.

55.9.  Where the superannuation fund approves a temporary incapacity benefit, the University will give effect to the superannuation fund’s instructions for payment.

55.10.  If, following a period of temporary incapacity benefit payments, the superannuation fund decides that the staff member is capable of resuming work, the University may dispute the decision and proceed with the medical examination provided for in clause 55.2.


55.11.  Where a staff member considers that the decision to terminate their employment is unreasonable the staff member may seek a review under clause 73 – Review of decision. The Review Committee in such a case may seek additional medical evidence if the Committee deems it warranted and likely to lead to a different outcome.

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