72. Managing performance

72.1.   The University is committed to enabling staff to perform at their best through fostering an environment that supports individuals to develop and achieve their work goals, reach their career potential and maximise their individual contribution to the University.

72.2.   Supervisors will provide regular feedback on performance, and will make every effort to resolve instances of possible unsatisfactory performance through guidance, coaching, staff development or appropriate work allocation.

72.3.   Notwithstanding clause 58.4 of the Agreement, a staff member may seek assistance from, or be represented by a union or staff representative and may seek procedural advice from Human Resources staff at any time during the processes set out below.


    72.4.   Unsatisfactory Performance means a persistent and serious failure of the staff member to perform the work of the position or appointment at a level which would be reasonably required having regard to:

      1. the nature and purpose of the position;
      2. its classification;
      3. any representations made by the staff member at the time of selection for employment or selection/promotion to the staff member’s current position or level; and
      4. without the presence of sufficient mitigating factors. Examples of sufficient mitigating factors include ill health, excessive workload; the absence of training; resources or guidance which the staff member might reasonably expect to have received.
      5. For academic staff, results from the Student Evaluation of Learning and Teaching (SELT), or any similar student evaluation, will not be the sole basis for identifying an underperformance issue in relation to teaching and related duties.

      72.5.   Disciplinary action means:

        1. formal counselling of a staff member by an appropriate supervisor;
        2. giving a staff member a written warning (including, where appropriate, a final warning);
        3. withholding an increment;
        4. demotion from an increment point within a grade;
        5. demotion of a staff member;
        6. termination of a staff member’s employment (in the case of un-remediated unsatisfactory performance).

        Disciplinary procedures

        72.6.   All decisions to discipline or terminate the employment of a staff member must be in accordance with this Agreement and before any decision is made to discipline a staff member for unsatisfactory performance, the University must ensure that the steps in the clauses below have been complied with.

        72.7.   Procedural fairness will apply. Those involved in any disciplinary action have a duty that any decision is not affected by favouritism, bias or conflict of interest and they must act fairly and impartially.

          Informal performance management

          72.8.   Where the supervisor is first concerned about the performance of a staff member, the supervisor will meet with the staff member as soon as is reasonably practicable to discuss and address these concerns informally.

          72.9.   If the issues of concern fail to improve, the supervisor will meet with the staff member to discuss and record these concerns and establish a reasonable period of review. This will, where necessary, include:

            1. the specific deficiencies in the staff member’s performance;
            2. appropriate development assistance required to address the issue/s;
            3. the specific corrective action required;
            4. the performance standards required; and
            5. a reasonable timeframe in which to address the issue/s.

            72.10.   Where the staff member has addressed the performance concerns within the identified timeframe, the action will cease.

            72.11.   Where informal steps have not resolved the performance concerns, the supervisor may proceed to formally manage the staff member’s performance.

              Formal performance management

              72.12.   The supervisor will work with the staff member on a performance improvement plan to assist the staff member achieve the required performance standards. The performance improvement plan will be provided to the staff member in writing, and will include:

                1. the specific improvements required;
                2. the review period in which improvement is expected; and
                3. the additional guidance, assistance and training that would reasonably enable the staff member to meet the appropriate performance standards.

                72.13.   Following the review period, the supervisor will make an assessment of the staff member’s performance and any known extenuating circumstances that may have affected the staff member’s performance.

                72.14.   The supervisor will advise the staff member in writing that either:

                  1. the issues are resolved, and that no further action is required;
                  2. a further period of review is required, specifying the new review period; or
                  3. that the performance is assessed as unremediated unsatisfactory performance a recommendation for proportionate disciplinary action will be made to the delegate.

                  Unremediated unsatisfactory performance

                  72.15.   In the case of unremediated unsatisfactory performance, the supervisor shall make a report to the delegate, which will include the aspects of performance seen as unsatisfactory and the record of attempts to remedy the problem and any issues in mitigation of which they are aware.

                  72.16.   The staff member will be provided a copy of the report, and be given a reasonable opportunity by the delegate, of no less than five working days, to submit a written response.

                  72.17.   Following consideration of the supervisor's report and any written response from the staff member, the delegate may recommend disciplinary action to the Chief People Officer.

                  72.18.   The Chief People Officer will then decide to:

                    1. take no further action;
                    2. where the Chief People Officer is of the view that procedural fairness has not been afforded the staff member, refer the matter back to the supervisor with a direction to revisit any of the steps or processes above; or
                    3. take proportionate disciplinary action, in which case the Chief People Officer or nominee shall set out in writing and provide to the staff member a statement as to what material has been considered; what acts or omissions or failings on the part of the staff member constitute unsatisfactory performance, and any relevant conclusions upon which the findings are based.

                    72.19.   Where a decision is made to take disciplinary action the staff member may seek a review of this decision in accordance with clause 75 – Review of decision.


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