32. Termination of Employment on the Grounds of Ill Health

32.1 The Vice-Chancellor may require an employee, whose capacity to perform the duties of their position is in doubt, to undergo a medical examination by a medical practitioner chosen by the University at the expense of the University.

32.2 The Vice-Chancellor will provide the employee with written notice of not less than two (2) months that a medical examination is required. Where an employee elects to apply to the relevant superannuation fund, prior to the expiry of the period of notice, for ill-health retirement or temporary disability benefit in accordance with the rules of the superannuation fund, the requirement for a medical examination under Subclause 32.1 will lapse immediately and no further action will, subject to Subclause 32.3, be taken by the Vice-Chancellor under this Clause.

32.3 Where the superannuation fund:

(a) determines an employee is ineligible because of a pre-existing medical condition; or

(b) decides that an employee, following a period of receipt of a temporary disability benefit, is capable of resuming work and the Vice-Chancellor elects to dispute this decision

the Vice-Chancellor may proceed under this Clause without further recourse to the provisions of Subclause 32.2.

32.4 A copy of the medical report made by the medical practitioner in accordance with Subclause 32.1 will be made available to the Vice-Chancellor and to the employee.

32.5 If the medical examination reveals that the employee is unable to perform assigned duties and is unlikely to be able to resume them within a reasonable period, being not less than 12 months, the Vice-Chancellor may, subject to Subclause 32.6, terminate the employment of the employee under the notice required by this Agreement. Prior to taking action to terminate the employment of an employee, the Vice-Chancellor may offer the employee the opportunity to submit a resignation and, if such a resignation is offered, will accept it and not proceed with action to terminate employment.

32.6 Within 14 days of the medical report being made available, if the employee or their nominated representative requests, the Vice-Chancellor will not terminate the employment of the employee under Subclause 32.5 unless and until the findings of the report are confirmed by either:

  • a panel consisting of three medical practitioners; one of whom will be appointed by the University, one by the employee or by a person acting on the employee’s behalf, and one by the President of the State branch or Territory of the Australian Medical Association. The Panel will not include the medical practitioner who made the initial report; or
  • an independent medical specialist agreed between the Vice-Chancellor and the employee.

32.7 In making an assessment as to whether or not an employee is unable to perform assigned duties and is unlikely to be able to resume those duties within a reasonable period, the medical practitioner or panel of medical practitioners appointed in accordance with Subclause 32.6 will as far as possible, apply the same standards as are used by the employee's superannuation scheme in determining qualification for the payment of a disablement pension or other similar benefit.

32.8 At any stage of these procedures, the Vice-Chancellor may construe a failure by an employee to undergo a medical examination within three months of a written notification to do so, as evidence at face value that they will be unable to perform their duties and may terminate the employment on the grounds of ill health.

32.9 Where employement ceases due to ill health, the number of years of continuous service required to have been completed by that employee before being entitled to long service leave will be five (5) years.

32.10 Where the Superannuation Fund determines that an employee is totally and permanently incapacitated and is unlikely to return to work in the foreseeable future, the University may terminate the employment.