34. Disciplinary action for misconduct or serious misconduct
34.1 Before the Vice-Chancellor takes disciplinary action against an employee for misconduct or serious misconduct, the Vice-Chancellor must take the steps set out in this Clause. Where a matter that may involve misconduct or serious misconduct has been dealt with in good faith as if it were a case of unsatisfactory performance under Clause 24, the procedures of this Clause are not required, and the provisions of Clause 24, must be followed.
34.2 Formal action
34.2.1 Any allegation of misconduct or serious misconduct will be considered by the Vice-Chancellor. If the Vice-Chancellor believes such allegations warrant further investigation, the Vice-Chancellor will notify the employee in writing and in sufficient detail to enable the employee to understand the precise nature of the allegations, and to properly consider and respond to the allegations. The Vice-Chancellor will require the employee to submit a written response within 10 working days from the receipt of the letter.
34.2.2 At the time of notifying the employee under Subclause 34.2.1, or subsequently, in exceptional circumstances the Vice-Chancellor may:
- suspend the employee on full pay, or
- suspend the employee without pay if the Vice-Chancellor is of the view that the alleged conduct amounts to serious misconduct such that it would be unreasonable to require the University to continue the employee’s employment during a period of notice.
34.2.3 Provided that:
(a) where suspension without pay occurs at a time when the employee is on a paid leave of absence the employee will continue to receive a salary for the period of the leave of absence;
(b) the employee may engage in external paid employment or draw on any annual leave or eligible long service leave credits during the suspension without pay;
(c) the Vice-Chancellor may direct that the employee’s salary continue to be paid, notwithstanding their suspension on the grounds of hardship;
(d) where a suspension without pay has been imposed and the matter is subsequently referred to an external investigator, the Vice-Chancellor will ensure that the investigator initially determines whether suspension without pay should continue. The investigator will provide advice to the Vice-Chancellor as to whether the suspension without pay should continue.
34.2.4 During any period of suspension the employee may be excluded from the University, provided that the employee will be permitted:
- reasonable supervised access to the University campus and to request relevant documentation in order to prepare their response to any allegation of misconduct or serious misconduct that has been made against them; and
- to collect or have personal property returned.
34.2.5 If the allegations are denied by the employee, and the Vice-Chancellor is of the view that there has been no misconduct or serious misconduct, the Vice-Chancellor will immediately advise the employee, in writing, and may, by agreement with the employee, publish the advice in an appropriate manner.
34.2.6 If the allegations are admitted in full by the employee, and the Vice-Chancellor is of the view that the conduct amounts to misconduct or serious misconduct, the Vice-Chancellor will advise the employee, in writing, of the Vice-Chancellor's decision and the operative date of the disciplinary action.
34.2.7 If the allegation is denied in part or in full, or if the employee has not responded to the allegations, the Vice-Chancellor will refer the matter to an external investigator appointed under the provisions of Clause 35.1, unless the Vice-Chancellor decides to take no further action or counsel or censure the employee for unsatisfactory behaviour and take no other action.