59. Medical Retirement

  1. Professional staff collective agreement
    1. Where the University believes that the capacity of an employee to perform the duties of his/her position is in serious doubt due to health reasons, the University may require, in writing, any employee to undergo a medical examination by a medical practitioner chosen by the University, on written notice of not less than one month. A shorter period may be mutually agreed having regard to the availability of medical services. Agreement will not be unreasonably withheld.
    2. When the written notice is given, it will contain a copy of this clause, and the employee may elect during the notice period in 59.1 to apply to their superannuation fund for ill-health retirement or temporary disability benefit. Where an employee applies to their superannuation fund, the provisions of subclauses 59.12 to 59.14 apply.
    3. The cost of the medical examination and the reasonable expenses of the employee in attending the examination will be borne by the University.
    4. The relevant position statement/classification descriptor and a statement of the University's concerns will be provided to the medical practitioner as a basis for assessment. The employee will be provided with a copy of these and given an opportunity to provide a response, including material from the employee's own registered health practitioner, to the medical practitioner.
    5. Subject to the provision of medical certificates, the employee will be on paid sick leave during the notice period. If the employee’s entitlement to sick leave has been exhausted, they can use annual leave or long service leave, if applicable, or if all paid leave entitlements have been exhausted, remain on leave without pay. Additional Sick leave may be approved in accordance with clauses 38.11 to 38.12.
    6. The purpose of the assessment is to determine whether:
      • the employee is able to perform the duties of their position; or
      • the employee is not currently able to perform the duties of their position. The assessment will include the extent of the incapacity, expected duration, and whether reasonable accommodation measures could address the issues. If reasonable accommodation measures are recommended these should be described.
    7. A copy of the medical report made by the medical practitioner pursuant to sub clause 59.1 will be made available to the University, the employee and the employee’s Doctor.
    8. If the medical examination reveals that the employee is unable to perform their duties and is unlikely to be able to resume them within a reasonable period, being not less than twelve (12) months, the University may medically retire the employee, noting:
      • the Vice-Chancellor will make the final determination on whether or not the employee should be medically retired; and
      • prior to taking action to medically retire an employee, the University 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 medically retire the employee; and
      • the employee will receive payment in lieu of notice of six (6) months.
    9. The University may construe a failure by an employee to undergo a medical examination in accordance with these procedures within 2 months of a written notification to do so as prima facie evidence that such a medical examination would have found that the employee is unable to perform his or her duties and is unlikely to be able to resume them within 12 months. The University may then medically retire the employee, provided that such a refusal by an employee 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.
    10. Appeal medical report

    11. If the employee wishes to appeal the findings contained in the medical report, the employee must do so by:
      1. giving the University written notice of the intention to appeal within 14 days of the report being made available;
      2. lodging any appeal documents within one month of the notice of appeal, including a report from a suitably qualified medical practitioner which states an alternate view to that contained in the medical report.
    12. Where an appeal has been lodged by an employee in accordance with sub clause 59.10, the employee will be referred to their superannuation scheme to determine whether the employee would qualify for a temporary or permanent disability pension. Both the medical reports referred to in sub clauses 59.7 and 59.10 will be provided to the superannuation scheme. The Vice Chancellor or nominee will make a final determination on whether or not the employee should be medically retired considering the determination of the superannuation scheme. The University will not medically retire an employee unless and until the findings of the report are confirmed by the appeals process.
    13. Superannuation applications

    14. Where an employee has elected to apply to their superannuation fund for ill-health retirement or temporary disability benefit the University will suspend any action under this clause while an application is under consideration, or the employee is demonstrably meeting prerequisites in order to make such an application.
    15. Where the superannuation fund decides that the employee, following a period of receipt of a temporary disability benefit, is capable of resuming work and the University elects to dispute this decision, the University may proceed in accordance with this clause without further recourse to the provisions of sub clause 59.2.
    16. Pending the superannuation fund’s decision, and subject to the provision of medical certificates, the employee may use accrued leave entitlements, or if all paid leave entitlements have been exhausted, remain on leave without pay.
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