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Procedure: Ill health termination


To outline the procedures involved in the termination of employment due to ill health.


  1. Notwithstanding the procedures detailed below, the Vice-Chancellor may authorise an alternate process for managing this employment condition, which will be consistent with the policy applying to this condition, to suit individual circumstances.
  2. Before the University commences action related to the following procedures it will first consider providing reasonable workplace adjustments to staff who have a disability or medical condition affecting their performance to undertake the inherent requirements of the position. After the staff member has undertaken the medical assessment the University will consider reasonable adjustment before it takes any action which may include the termination of the contract of employment.

Ill health assessment

  1. These provisions are independent of any right that a staff member may have to medical retirement benefits under their superannuation fund. Where a staff member applies to their superannuation fund, those specified provisions apply.
  2. A staff member whose capacity to perform the duties of their position is in doubt, apparently as a result of a medical condition, may be required by the University to undergo a medical examination.
  3. Unless there is well founded concern regarding immediate harm as a result of the illness to the staff member or others, the University will give not less than four weeks notice that a medical examination is required; choose the medical practitioner; and pay for the cost of the examination.
  4. 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.
  5. A copy of the medical practitioner’s report will be provided to the delegate and the staff member. 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, the University may terminate the employment of the staff member, giving six months’ notice in writing. The staff member may seek review of the termination decision.
  6. The staff member may submit a resignation before the University terminates their employment, provided the last day of duty is within a reasonable period.
  7. Where a staff member refuses to undergo a medical examination within three months of a written notification to do so, the University may reasonably conclude that the staff member is unable to perform their duties and is unlikely to be able to resume them within twelve months, and may terminate employment by providing the staff member with six months’ written notice.
  8. A refusal by a staff member to undergo a medical examination will not constitute misconduct.

Superannuation applications

  1. At any time during the processes outlined above staff member may apply to their superannuation fund for a permanent disablement or temporary incapacity benefit due to a medical condition. Further action to terminate the staff member’s employment will be suspended until the outcome of the superannuation application is known.
  2. 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.
  3. Where the superannuation fund approves a temporary incapacity benefit, the University will give effect to the superannuation fund’s instructions for payment.
  4. 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 these procedures.

Review process

Where a staff member considers that the decision to terminate their employment is unreasonable, the staff member may seek a review of decision. The review committee in such a case may seek additional medical evidence if the committee deem it warranted and likely to lead to a different outcome.

Medical Assessment - procedures

  1. A staff member whose ability to perform their work due to a condition may be required by the University to undergo a medical examination (an examination).Generally, the University will:
  • give at least two week’ notice that a medical examination is required;
  • choose the medical practitioner with the relevant skills and knowledge of the medical condition and/or disability;
  • pay for the cost of the examination; and
  • pay any reasonable traveling expenses for attending the examination.
  1. Any report prepared arising out of the examination is the property of the University.
  2. The University may provide a copy of the examiner’s report to the staff member; however this is at the discretion of the University.
  3. The University requires the staff member to provide any relevant medical reports to the examiner.
  4. The staff member authorises the University to provide any existing medical reports on University files to the examiner.
  5. Where the examiner’s report states that the staff member is able to perform the inherent requirements of the position, the University will look at options to implement recommendations provided to assist the staff member’s return to work consistent with relevant University governance and legislative requirements.
  6. If the staff member’s condition prevents the staff member from undertaking the inherent requirements of the position and/or the workplace adjustments will cause unjustifiable hardship, the University may proceed with the termination of the staff member’s employment.
  7. With respect to the above, where a staff member fails to cooperate with the University they may be considered to have engaged in serious misconduct.


Printable version (PDF)
Title Ill health termination
Document Type Procedure
Document Number ANUP_000560
Version 6
Purpose To inform staff of the procedures involved in the termination of employment due to ill health
Audience Staff
Category Administrative
Topic/ SubTopic Staff
Effective Date 1 Apr 2019
Review Date 31 Dec 2021
Responsible Officer: Director, Human Resources
Approved By: Chief Operating Officer
Contact Area Human Resources Division
Authority ANU Enterprise Agreement 2017 – 2021
Australian National University Act 1991

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