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Policy: Fitness for work


This policy is intended to articulate the approach of the Australian National University to its workers and their fitness for work.


The University is committed to providing a safe and healthy place of work, and to ensuring the fitness for work of its workers while they are on duty.


This policy applies to all workers, students and visitors across the University.


Fitness for work is when an individual is in a state (physically and psychologically) to perform tasks assigned to them competently and in a manner which does not compromise the safety and health of themselves or others.

On duty refers to a worker undertaking duties and responsibilities associated with their contract of employment.

A Worker is defined as anyone who carries out work for the University. A worker includes staff, volunteers, contractor, students and visitors at the University.

Policy statement

  1. The University is committed to providing a safe and healthy place of work for its staff and others in the workplace. This commitment extends to the University’s obligation as an employer under the Workplace Health and Safety Act 2011 (Cth). A primary responsibility of the University is to facilitate effective management of employee fitness for work risk.
  2. The University has a responsibility for the provision of a safe, healthy, and productive workplace. Each individual has a responsibility to maintain their personal ‘fitness for work’. University staff are required to attend work in a physical and mental condition that enables them to perform their work duties in a safe, efficient and productive manner.
  3. The University is committed to the following preventative measures to reduce the risk of work related injury and illness:
  • perform health assessments where risk assessments have been deemed necessary;
  • facilitate access to health and fitness programs;
  • facilitate access to Employee Assistance Programs; and
  • improve education and awareness in fitness for work;
  1. The University is committed to the following remedial measures:
  • pre-employment screening; and
  • recognition and assistance with physical and psychological impairment, where an assessment of risk in a workplace has occurred and there is an unacceptably high risk to a person’s safety from a lack of fitness for work, or which impacts on the safety of others in the workplace.

Leadership and culture

  1. The University aims to promote excellence in health and safety leadership and a positive culture of fitness for work through:
  • encouraging, supporting and improving fitness for work,
  • integrating health, safety and wellbeing into all aspects of our business,
  • ensuring the University’s fitness for work procedures are appropriate for the University ,
  • determining, in consultation with our workers improvements in fitness for work,
  • ensuring confidentiality when managing fitness for work,
  • ensuring workers and supervisors have the necessary skills and knowledge to achieve improved fitness for work.


  1. Executive: provide leadership to ensure communication of this policy and effective implementation.
  2. Senior Managers: support managers and supervisors in fulfilling their responsibilities and accountabilities.
  3. Supervisors: take reasonable actions to monitor workers within their responsibility for fitness for work. Where a worker does not have the minimum requirements of fitness for work for a task, other suitable arrangements will be made for the worker.
  4. Workers: take reasonable care for their own safety and the safety of others as well as comply with any reasonable instruction, policy or procedure of the University in relation to fitness for work. It is the responsibility of the worker to disclose any factors affecting their fitness for work and to accept reasonable instructions from their supervisor regarding alternative tasks.


Printable version (PDF)
Title Fitness for work
Document Type Policy
Document Number ANUP_014609
Version 1
Purpose This policy is intended to articulate the approach of the Australian National University to its workers and their fitness for work.
Audience Staff
Category Administrative
Topic/ SubTopic Health, Safety & Environment - Occupational Health & Safety
Effective Date 10 Nov 2016
Review Date 10 Nov 2019
Responsible Officer: Director, Human Resources
Approved By: Vice-Chancellor
Contact Area Human Resources Division
Authority Work Health & Safety Act 2011
Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011
Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988