The University of Melbourne Collective Agreement 2010
Part K: Employment Security and Termination
- Commitment to employment security
- Termination of staff members
- Termination of employment as a result of ill-health
- Redeployment and redundancy: Academic staff
- Redeployment and redundancy: Professional staff
80. Commitment to employment security
80.1 The parties recognise the importance of job security for staff. Until the nominal expiry date of the Agreement the University commits to the goal of no reduction in overall staff numbers, save for normal turnover and cyclical fluctuations. While seeking to adhere to this commitment, the University reserves the right to make adjustments to staffing in areas where restructuring is required. When having to manage any adjustments in staffing, the University will seek to ensure that staff have the maximum opportunity for redeployment, including implementing the University’s placement policy before a formal declaration of redundancy.
81. Termination of staff members
81.1 This clause does not apply to casual staff.
Agreement is sole source of power to terminate
81.2 All decisions to terminate the employment of an academic or professional staff member must be in accordance with the relevant provisions of this Agreement.
81.3 Notice of termination of employment will be in accordance with Division 11 of Part 2-2 of the Fair Work Act, provided that any greater period of notice specified in the staff member’s contract of employment or in this Agreement will continue to apply.
81.4 Notice or payment in lieu of notice shall not be required in relation to termination of a staff member found to have engaged in serious misconduct, such that it would be unreasonable to require the University to continue employment during that notice period.
81.5 Nothing is this clause shall displace or override any applicable right or entitlement a staff member may have under workers compensation legislation, including the Accident Compensation Act 1985 (Vic).
81.6 Nothing in this Agreement shall affect the operation of any law empowering a Commonwealth industrial tribunal to order reinstatement of or compensation to a staff member, or to otherwise deal with the dismissal of that staff member.
82. Termination of employment as a result of ill-health
82.1 The procedures of this clause are independent of any right that a staff member may have to medical retirement benefits under his or her superannuation fund. Where a staff member applies to his or her superannuation fund, the provisions of clause 82.7 to 82.10 below apply.
82.2 A staff member whose capacity to perform the duties of his or her position is in doubt, apparently as a result of a medical condition, may be required by the University to undergo a medical examination. Unless there is well founded concern of the potential for immediate harm to the staff member or others as a result of a medical condition (in which case the University may suspend the staff member from duty with pay until action is taken in accordance with clause 82.4 or 82.6), the University will give not less than 2 months’ notice that a medical examination is required; choose the medical practitioner; and pay for the cost of the examination.
82.3 The medical practitioner will as 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.
82.4 A copy of the medical practitioner’s report will be provided to the Vice-Chancellor and the staff member. Where the medical report states that the staff member is unable to perform his or her 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 in accordance with the notice period required by the staff member’s contract of employment or, where no notice is specified, a period of 6 months’ notice in writing. The staff member may seek review of the termination under clause 82.11.
82.5 The staff member may submit a resignation before the University terminates his or her employment, provided the last day of duty is within a reasonable period.
82.6 Where a staff member refuses to undergo a medical examination within 3 months of a written notification to do so, the University may reasonably conclude that the staff member is unable to perform his or her duties and is unlikely to be able to resume them within 12 months, and may terminate employment giving 6 months notice.
82.7 At any time during the processes in clause 82.2 to 82.6 above, a staff member may apply to his or her superannuation fund for a permanent disablement or temporary incapacity benefit due to a medical condition. Further action under this clause will cease subject to clause 82.10 and 82.11.
82.8 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.
82.9 Action at clause 82.4 may recommence if a medical examination has occurred and has found that the staff member is not likely to be able to resume duties within 12 months, but the superannuation fund refuses a permanent disablement or temporary incapacity benefit.
82.10 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 clause 82.2.
82.11 Within 10 working days of receiving notice of termination under clause 82.4, the staff member or, where the staff member has chosen, his or her Representative may request that a Medical Panel review the findings of the medical report.
82.12 The Medical Panel will comprise three medical practitioners, being: one appointed by the University; one recommended by the staff member or where they have chosen, their Representative; and one appointed by the President of the Victorian Branch of the Australian Medical Association.
82.13 The Medical Panel must not include the practitioner who made the initial report and will as 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.
82.14 The staff member’s employment will not be terminated by the University unless and until the Medical Panel confirms the findings of the medical report.
83. Redeployment and redundancy: Academic staff
83.1 This clause applies to members of academic staff in continuing positions. After an initial 8 week transition period, in which the staff member may either seek redeployment and/or appeal the Vice- Chancellor's decision to terminate employment, provision is made for an enhanced level of payout to the staff member, based on age and length of service.
Grounds for Redundancy
83.2 Where the University has decided to terminate the employment of one or more staff members for reasons of an economic, technological, structural or similar nature, including:
- decrease in student load in any academic course or subject or combination or mix of courses or subjects conducted on one or more campuses;
- a decision to cease offering or to vary the academic content of any course or subject or combination or mix of courses or subjects conducted on one or more campuses;
- financial exigency within an organisational unit or cost centre; or
- changes in technology or work methods;
the University will formally notify the staff member(s) concerned and, if the staff member wishes, a Representative, in writing that their employment will terminate and will outline the reason(s) for the termination.
83.3 The relevant notice period for a staff member who has received notification pursuant to clause 83.2 will be determined by a combination of two scales, based on age and length of service.
83.4 Age based scale
|45 or over||22 weeks|
|40 - 44||20 weeks|
|39 or under||18 weeks|
Length of service
The balance of the notice period is determined by adding three weeks notice for each completed year of continuous service. The maximum period of notice will be 74 weeks.
83.5 A staff member may apply to work out all or part of the relevant period of notice. If there are suitable duties for the staff member to undertake, which will result in sufficient work being available to occupy the time fraction on which the academic staff member is employed, the University will use its best efforts to allow this to occur. This may be either work the staff member has been engaged in previously or work designed to retrain the staff member. If the University has no work for the staff member to do, the staff member will receive a genuine redundancy payment equivalent to the unexpired portion of the notice period.
83.6 An eight week transition period will commence immediately upon written notification of termination being given to the staff member pursuant to clause 83.2. By the expiration of fourteen days from the commencement of the transition period, the staff member must indicate to the University which of the following options for separation he or she wishes to choose:
- to elect early separation and include the balance of the transition period in his or her redundancy benefits; or
- to apply to the Vice-Chancellor for a review of the decision to terminate the staff member's employment and/or to seek redeployment within the University.
Elect early separation
83.7 A staff member who has been given notice pursuant to clause 83.3 may decide to include the balance of the transition period in his or her redundancy benefits, in which case the staff member will receive upon termination:
- the unexpired portion of the eight week transition period as part of the genuine redundancy payment; and
- the balance of the notice period prescribed in clause 83.3 as part of the genuine redundancy payment; and
- payment on a pro rata basis for long service leave.
83.8 All payments under this sub-clause shall be calculated on the staff member's salary at the date of cessation of employment.
Review of the decision to terminate on the grounds of redundancy
83.9 A staff member who has been given notice pursuant to clause 83.3 may apply to the Vice-Chancellor within fourteen (14) days of such notice, for a review of the decision to terminate his or her employment, on the grounds that the University did not act fairly or properly in making the decision to terminate, or that the rules of natural justice were not applied, or that the decision was discriminatory.
83.10 Upon receiving such an application, the Vice-Chancellor will immediately refer it to a Review Committee, constituted as for a Review and Appeals Committee, to investigate the process leading to the decision to terminate. The Review Committee must be established and the matter referred to the Committee within 7 days of receipt of the referral.
83.11 The Review Committee must determine within no more than three (3) weeks after the referral, whether the University acted fairly, properly and in accordance with the rules of natural justice in making the decision to terminate, including whether the decision was in any way discriminatory.
83.12 The Review Committee shall provide the staff member adequate opportunity to put forward a verbal or written submission relating to the process in question and will conduct the investigation in an expeditious and informal manner.
83.13 If the Review Committee does not complete its deliberation within the time frames allowed in the Agreement, it must make application to the Vice-Chancellor for an extension of time, putting forward the grounds for the extension, and outlining the time frame in which it will reach a conclusion.
83.14 The Review Committee shall, after making a determination, make recommendations to the Vice- Chancellor, who must take into account the findings of the Review Committee.
83.15 Should the Review Committee determine that the process was complied with by the University, the Vice-Chancellor may then choose to extend the time frame for possible redeployment of the staff member by two weeks, if the staff member wishes to be redeployed.
83.16 Should the Review Committee determine that the University did not act according to the rules outlined in clause 83.9 above, the matter shall be referred back to the Vice-Chancellor for a determination as to the appropriate further course of action. In making a determination, the Vice-Chancellor must take into account the findings of the Review Committee.
83.17 Should the staff member seek redeployment, the University shall provide the staff member and the staff member’s Representative if they so choose with all relevant details, and taking into account the relevant skills, experience and work preferences of the staff member shall:
- examine options for retraining;
- examine measures that could be taken to avoid termination;
- arrange counselling for the staff member as required;
- monitor all vacancies within the University;
- offer the staff member redeployment to a suitable vacant position where such a position exists;
83.18 In this sub-clause, ‘suitable vacant position’ means a position at the same classification level of the staff member and for which the staff member has the skills and qualifications to undertake. A reasonable amount of time may be taken into account, if a staff member needs to update skills and experience to undertake the duties of the position, but this will not normally be greater than 6 months. Where the staff member, having elected redeployment, unreasonably rejects an offer of redeployment to a suitable vacant position, the Vice Chancellor may terminate his or her employment on the basis of the notice provisions in Division 11 of Part 2-2 of the Fair Work Act and the staff member will not receive a redundancy payment.
83.19 At the staff member’s request the University shall consult with a Representative of the staff member on the steps (i)-(v) in clause83.17.
Failure of Redeployment or Review
83.20 Should the staff member elect redeployment or review and subsequently fail to be redeployed to a suitable vacant position, or fail in his or her review application, the staff member will, at the completion of the 8 week transition period (or ten weeks, if the Vice-Chancellor elected to extend the time frame for redeployment pursuant to clause 83.15), either:
- where it has been agreed that the staff member will work out his or her notice period, commence working out his or her period of notice, or
- have his or her employment terminated. The staff member will then receive upon termination:
- a genuine redundancy payment equivalent to the notice period prescribed in clause 83.3; and
- payment on a pro rata basis for long service leave.
83.21 All payments under this subclause shall be calculated on the staff member's salary (including fortnightly paid Agreement based allowances and loadings) at the date of cessation of employment.
84. Redeployment and redundancy: Professional staff
84.1 This clause applies to professional staff, other than casual and fixed term professional staff.
Grounds for redundancy
84.2 The University may decide to terminate the employment of one or more professional staff members as a consequence of circumstances such as:
- changes in work methods;
- financial exigency;
- introduction of new technology;
- where the duties of the position are changed such that the staff member is not competent to perform those duties provided that a staff member shall not unreasonably refuse appropriate retraining offered by the University in relation to the changed duties; or
- where the staff member, with reasonable cause, refuses to accept geographic relocation.
Notification of Redundancy
84.3 Where a redundancy arises, the Vice-Chancellor shall advise the staff member and, if the staff member wishes, a Representative, that his or her position is to be declared redundant and his or her employment may be terminated. This written advice shall detail the reason(s) for the decision.
84.4 At the time of the notification of redundancy, the Vice-Chancellor may, following consideration of the potential for the redeployment of a staff member:
- invite the staff member to accept a voluntary redundancy payment in which case the staff member shall have ten (10) working days in which to accept the offer with immediate effect; and/or
- invite the staff member to be considered for redeployment in which case the staff member shall have ten (10) working days in which to accept the offer with immediate effect; or
- terminate the staff member’s employment with an entitlement to a genuine redundancy payment equivalent to the unexpired period of the notice period (as defined at clause 84.10) which will commence on the day on which the staff member is formally notified that his or her position is redundant.
84.5 Should the staff member not accept an invitation within ten (10) working days to be retrenched voluntarily or be considered for redeployment, the Vice-Chancellor may terminate the staff member’s employment in accordance with clause 84.3 (c).
84.6 Where a staff member is offered and accepts an offer of voluntary redundancy, the staff member shall receive upon termination, a genuine redundancy payment calculated as follows:
- the unexpired portion of the ten (10) working day period in clause 84.4(a); and
- a sum equal to three (3) weeks salary for each completed year of continuous service, plus a pro rata payment for completed months of service since the last completed year of continuous service, provided that the maximum sum payable shall be 52 weeks’ salary and the minimum sum payable shall be four (4) weeks salary.
84.7 Provided further that the sum payable to a staff member pursuant to this sub clause shall not exceed the salary that would be payable if the staff member continued in employment to a date on which the staff member has indicated in writing his or her intention to retire.
84.8 Where a staff member accepts an offer to be considered for redeployment, a two month redeployment period will commence on the day on which the staff member is formally notified that his or her position is redundant. During the redeployment period, the Vice-Chancellor shall examine options for redeployment.
84.9 Where, at the expiry of the redeployment period, redeployment has not been achieved the University may either:
- terminate the staff member’s employment with an entitlement a genuine redundancy payment equivalent to the unexpired portion of the notice period as defined at clause 84.10; or
- transfer the staff member to a position of equivalent classification and salary for which the staff member is suitable having regard to their qualifications and experience, in which case this clause no longer applies.
Where such a transfer is rejected, the Vice-Chancellor may terminate the staff member on ten (10) working days’ notice (or such period as specified in clause 84.5) and without payment of any retrenchment benefit.
Termination of Employment
84.10 The Vice-Chancellor may terminate a staff member’s employment with an entitlement to a genuine redundancy payment equivalent to the unexpired period of the notice period as defined below.
- Where the staff member is 45 years of age or more or has at least 20 years’ continuous service: 12 months
- Where the staff member is 44 years of age: 11 months
- Where the staff member is 43 years of age: 10 months
- Where the staff member is 42 years of age: 9 months
- Where the staff member is 41 years of age: 8 months
- Where the staff member is 40 years of age: 7 months
- All other staff members: 6 months
84.11 Provided that the above periods shall not extend employment beyond a date on which the staff member has indicated in writing his or her intention to retire.
Payment of accrued entitlements
84.12 When employment is terminated pursuant to this clause the staff member shall receive payment in lieu of accrued long service leave provided that continuous service is one (1) year or more.