1.5 Employer Initiated Process
Where the employer has reasonable grounds to consider that the employee may be medically unfit for work by reason of serious illness as per 1.3(b) the employer will in the first instance:
(i) write to the employee outlining the concerns and the grounds on which it has formed a view that medical retirement may be an appropriate option;
(ii) inform the employee she/he is entitled to attend up to three sessions from an employee assistance programme (EAP) and extend to the employee the opportunity to access EAP counselling;
(iii) outline the medical retirement process should the employer proceed with the process; and
(iv) inform the employee of his/her right to have a representative.
Note: Reasonable grounds is explained above. The Employee Assistance Programme provides to the employee direct access to an independent counsellor on a short term, confidential basis to address personal issues that impact on the workplace. Where the EAP provider recommends further sessions the employer shall consider whether to fund additional sessions.
Initiation of Process
(b) Registered Medical Specialist
Following the completion of the pre-process
(i) Where the employer proceeds with the process, the employee shall undergo a medical examination from a registered medical specialist nominated by the employer.
Note: No concurrence will be given without the specified medical evidence being provided.
(ii) The medical specialist shall provide in writing a description of the employee’s illness, a statement as to whether or not the employee will be able to wholly or substantially perform her/his duties both currently and in the foreseeable future, and the reasons for the decision.
(iii) The employee is entitled to seek a second medical specialist’s opinion.
(iv) Where two medical specialist opinions are sought and these medical opinions agree that the employee will not be able to wholly or substantially perform her/his duties both currently and in the foreseeable future, then the employer may seek concurrence to medically retire the employee.
(c) Registered General Practitioner
(i) If the employer is unable to obtain a registered medical specialist opinion in a timely fashion, or by virtue of distance, then the employee will undergo a medical examination from a registered general practitioner nominated by the employer (or two general practitioners if the employee so wishes, one nominated by the employer and the other by the employee). The general practitioner(s) shall provide in writing the following:
- a description of the employee’s illness, a statement as to whether or not the employee will be able to wholly or substantially perform her/his duties both currently and in the foreseeable future, and the reasons for the decision; and
- attestation that the employee could not obtain an opinion from a registered medical specialist.
(ii) Where two medical opinions from a general practitioner are sought and these medical opinions conflict, the employee and employer shall attempt to agree on a third registered general practitioner to provide a further medical certificate. If they cannot agree, the employer shall nominate the registered general practitioner.
(d) Costs associated with examinations
All costs associated with the medical examination(s) and the employee assistance programme shall be met by the employer.
1.6 Where the majority of medical evidence does not support a claim for medical retirement under this provision this process shall cease.
Note: The intention of this clause is to bring an end to this process.