The clauses listed here show the changes that UQ is proposing to the current Enterprise Agreement. These are provided without prejudice and remain subject to ongoing negotiations.

Decisions on disciplinary action or termination of employment

35. Decisions on disciplinary action or termination of employment

35.1 Where the University believes that disciplinary action is required to be taken for Misconduct, Serious Misconduct or unsatisfactory performance the University will act through clauses 38 and 39 respectively.

35.2 The principles of procedural fairness will be observed in all matters concerned with disciplinary action or termination of employment.

35.3 The timelines referred to in clauses 38 and 39 may be varied by mutual agreement between the Relevant Senior Executive, the staff member or their Representative.

35.4 This clause and clauses 38 and 39 shall have no application to casual staff.

Probation

36. Probation

36.1 A staff member’s probation will be managed in accordance with relevant University policy. Probation entails setting and clarifying work performance expectations for staff members new to a position as well as ensuring opportunities for support are provided in order that appropriate expectations can be met.

36.2 The length of the probationary period will be for a minimum of two weeks or as otherwise prescribed below (whichever is greater):

Type of appointment Probation period
Academic staff Fixed-Term Pro-rata of 6 months
Academic staff Continuing (Levels A – D) 3 – 4 years
Academic staff Continuing Level E By Agreement (up to 4 years)
Research (Contingent Funded) Employment Where this is a second or subsequent contract in the same position no probation period will be applicable
Professional staff Fixed-Term Pro-rata of 3 months with the possibility to extend in exceptional circumstances to a maximum of 6 months
ICTE-UQ TESOL Language Teachers Continuing 6 months
Professional Staff Continuing HEW 1 to 7 – 3 months with the possibility to extend in exceptional circumstances to six months. HEW 8 to 9 - 6 months

36.3 For all staff other than continuing Academic staff, where employment is not confirmed during probation, staff will be entitled to at least ten (10) working days’ notice or payment in lieu.

36.4 A period of probation that commenced prior to the approval by the Fair Work Commission of this Agreement will continue in accordance with the staff member’s contract of employment in place at the time the probation period commenced.

Termination during probationary employment – continuing academic staff

37. Termination during probationary employment - continuing academic staff

37.1 Termination of continuing academic staff during a probationary period will be in accordance with relevant University policy. A continuing academic terminated in accordance with clause 37 shall be entitled to notice or payment in lieu of notice as specified in the academic's contract of employment or in clause 41.2 of this Agreement, whichever is the greater.

37.2 If at any time during the operation of these procedures, the staff member offers to resign with immediate effect, the resignation shall be accepted by the Relevant Senior Executive and the procedures will cease.

Misconduct/serious misconduct

38. Misconduct/serious misconduct

38.1 Definitions and Procedural Matters

For the purposes of this clause:

(a) ‘Misconduct’ means conduct on the part of an employee that is unsatisfactory and inconsistent with the expectations of an employee but which is not so serious as to justify the possibility of termination of employment.

(b) ‘Serious Misconduct’ is misconduct of a serious and wilful nature and is normally conduct of a type that would make it unreasonable to require the University to continue employment of the staff member concerned. Serious misconduct can be represented by a pattern of behaviour or a single occurrence. It is normally limited to:

(i) theft from the University, or from staff or students;

(ii) assault involving another staff member, or student, or which is occasioned on campus or at a work-related function or activity;

(iii) conduct of a kind which constitutes a significant impediment to the carrying out of a staff member’s duties or to the staff member’s colleagues carrying out their duties;

(iv) conviction by a court of an offence or judgment entered in a court or tribunal which constitutes a serious impediment of the kind referred to in (iii);

(v) conduct of a serious nature which in the reasonable opinion of the University breaches the University's Code of Conduct;

(vi) serious dereliction of the duties required of the staff member’s position.

(c) ‘Disciplinary Action’ means action by the University to discipline a staff member and may include one or a combination of the following:

(i) counselling and/or training;

(ii) formal warning;

(iii) withholding of an increment for one year;

(iv) removal of one or more increments;

(v) demotion or temporary demotion by one classification level;

(vi) redeployment to another position with or without demotion or loss of salary;

(vii) reallocation of duties; and

(viii) in the case of Serious Misconduct only, termination of employment without notice.

(d) When dealing with Misconduct and / or Serious Misconduct, a decision-maker must decide to their reasonable satisfaction, whether the staff member has committed an act or acts of misconduct and / or serious misconduct.

(e) The staff member is entitled to be represented throughout proceedings under this clause by a Representative as defined in this Agreement.

(f) These procedures will operate in accordance with the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness.

(g) If at any time during the operation of these procedures the staff member offers to resign with immediate effect, the resignation shall be accepted by the relevant Senior Executive and the Misconduct/Serious Misconduct proceedings will cease immediately, subject to any legislative reporting requirements.

(h) It is in the interests of all parties that disciplinary processes are finalised in a timely manner.

38.2 Preliminary management action

(a) In determining whether a matter which may constitute Misconduct should be dealt with under this sub-clause, a supervisor must consult with the Director Human Resources or nominee.

(b) Other than in the case of allegations of Serious Misconduct or repeated Misconduct, a supervisor may at an early stage take measures they consider practical and appropriate to resolve a matter which may or may not constitute Misconduct in lieu of referring the matter to the relevant Senior Executive. Such measures may include one or more of the following:

(i) guidance and counselling;

(ii) a requirement to undertake appropriate development activities;

(iii) providing the staff member with a written statement of expectations in relation to their conduct; and/or

(iv) giving the staff member a written warning.

The provision of a written warning under this clause does not constitute a finding of Misconduct.

(c) A record of measures taken will be made and kept on the staff member’s file and may also include a statement from the staff member in relation to the matter.

38.3 Referral of possible Misconduct /Serious Misconduct matter to Relevant Senior Executive

(a) Where a matter should not or cannot be resolved in accordance with 38.2, the matter may be referred to the relevant Senior Executive by the Relevant Executive Dean/Institute Director or Head of Division.

(b) Nothing in this clause prevents the HR Director (or nominee) from referring a matter directly to the Relevant Senior Executive, or prevents the Relevant Senior Executive from issuing allegations without a referral in accordance with this clause.

38.4 Notice of Allegation/s

Where the Relevant Senior Executive considers that there may be a possible case of Misconduct or Serious Misconduct, they will provide the staff member, in writing, sufficient detail of the matters alleged.

38.5 Response to Notice of Allegation/s

The staff member will have ten (10) working days after the date of receipt of the Notice of Allegation/s, to submit a written response to the Relevant Senior Executive.

38.6 Relevant Senior Executive’s Determination

(a) Within ten (10) working days after the date of receipt of the staff member’s response, the Relevant Senior Executive must form a view, and advise the staff member in writing that either:

(i) there has been no Misconduct or Serious Misconduct and as such that no further action is to be taken; or

(ii) the matters alleged have resulted in a finding of Misconduct or Serious Misconduct and the relevant disciplinary action to be imposed.

(b) The timeframe for response by the Relevant Senior Executive may be extended for a reasonable additional period where new information is presented to the Relevant Senior Executive that would require further consideration.

(c) The standard of proof by which the relevant Senior Executive will determine the matter is whether, after evaluating the evidence presented, including the staff member’s response (if any) the relevant Senior Executive is reasonably satisfied that the case against a staff member has been proven. It is sufficient if a fact is proved to the reasonable satisfaction of the relevant Senior Executive.

(d) Where the disciplinary action to be applied by the Relevant Senior Executive is termination of employment, the staff member will be informed of the recommended disciplinary action in writing and be given five (5) working days after the date of receipt of the determination to respond in writing. The Relevant Senior Executive will consider any response provided by the staff member prior to making a final decision on termination of employment.

38.7 Suspension

(a) If the Relevant Senior Executive is of the view that the alleged conduct is such that it would be unreasonable and/or poses a risk for the University to continue the staff member’s attendance at work, the Relevant Senior Executive may in consultation with the Director, Human Resources, suspend the staff member with or without pay and inform the staff member in writing.

(b) Where suspension without pay occurs:

(i) the staff member can draw on any recreation leave or long service leave entitlements for the duration of the suspension without pay; and

(ii) the relevant Senior Executive may at any time direct that salary be paid on the grounds of hardship.

(c) During any period of suspension, the staff member may be excluded from the University, provided that the staff member will be permitted reasonable access to the University for the preparation of his/her case and to collect personal property.

(d) If the staff member is suspended for any period without pay, and it is later determined that the staff member has not engaged in Misconduct or Serious Misconduct, the staff member will be reimbursed for any lost salary and entitlements.

38.8 Confidentiality

Proceedings pursuant to this clause are confidential and must not be disclosed outside of the University. This clause does not prevent disclosure of information to any party's advisors or anyone who is required to be advised of that information, provided the recipients are also advised to maintain similar confidentiality.

Unsatisfactory performance

39. Unsatisfactory performance

(a) In accordance with relevant University policy, a supervisor will make reasonable efforts to resolve instances of unsatisfactory performance through guidance, counselling, appropriate staff development or appropriate work allocation. If attempts to address diminished performance through the use of performance guidance and counselling are unsuccessful, the Supervisor should commence the steps of the Unsatisfactory Performance process in accordance with this clause. Disciplinary action arising from unsatisfactory performance will be a last resort.

(b) The staff member must be provided with a copy of this clause and informed at each stage of the formal nature of the process. At any time during this process a staff member may be represented by their Union or by another representative of the staff member’s choice.

39.1 Step 1 – Review

(a) The Supervisor will have a discussion with the staff member to identify:

(i) the performance issue(s) in question and the expectations of the position;

(ii) improvements required of the staff member;

(iii) the time within which improvements are required to be demonstrated (the “Review Period”)

(iv) arrangements for regular feedback during that period;

(v) the remedies to assist the staff member to address the issue(s),including but not limited to ensuring the staff member has had, or has access to appropriate training to ensure, to the extent relevant, that the expectations of the position are met; and

(vi) the outcomes if the staff member fails to improve the identified performance issue(s) within the timeframe outlined.

(vii) A summary of the matters raised in the initial discussion should be recorded in writing. A copy of this summary should be given to the staff member. The staff member may reply to the summary and both the summary and any response will be kept on the staff member’s file.

(b) The Review Period

(i)

Staff Maximum period
Academic staff ordinarily no more than 6 months
Professional staff ordinarily no more than 3 months

(ii) The Review Period will be determined by the staff member’s Supervisor having regard to the matters set out at 39.1. If the parties do not agree on the Review Period the matter will be referred to the Director Human Resources for determination of a reasonable Review Period.

(iii) If after the expiration of the Review Period the performance of the Academic staff member, Professional staff member or TESOL Language Teacher has:

  • improved to the requisite level relevant to the expectations of the position, no further action will be taken and an appropriate file note will be made, provided to the staff member and placed on the staff member’s file.
  • not improved to the requisite level relevant to the expectations of the position, the Supervisor will institute the processes provided for under Step 2 of this clause, subject to any agreement in relation to alternative strategies pursuant to (iv) below.

(iv) The Supervisor may discuss alternative strategies with the staff member. A member of Human Resources must be present at the discussion(s). Alternative strategies developed in accordance with this clause must be mutually agreed in writing.

Alternative strategies may include, but are not limited to:

  • the transfer of the staff member to a position at the same or lower classification;
  • arrangements and assistance to enable the staff member to seek alternative employment outside of the University.
  • execution of a pre-retirement contract of no more than twelve months duration, with appropriate duties and classification level;

39.2 Step 2 – Report

(a) The Supervisor will provide a written report detailing the performance concerns and steps taken under this process to address the performance concerns. A copy of this report will be provided to the staff member. The staff member will have ten (10) working days after the date of receipt of the report to respond in writing to the report. A copy of the report and the staff member’s response, if any, will be retained on the staff member’s file.

(b) The Head of the Organisational Unit in consultation with the Director Human Resources (or nominee) will review the Supervisor’s report together with any response by the staff member, and determine whether any further steps should be taken by the Supervisor before progressing to Unsatisfactory Performance Step 3. Such steps may include the implementation of a further review period, if appropriate.

39.3 Step 3 - Referral and Decision

(a) Where the Head of the Organisational Unit is of the view that discussions at Step 1 have not produced the desired improvement in performance, they will make a referral to the Relevant Senior Executive, that the performance of the staff member is unsatisfactory.

(b) The report will state clearly the aspects of performance seen as unsatisfactory, the attempts to remedy the problem and provide any supporting material.

(c) A copy of the referral together with any supporting material will be provided to the staff member by the Head of the Organisational Unit

(d) The staff member will have ten (10) working days after the date of receipt of the referral to respond in writing to the referral. A copy of the referral and the staff member’s response, if any, will be retained on the staff member’s file.

39.4 Unsatisfactory Performance – Disciplinary Action

(a) The Relevant Senior Executive must be satisfied that:

(i) appropriate steps have been taken to bring the staff member’s performance to their attention;

(ii) the staff member was provided with an adequate opportunity to respond;

(iii) any response of the staff member was taken into account;

(iv) the staff member had a reasonable opportunity to remedy their performance.

(b) The Relevant Senior Executive will advise the staff member in writing what action will be taken which may include but is not limited to:

(i) no further action; or

(ii) recommendations for alternative strategies; or

(iii) disciplinary action.

(c) Disciplinary action which may be imposed under this process includes one, or any combination, of the following:

(i) formal warning;

(ii) transfer to another position with or without demotion or loss of salary; or

(iv) termination of employment (dismissal).

(d) Where the disciplinary action to be applied by the Relevant Senior Executive is termination of employment, the staff member will be informed of the recommended disciplinary action in writing and given five (5) working days after the date of receipt of the determination to respond in writing. The Relevant Senior Executive will consider any response provided by the staff member prior to making a final decision on termination of employment.

39.5 Termination due to Unsatisfactory Performance

(a) Termination of employment as a result of unsatisfactory performance will be subject to the notice requirements in section 117 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) or the notice period provided in the staff members Contract of Employment, whichever is greater. Payment in lieu of such notice may be provided.

(b) If at any time during the operation of these procedures, the staff member offers to resign with immediate effect, the resignation shall be accepted by the Relevant Senior Executive and the proceedings will cease.

Medical conditions affecting performance

40. Medical conditions affecting performance

40.1 Where a staff member’s capacity to perform the duties of their position is in doubt, the Relevant Senior Executive may require, in writing, the staff member to undergo medical examination by a qualified medical practitioner(s) chosen by the University and engaged at the expense of the University.

40.2 For completeness, where more than one consultation is required it is not necessary for the Relevant Senior Executive to provide a staff member with separate written requests.

40.3 The Relevant Senior Executive shall provide a staff member with reasonable written notice that a medical examination is required and a copy of this clause.

40.4 Where the staff member makes an application to their superannuation fund for ill health retirement or temporary disability benefit prior to the medical examination(s), the staff member cannot be required to attend a medical examination(s) in accordance with clause 40.1 until one of the following occur:

(a) For a member of Unisuper or QSuper, after the payment of the temporary disability benefit ceases;

(b) For a member of the University of Queensland Superannuation Plan after two (2) years of receiving a disability benefit; or

(c) The superannuation fund determines that the person is ineligible under the rules of the fund to receive a temporary disability benefit (this does not apply in circumstances where the staff member is on sick leave but has not reached the expiry of the three (3) months qualifying period or such period of paid sick leave as the fund requires).

A copy of the medical report will be provided to the staff member unless medical advice recommends otherwise. The medical report will remain property of the University.

40.5 If the medical examination reveals that the staff member is unable to perform their duties and is unlikely to be able to resume them within a reasonable period, being not less than 12 months, the Relevant Senior Executive may:

(a) Direct that a redeployment search commence for the staff member either to a commensurate position at the same classification level or a position at a lower classification level with salary maintenance for three (3) months in accordance with the relevant policy or procedure; or

(b) Terminate the employment of the staff member in accordance with the notice required by the staff member's contract of employment or this Agreement (whichever is greater).

(c) Prior to taking action to terminate the employment of a staff member, the Relevant Senior Executive may offer the staff member the opportunity to submit their resignation and, if such a resignation is offered, shall accept it and not proceed with action to terminate employment; or

(d) if the University is unable to redeploy the staff member the provisions of clause 41 apply.

40.6 Where a staff member does not accept the findings of the medical report and where the staff member has contrary medical evidence that they are either able to perform their duties, or likely to be able to resume their duties within a period of no more than 12 months, they may request review of the report by a panel. The panel shall consist of three (3) medical practitioners, one (1) who shall be appointed by the University, one (1) by the staff member or by a person acting on their behalf, and one (1) by the President of the State Branch of the Australian Medical Association. The Panel shall not include the practitioner who made the initial report.

40.7 Any request to convene the panel must be received from the staff member or their Representative within ten (10) working days after the date of receipt of the medical report.

40.8 If a staff member has requested a panel to be convened, the Relevant Senior Executive shall not commence the redeployment search for the staff member or terminate the employment of the staff member in accordance with this process, unless and until the findings of the panel are received.

40.9 The Relevant Senior Executive may construe failure by a staff member to undergo a medical examination in accordance with these procedures as prima facie evidence that such a medical examination would have found that the staff member is unable to perform their duties and is unlikely to be able to resume them within 12 months. In this circumstance the Relevant Senior Executive may act accordingly, provided that such a refusal by a staff member in these circumstances shall not constitute misconduct nor lead to any greater penalty or loss of entitlements than would have resulted from an adverse medical report.

40.10 The provisions in this clause will not displace or over-ride any workers’ compensation schemes or relevant legislation either State or Federal.

40.11 Subsidiary Matters

(a) A staff member who receives a temporary disability benefit from the superannuation fund shall not accrue leave entitlements during this period.

(b) Where a superannuation fund determines a staff member is permanently disabled the University may consider the staff member’s employment has ceased.

40.12 Work Health and Safety Concerns

Nothing in this clause shall restrict any right the University may have to direct a staff member to attend a medical appointment where there are genuine work health and safety reasons for this. Any such direction shall operate independently of this clause and not be part of the procedure of this clause.

Termination of employment

41. Termination of employment

41.1 Other than termination in circumstances of Probation, Serious Misconduct or Unsatisfactory Performance, the written notice specified in clause 41.2 will apply:

(a) for staff members who resign, other than casual staff members, except where a different period is specified in their contract of employment; or

(b) for the University, except where a different period is specified in the staff member’s contract of employment.

41.2 The notice specified in this clause will apply provided that the statutory minimum contained in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (as amended) is met.

Academic Staff Member – Period of Appointment Notice provided by Staff Member and University
Continuing academic 6 months
Fixed-term academic for appointment of more than one year 3 months
Fixed-term academic for appointment of one year or less 1 month
Professional Staff Member - Period of Continuous Service Notice provided by Staff Member and University
TESOL Language Teachers 4 weeks
HEW Level 1 to HEW Level 5 (with less than 3 years service) 2 weeks
HEW Level 1 to HEW Level 5 (with 3 years or more but less than 4 years service) 3 weeks
HEW Level 1 to HEW Level 5 (with 4 years or more service) 4 weeks
HEW Level 6 to HEW Level 9 4 weeks

41.3 Where a Professional staff member or TESOL Language Teacher has been employed continuously by the University for the preceding two (2) year period and are over the age of 45, they are entitled to one (1) weeks’ additional notice from the University.

41.4 If a staff member fails to give notice the University will have the right to withhold monies due to the staff member with a maximum amount equal to the ordinary time rate of pay for the notice period.

41.5 Where a staff member provides notice to the University, the University may agree to waive the staff member’s notice period and the staff member will not be required to work out the balance of the notice period.

41.6 The University may provide payment in lieu of notice

41.7 Fixed-term staff members - Notice of cessation

(a) The University shall provide a fixed-term staff member, written notice of the University’s intention to renew, or not to renew, employment with the staff member upon the expiry of the contract.

(b) The notice period shall be the greater of either:

(i) The notice provided for in the staff member’s contract of employment; or

(ii)

Period of continuous service Period of notice
Less than 3 years At least 2 weeks
3 years or more but less than 5 years At least 3 weeks
5 years or more At least 4 weeks

(c) In addition to this notice, a staff member over the age of 45 years at the time of the giving of notice and with not less than two (2) years continuous service shall be entitled to an additional week’s notice.

(d) Where because of unforeseen circumstances relating to the provision of income from sources external to the University, the University is not reasonably able to give the notice required by this sub-clause, it shall be sufficient compliance with this sub-clause if the University:

(i) Advises those circumstances to the staff member in writing by the latest time at which the notice would otherwise be required to be given, and

(ii) gives notice to the staff member at the earliest practicable date thereafter.

41.8 Action on Completion of a Fixed-Term Contract

(a) Where it is determined that the position will continue as a fixed-term appointment, the University will offer the incumbent renewal in the position where:

(i) the duties of the position continue as they were as at the date of expiry of the appointment; and

(ii) the staff member was initially appointed through a merit-based selection process;

(iii) the staff member has performed the duties to a satisfactory standard; and

(iv) the new fixed-term appointment is for two (2) years or less.

(b) Where the new fixed-term appointment pursuant to this clause is for a period of more than two (2) years, the position may be:

(i) offered to the incumbent; or

(ii) advertised at the discretion of the University.

41.9 Fixed-term Staff Members – Severance Pay

(a) A fixed-term staff member whose contract of employment is not renewed will be entitled to a severance payment if:

(i) the staff member seeks to continue employment; and

(ii) the staff member is employed on a second or subsequent consecutive fixed-term contract and the same or substantially similar duties are no longer required by the University; or

(iii) the staff member is employed on a fixed-term contract but another person has been appointed, or is to be appointed, to the same or substantially similar duties.

(b) Where the University advises a staff member in writing that further employment may be offered within six (6) weeks of the expiry of a period of fixed-term employment, then payment of severance benefits may be deferred for a maximum period of four (4) weeks from the expiry of the period of fixed-term employment.

(c) If the University obtains acceptable alternative employment for a staff member otherwise entitled to severance payment, then that staff member is not entitled to severance payment.

(d) Severance payment entitlements will be calculated for a period of continuous service in fixed-term positions, as follows:

Period of continuous service in fixed-term positions Severance pay
Less than 1 year nil
1 year or more but less than 2 years 4 weeks pay
2 years or more but less than 3 years 6 weeks pay
3 years or more but less than 4 years 7 weeks pay
4 years or more 8 weeks pay

(e) For the purpose of this clause, breaks between fixed-term appointments of up to two (2) times per year and up to six (6) weeks on each occasion, will not constitute breaks in continuous service. Periods of approved unpaid leave will not count for service, but will not constitute breaks in service for the purposes of this clause.

Certificate of employment

42. Certificate of employment

42.1 If requested by a staff member, a certificate of employment shall be provided by the University to such staff member upon termination of their employment. The certificate shall supply details of the date of the staff member's commencement and termination of their employment and the designations held by the staff member.