Ill Health Retirement

Version Number

2.3

Implementation Date

15/12/2017

Scope

Department-wide

Purpose

​Outlines the process for ill health retiring employees who are unable due to a mental or physical illness or disability to perform the duties of their substantive position, for the foreseeable future. Applies to permanent staff employed by the Department of Education and Training.​

Please note: the process for employees to apply for a Disability Pension from QSuper is separate to this procedure.

Overview

​Part 7 of the Public Service Act 2008 (Qld) contains provisions whereby the chief executive (or delegated officer) may retire any employee from the public service in the event the employee is medically incapable of performing the inherent requirements of his/her position.

The procedure provides details of the requirements and process to be followed to ill health retire an employee from the department. It does not provide the process to direct an employee for an independent medical examination under Part 7 of the Public Service Act 2008 (Qld). Please see the Management of Staff Independent Medical Examinations procedure and the PSC Guideline: Mental or physical incapacity – Part 7 of the Public Service Act 2008 (Qld) for details on obtaining a medical examination under Part 7 of the Public Service Act 2008 (Qld).

Prior to considering the ill health retirement of an employee, the following avenues must be fully explored:

Responsibilities

Employee

  • Consider the information provided by the Department in relation to the proposed course of action to ill health retire them and decide whether they wish to provide additional information detailing whether they should be ill health retired or when an ill health retirement should become effective.
  • If necessary obtain copies of documents collected during an ill health retirement process by requesting this information from the delegated officer.
  • Consider obtaining independent advice if aggrieved with the Department’s decision to ill health retire them. 
  • Seek support from the Employee Assistance Service, if required.

Principals and Managers

  • Inform Regional Office/Central Office/Institute Director of any employees that may require consideration for ill health retirement.
  • Provide information required to support an ill health retirement process including their involvement with providing rehabilitation services to an employee and/or performance management processes.
  • Seek advice and assistance from Regional Office/Central Office/Institute on managing an employee through an ill health retirement process.

Workplace Rehabilitation and Return to Work Coordinator, School Cleaning Advisor

  • Provide information required to support an ill health retirement process including their involvement with providing workplace rehabilitation services to an employee.

Senior Injury Management Consultant

  • Provide information required to support an ill health retirement process including their involvement with providing workplace rehabilitation services to an employee, exploring reasonable adjustment options and exploring medical deployment options.
  • Provide assistance and advice to Regional Directors/Regional Human Resource Managers.

Assistant Director-Generals, Executive Directors, Regional Directors, Institute Directors, Regional Human Resource Managers and Institute Human Resource Managers

  • Ensure all workplace rehabilitation, reasonable adjustment and medical deployment options have been fully explored prior to considering ill health retirement of staff within their work unit.
  • Make an ill health retirement recommendation for staff within their managerial responsibility in accordance with the related procedures.

Director, Workforce Relations

  • Provide advice on performance management processes that may impact on an ill health retirement.
  • If a possible ill health retirement is identified through a managing unsatisfactory performance or a disciplinary process, refer the employee back to the region or workplace for an ill health retirement investigation.
  • Consider whether the Queensland College of Teachers is required to be notified of a teacher ill health retired.

Organisational Safety and Wellbeing Unit

  • Maintain and provide advice on procedures and correspondence templates for the ill health retirement process.
  • Assist Assistant Director-Generals in Central Office consider ill health retirements for Central Office employees.
  • Provide advice on ill health retirement requests.

Principal Human Resource Consultant

  • Provide assistance and advice to Regional Directors/Regional Human Resource Managers.

Employee Advisors

  • Advise employees of options for support.
  • Support employees participating in an ill health retirement process, by way of providing short term counselling where required.
  • Provide general advice to the Regional Human Resource Manager or Regional Director on an ill health retirement process for employees with a mental or physical illness or disability.

Director-General, Associate Director-General (Operations), Assistant Director-General (Human Resources), Executive Directors (Human Resources) and Director, Organisational Safety and Wellbeing Unit

  • Consider and decide requests to ill health retire employees in accordance with the Human Resource delegations and this procedure. 

Payroll Services

  • Process approved ill health retirements on the Department’s payroll system.
    Provide QSuper with a Separation Certificate. 

Process

Ill Health Retirement

Online Resources

Forms

  • Attachment 1 - Authority to use QSuper reports for Part 7 purposes
  • Attachment 2 - Brief requesting ill health retirement and Notice of Further Consideration (Health Reasons)
  • Attachment 3 - Letter to employee proposing ill health retirement
  • Attachment 4 - Letter to employee – ill health retirement not proceeding
  • Attachment 5 - Letter to employee – no response to letter (Attachments 3 or 8) confirming ill health retirement proceeding
  • Attachment 6 - Letter to employee – employee responded to letter (Attachment 3 or 8) ill health retirement proceeding
  • Attachment 7 - Request for information from supervisor on Effect of Illness/Disability on Performance
  • Attachment 8 - Letter to employee who has provided consent for QSuper Report, to be used for the purpose of Part 7 of the Public Service Act 2008

Review Date

9/07/2014
Attribution CC BY

Delegated Officer:
The officer who has delegated authority to consider and decide to ill health retire an employee.

  • Director-General;
  • Associate Director-General, Operations;
  • Assistant Director-General, Human Resources;
  • Executive Directors, Human Resources; and
  • Director, Organisational Safety and Wellbeing Unit.

Ill Health Retirement (IHR):
The retirement of an employee as a result of a medical condition that prevents them from safely performing duties of their substantive position for the foreseeable future, despite the consideration or provision of reasonable rehabilitation or reasonable adjustment. An employee is retired under part 7 of the Public Service Act 2008 (Qld).

Criteria for Ill Heath Retirement

  1. A medical report has been obtained under part 7 of the Public Service Act 2008 (Qld).  This medical report must be performed by an independent medical specialist.  Independent medical reports obtained from QSuper can be used to IHR an employee only when an employee gives written consent for these to be used.  WorkCover reports can not be used for ill health retirement purposes.
  2. The available documentation indicates that the employee is unable to undertake their substantive position for the foreseeable future.
  3. All other options have been exhausted i.e. Workplace rehabilitation, medical deployment and reasonable adjustment.

It is important to note that an ill health retirement is not voluntary.  It is the department’s decision to obtain a part 7 assessment and it is the department’s decision whether ill health retirement is the appropriate outcome following a part 7 assessment.

Independent Medical Specialist:
A specialist that has not provided treatment to an employee.  A specialist may still be used by the department to provide an independent medical report, even if they have previously provided an independent report for QSuper or WorkCover. 

Notice of Further Consideration (Health Reasons): 
A Notice of Further Consideration (Health Reasons) is an internal departmental mechanism to monitor applications by former employees seeking to return to work following a period of separation due to ill health.  The notice does not prevent an applicant from gaining employment, or being considered for employment with the department, however it does require departmental staff ensure applicants undergo appropriate investigations prior to re-employment. This is to ensure that the department will not be placing an employee, or others, at a risk of injury should they be re-employed. 

Permanent Disability Benefit: includes -

  • Permanent and Partial Disability Benefit:
    This benefit is payable if an employee becomes disabled and the QSuper Board of Trustees is satisfied, after considering relevant medical opinions. That although the employee is not totally and permanently impaired, the employee is unlikely to ever be able to working their substantive position. Further information and eligibility requirements can be obtained from QSuper.
  • Total and Permanent Impairment Benefit:
    This benefit is payable if an employee becomes disabled and the QSuper Board of Trustees is satisfied, after considering relevant medical opinions, the employee is unlikely to go back to work in any job for which they are reasonable qualified by education, training, or experience. Further information and eligibility requirements can be obtained from QSuper.

Reasonable Adjustment:
A modification or adjustment to a job, employment practice or work environment to ensure equal opportunity for people with a disability that is permanent or likely to be permanent.

Resigning for Reasons of Ill Health:
The voluntary resignation of an employee due to medical reasons.

If the employee has been employed by the department for greater than 7 years, they are eligible for their long service leave to be pro-rated if they have a significant medical condition, however not one significant enough to warrant ill health retirement.  This is generally determined by a medical report from their treating medical practitioners.

Workplace Rehabilitation:
A managed process coordinated by an employer, in collaboration with the employee, their medical practitioners and their workplace, to assist an employee return to work in a timely manner following an injury. This process should be goal driven and involve early intervention, followed by appropriate, adequate and timely services provided to the employee, based on their assessed needs.