Management of Staff Independent Medical Examinations

Version Number

2.3

Implementation Date

7/11/2013

Scope

Department-wide

Purpose

​Outlines the process for directing ​employees to medical examinations with independent medical practitioners.

Overview

​The Department of Education, Training and Employment is committed to appropriately managing employees whose attendance and/or performance may be affected by mental or physical illness or disability.  The Department acts in accordance with Part 7 of the Public Service Act 2008 (Qld) and in conjunction with the established guidelines provided by the Public Service Commission.

Part 7 of the Public Service Act 2008 (Qld) contains provisions whereby the chief executive (or delegate of the chief executive) of the Department can direct an employee (including Senior Executive Service and Senior Officers) to submit to a medical examination if:  

  • the employee is absent from duty and the chief executive (or delegate of the chief executive) reasonably suspects that the employee’s absence is caused by mental or physical illness or disability or 
  • the chief executive (or delegate of the chief executive) is reasonably satisfied the employee is not performing their duties satisfactorily and reasonably suspects that the employee’s unsatisfactory performance is caused by mental or physical illness or disability.

Part 7 allows the employer and the employee a dignified response to the situation where an employee, due to ill health, appears to be unable to carry out the duties of his/her position. It enables medical examination and, in particular circumstances, confirmation of the inability of the employee to carry out these duties.

Part 7 is not, however, a part that focuses upon termination of employment, or even retirement. It is more sophisticated. It provides solutions to many of the challenges regarding an ill employee including:

  • the power to require an employee to be medically examined in order to ascertain whether a medical problem exists at all
  • the power for an employer to ascertain what the limits of the employee’s abilities are, whether the employee can perform the inherent requirements of the position and what accommodations would assist the employee
  • providing a process to facilitate the transfer or redeployment of the employee in the event the employee is medically incapable of performing the inherent requirements of his/her position and
  • providing a process that allows the employee to respond to material considered by the employer.

Therefore, Part 7 is about more than retirement, it is about management. It provides the Department with a statutory mechanism to effectively manage an ill employee.

The Part 7 process is not to be used as a substitute for normal performance management strategies.  Supervisors and managers are to make every effort to identify the causes of poor performance and to resolve poor performance issues through appraisal, guidance, counselling, coaching, training and development, and where practicable, temporary variations to working arrangements and workloads. For further information on managing unsatisfactory performance refer to the  procedure Managing Unsatisfactory Performance (excluding school based teachers and principals), or the Managing Unsatisfactory Performance - Principals procedure

The Public Service Commission guidelines provide Independent Medical Examination principles for facilitating the Independent Medical Examination process in accordance with Part 7 of the Public Service Act 2008 (Qld).

Responsibilities

​Under the Public Service Act 2008 (Qld), the authority to direct an employee to submit to a medical examination sits with the Director-General of the Department. This authority has been delegated as per the current delegation manual: Human Resource Delegations Manual (DETE Employees only).

Currently, the authority to direct an employee to submit to a medical examination has been delegated as follows:

  • Deputy Directors-General
  • Associate Director-General, Operations
  • Assistant Directors-General 
  • Executive Director, Human Resources
  • Director, Organisational Health Unit  
  • Regional Director
  • Regional Human Resources Manager
  • Institute Director (including semi commercial TAFEs)
  • Executive Officers of Statutory TAFEs 
  • Institute positions (SES or equivalent, SO or equivalent)
  • Institute HR Directors/HR Managers (SO, AO8 or equivalent)
  • Institute Managers (AO8, AO7 or equivalent)

Employees:

  • provide information and documents that may explain the employee’s absence or performance
  • attend the Part 7 medical examination appointment
  • participate in the Part 7 independent medical examination
  • seek support from the Employee Assistance Service if required
  • nominate in writing a doctor for the Department to release a copy of the independent medical examination report to.

Education Portfolio

School Principals/Managers:

  • appropriately manage an employee demonstrating unsatisfactory work performance or absence
  • inform regional office of any employees reasonably believed to have an illness or disability impacting on work
  • document unsatisfactory performance issues in the template, Performance Report to Inform Independent Medical Examination.

Workplace Rehabilitation & Return to Work Coordinators / School Cleaning Advisors:

  • inform regional office/central Office of any employees that may require a Part 7 independent medical examination.
  • provide information required to support a Part 7 independent medical examination process, including their involvement with providing rehabilitation services to an employee.

Senior Injury Management Consultants:

  • identify employees who meet the criteria for referral to attend for a medical examination pursuant to Part 7 of the Public Service Act 2008 (Qld)
  • provide advice regarding appropriate doctors and medical specialists relevant to individual employees’ medical conditions
  • provide assistance and advice to Regional Directors/Regional Human Resource Managers
  • provide support to managers/supervisors
  • guide and inform employees through each step of the Part 7 independent medical examination process
  • provide relevant information to the Regional Human Resources Manager, Regional Director or the Executive Director, Workforce Management & Support to inform their decision making regarding an appropriate course of action following receipt of the medical report.
  • document recommendations and approvals for directions to attend a medical examination pursuant to Part 7 of the Public Service Act 2008 (Qld).

Regional Directors/Regional Human Resource Managers:

  • direct regional and school-based employees to attend a Part 7 medical examination
  • ensure an employee is provided with support throughout the Part 7 process
  • appoint a doctor to examine an employee and provide a report
  • advise an employee in writing of the Part 7 medical examination
  • ensure reasonable travel and/or accommodation is arranged and funded for regional and school-based employees to attend independent medical examinations
  • advise an employee of the course of action following receipt of report
  • provide an employee with a copy of the report or provide the report to a treating doctor nominated in writing by the employee.

Principal Human Resource Consultants:

  • provide assistance and advice to Regional Directors/Regional Human Resource Managers.
    Employee Advisors
  • support employees participating in a Part 7 independent medical examination process.

Training Portfolio

Workplace Rehabilitation & Return to Work Coordinators:

  • identify employees who meet the criteria for referral to attend for a medical examination pursuant to Part 7 of the Public Service Act 2008 (Qld)
  • inform regional training office/TAFE/central office of any employees that may require a Part 7 independent medical examination
  • provide information required to support a Part 7 independent medical examination process, including their involvement with providing rehabilitation services to an employee.

Human Resource Directors/Managers (Training):

  • identify employees who meet the criteria for referral to attend for a medical examination pursuant to Part 7 of the Public Service Act 2008 (Qld)
  • provide assistance, advice and relevant information to TAFE Institute Directors, Executive Officers of Statutory TAFE Institutes and Institute Managers to inform their decision making regarding directions to independent medical examinations and appropriate courses of action following receipt of the independent medical reports
  • provide advice regarding appropriate doctors and medical specialists relevant to individual employees’ medical conditions
  • document recommendations and approvals for directions to attend a medical examination pursuant to Part 7 of the Public Service Act 2008 (Qld)
  • ensure reasonable travel and accommodation arrangements for training portfolio employee’s to attend independent medical examinations.

TAFE Institute Director / Executive Officers of Statutory TAFE Institutes / Institute Positions (SES, SO or equivalent) / Institute Human Resource Director/Manager (AO8, AO7 or equivalent) / Institute Manager (AO8 or AO7 or equivalent):

  • direct TAFE Institute employees to attend a Part 7 medical examination
  • provide funding for Part 7 medical reports for Institute employees
  • ensure an employee is provided with support throughout the Part 7 process
  • appoint a doctor to examine the employee and provide a report 
  • advise an employee in writing of the Part 7 medical examination
  • advise an employee of the course of action following receipt of report
  • provide an employee with a copy of the report or provide the report to a treating doctor nominated in writing by the employee.

Central Office

Executive Director, Human Resources/Director, Organisational Health Unit:

  • direct employees to attend a Part 7 medical examination
  • ensure the employee is provided with support throughout the Part 7 process
  • appoint a doctor to examine the employee and provide a report
  • advise an employee in writing of the Part 7 medical examination
  • advise an employee of the course of action following receipt of report
  • provide an employee with a copy of the report or provide the report to a treating doctor nominated in writing by the employee.

Organisational Health Unit:

  • maintain procedures and correspondence templates for Part 7 medical examinations
  • provide advice to all departmental employees on the correct application of Part 7 procedures
  • provide funding for Part 7 medical examinations for Education, Training Queensland (non TAFE) and Central Office employees
  • provide relevant information to Executive Directors, Human Resources to inform their decision making regarding an appropriate course of action following receipt of the medical report
  • provide advice regarding appropriate doctors and medical specialists relevant to individual employees’ medical conditions
  • ensure reasonable travel and accommodation arrangements for central office employees to attend independent medical examinations.

Process

​Details of the step-by-step process for managing independent medical examinations are contained in:

Online Resources

Review Date

19/01/2014
Attribution CC BY
​Not Applicable