Termination policies and procedures

Termination of employment based on medical advice has been the subject of a recent Fair Work Commission ruling changing the assessment of “the employee’s capacity to perform the inherent requirements of their job”.

The case concerned involved an employer terminating an employee based on his incapacity to perform the tasks required.

The employer relied upon an independent doctor’s opinion as against the employee’s doctor view.

However, a Full Bench of the Commission found the proper approach is to take all evidence into account when determining whether there was a valid reason for dismissal.

In other words, no weight will be given to the employers preferred medical opinion. Therefore, the assessment procedure should be amended to an independent medical practitioner making their assessment available to the employee’s doctor.

This simple procedural adjustment would lead to a defensible position by the employer if dismissal of the subject employee occurred.

Case matter:

SCL Behring vs Papainnannou (C2017 / 6287)

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