Human Resources

Schedule D - Misconduct

1.   Definitions

1.1   "Disciplinary action" means action by the University to discipline an employee for misconduct or serious misconduct and is limited to:

1.1.1   Counselling;

1.1.2   Formal censure;

1.1.3   Withholding of an increment;

1.1.4   Demotion by one or more classification levels or increments;

1.1.5   Suspension with or without pay; or

1.1.6   Termination of employment.

1.2   "Misconduct" shall mean:

1.2.1   Wilful conduct by an employee which is unsatisfactory;

1.3   "Serious misconduct" shall mean:

1.3.1   Serious misbehaviour of a kind which constitutes a serious impediment to the carrying out of an employee's duties or to an academic's colleagues carrying out their duties;

1.3.2   Serious dereliction of the duties required of the academic office;

1.3.3   Conviction by a court for an offence which constitutes an impediment to the carrying out of an employee's duties;

1.3.4   Serious misbehaviour or dereliction of duty in the performance of a role within an institution which has recognised formal links to the University where such a role is undertaken as a result of the employee's appointment to the staff of the University.

1.4   Examples of "serious misconduct" include theft, fraud, misappropriation of funds, assault, serious bullying or harassment (including sexual harassment); wilfully disobeying a regulation, order, or lawful instruction made or given, or repeated actions of misconduct.

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2.   Process for Dealing with Misconduct/Serious Misconduct

2.1   Disciplinary action should normally be used as a last resort. An allegation(s) of misconduct should, where practical and reasonable, be resolved by the academic supervisor through guidance, counselling, conciliation, or other appropriate action that may include staff development.

2.2   Where it is inappropriate or there is an inability to resolve, an allegation of misconduct in accordance with subclause 2.1 then the allegation shall be reported (in writing) to the Vice-Chancellor or Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor. The report shall provide information about the nature and details of the misconduct allegation(s), and any steps taken to resolve the issue.

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3.   Allegations Which Warrant Investigation

3.1   Subject to Clause 2 above - any allegation/s of misconduct will be reported (in writing), to the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor who shall determine if the allegation/s warrants further investigation.

3.2   If further investigation is considered warranted, the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor shall determine which Senior Management Representative is to deal with the matter and the employee subject to the allegations will be advised in writing who is dealing with it.

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4.   Allegations Which Do Not Warrant Immediate Investigation

4.1   The Senior Management Representative may refer a matter of alleged misconduct back to the employee's supervisor or other appropriate person to attempt to resolve the matter through guidance, counselling, conciliation or appropriate staff development or appropriate work allocation.

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5.   Suspension

5.1   If a report of an allegation of serious misconduct is such that it would be unreasonable for the University to continue the employment of the employee, the Vice-Chancellor or Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor may suspend the employee about whom an allegation(s) has been made on full pay, or without pay taking the following provisions into account:

5.1.1   Where suspension without pay occurs at a time when the employee is on paid leave of absence the employee shall continue to receive a salary for the period of leave of absence;

5.1.2   The employee may engage in paid employment or draw on any recreation leave or long service leave credits for the duration of the suspension without pay;

5.1.3   The Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor or the Vice-Chancellor may at any time direct that salary be reinstated on the ground of hardship, if the employee makes a written request in this regard;

5.1.4   On referral to the Review Committee, the Vice-Chancellor or Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor shall ensure that a Review Committee at its first meeting with the employee and the University’s representative consider whether suspension without pay should continue and that the Committee shall make a recommendation in this regard. The Vice-Chancellor or Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor shall consider the Review Committee’s recommendation prior to making a determination.

5.2   Where the University considers suspending an employee with or without pay, the employee will be advised in writing and given 5 working days to respond in writing or in person. The matter of suspension will then be considered and determined. Following determination or where there is no response from the employee within 5 days, the decision will be confirmed in writing.

5.3   During any period of suspension the employee may be excluded from the University and its facilities or workplace, provided that he/she shall be permitted reasonable access for the preparation of his/her case and to collect personal property.

5.4   Where an employee has been suspended without pay, then any lost income shall be reimbursed if there is found to be no misconduct.

5.5   A decision taken by the Vice-Chancellor not to dismiss or impose another penalty shall not be construed as an admission that there was no conduct justifying suspension without pay.

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6.   Investigation and Review

6.1   Investigation

6.1.1   Where the University becomes aware of conduct by an employee that may constitute misconduct or serious misconduct, a report must be made to the Vice-Chancellor or Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor providing information about the nature and details of the misconduct allegation, and any steps taken to resolve the issue. Where the Senior Management Representative in receipt of the report believes the allegation, if proven, would constitute misconduct or serious misconduct, the Senior Management Representative may commission an investigation.

6.1.2   Where an investigation has been commissioned in accordance with paragraph 6.1.1, the employee shall be advised (in writing) of the investigation and be given the opportunity to be heard and/or submit a written statement.

6.1.3   Where an investigation has been conducted (other than as provided for in paragraph 6.1.1 but nonetheless in accordance with University Policy), then that investigation and any report resulting from that investigation may constitute the investigation for the purposes of paragraph 6.1.1.

6.1.4   At the written request of the employee, the investigation shall also take into account any further evidence provided by the employee.

6.1.5   At the conclusion of the investigation, an investigation report shall be prepared including:

(a)   detail of the alleged misconduct;

(b)   detail of the facts;

(c)   an outline of any evidence and documents relied on;

(d)   conclusions reached on the evidence provided; and

(e)   Any mitigating circumstances.

6.1.6   A copy of the completed investigation report shall be provided to the Senior Management Representative and the employee. The employee may comment on the report in writing within 5 working days of its receipt.

6.2   Referral of the investigation report to the Senior Management Representative

6.2.1   On receipt of the investigation report and employee’s response, the Senior Management Representative may:

(a)   Take no further action; or

(b)   Require further investigation in which case the employee will be advised of this and be given the opportunity to be heard and/or provide further written comment to the person conducting the investigation. In this case, no further action will be taken until the Senior Management Representative has received a further report and the employee’s comments on that report; or

(c)   Accept the report in part or full and recommend to the Vice- Chancellor or Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor that disciplinary action be imposed.

6.3   Review of report and the recommendation of the Senior Management Representative

6.3.1   Written notification of any recommendation by a Senior Management Representative that disciplinary action be taken shall be provided to the employee.

6.3.2   Subject to paragraph 6.3.3, within 5 working days of receipt of such advice an employee may apply in writing for a review of the recommendation by the Review Committee as per Clause 46 – Review and Dispute Committees of this Agreement.

6.3.3   If the disciplinary action to be imposed is to be by way of counselling and/or formal censure, the employee cannot request a review of this decision.

6.3.4   In seeking a review pursuant to paragraph 6.3.2 above, the employee must state the grounds upon which they are seeking a review. The grounds for review must be based on the findings of the investigation report and subsequent recommendation and be submitted to the Senior Management Representative.

6.3.5   Where an employee seeks a review of the recommendation, the Senior Management Representative shall forward all relevant paperwork to the Vice-Chancellor or Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor. On receipt of the report of the Review Committee, the Vice-Chancellor or Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor shall determine the matter.

6.4   Action where the employee accepts the investigation report and recommendation and does not seek a review

6.4.1   If within 5 working days, the employee does not seek a review the Senior Management Representative shall forward the matter under paragraph 6.3.2 to the Vice-Chancellor or Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor who shall determine the matter.

6.5   Determination of Disciplinary Penalty

6.5.1   The Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor may impose disciplinary action as described in paragraphs 1.1.1 to 1.1.5 of this Schedule.

6.5.2   The Vice-Chancellor may impose disciplinary action as described in paragraphs 1.1.1 to 1.1.6 of this Schedule. Termination of employment may only result from a determination that the conduct of the employee amounts to serious misconduct.

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