Human Resources

University Policy on Pre-retirement Contracts

Policy No.
UP11/14
Function
Industrial Relations
Authoring Organisational Unit
Employee Relations and Management Services
Date Approved
09/05/2011 Revised 28/11/2016
Next Review Date
28/11/2018
Approving Body
Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor And Registrar

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The University of Western Australia

University Policy on: Pre-retirement Contracts (PRC)

Purpose of the policy and summary of issues it addresses:

The University may, at its discretion, consider offering a PRC to an ongoing employee. PRCs are fixed term contracts, and accordingly employee acceptance results in cessation of their ongoing employment with the University.

This policy outlines the nature and purpose of PRCs, eligibility criteria, funding implications, and contract options.

Definitions:

"Business Unit" means the applicable cost centre in the University.

"DHR" means Director Human Resources or delegate.

"Employee" means a person employed by the University who has an ongoing appointment.

" Ex gratia" is Latin for "by favour". Such payments are considered voluntary as the party making the payment is not obliged to do so.

"Head" means Head of School/Administrative Section Director or as otherwise defined under the University's Delegations, but does not include a Head of Discipline.

"PRC" means pre-retirement contract.

"Retirement age" means

Date of birth

Retirement age

Before 1 July 1960

(55)

1 July 1960 - 30 June 1961

(56)

1 July 1961 - 30 June 1962

(57)

1 July 1962 - 30 June 1963

(58)

1 July 1963 - 30 June 1964

(59)

From 1 July 1964

(60)

"University" means The University of Western Australia.

Policy statement:

One of the University's priorities is to retain and develop high quality employees. PRCs provide certainty of the retirement date for employees, and assist the University with succession planning and knowledge transfer.

1 Eligibility

PRCs may only be offered to ongoing employees who:

  • are already of retirement age; or
  • will reach their retirement age by the expiry date of the proposed PRC.

2 Funding implications

The business unit is required to fund any PRC costs (i.e. any loading, temporary staff cover while the employee clears paid leave etc.).

3 Terms of a PRC

The Head will work with Human Resources when undertaking PRC negotiations.

3.1 Duration

The Head will not negotiate a PRC period with the employee that exceeds 3 years without the prior approval of the DHR. The Head may submit a business case requesting approval for a longer period to a maximum of 5 years to the DHR.

3.2 Superannuation

Superannuation contributions on PRC loadings and ex gratia payments will be at minimum the superannuation guarantee contribution rate and at maximum 17%.

3.3 Pre-retirement loading

The PRC loading depends upon the length of the contract as outlined in the table below.

Term of PRC

Maximum loading (% of base salary per annum)

Less than 1 year

(20%)

≥1 to ≤2 years

(15%)

>2 to ≤3 years

(10%)

>3 years (business case and DHR approval required)

(5%)

The maximum limits above may only be exceeded where a business case is approved by the DHR.

Factors influencing the payment of a loading include:

  • The ability of the business unit to meet the financial cost;
  • The contribution the employee has made, and will continue to make, to the University;
  • The benefit to the business unit of converting the employee's employment to fixed-term;
  • The cessation of eligibility for sabbatical leave;
  • The period of the fixed-term contract;
  • The length of time the employee has been with the University;
  • The other terms of the PRC.

The percentage of loading will not apply to the payout of any unused leave on termination of the contract.

3.4 Ex gratia payment

The Head may only negotiate an ex gratia payment in addition to a PRC loading where a business case exemption has been approved by the DHR. Where there is no PRC loading, the ex gratia payment may not exceed the equivalent value of the applicable maximum loading unless a business case exemption has been approved by the DHR.

Ex gratia payments will be paid after the expiry of the PRC, unless approved otherwise by the DHR.

3.5 Hours of work and salary package

Where the PRC does not contain a loading or ex gratia payment, the employee may negotiate to:

  • reduce work hours with no proportional reduction in salary (e.g. a 4 day working week for 5 days salary); or
  • reduce work hours with superannuation contributions maintained at the full-time level.

3.6 Post-employment options

The University and the employee may negotiate benefits which promote an ongoing association following retirement subject to the relevant policy.

3.6.1 Use of faculty resources, equipment and other support services. For example, access to a laboratory or use of a laptop computer while still research active.

3.6.2 Senior Honorary (Research) Fellow status for up to 3 years, then subject to review (note that Senior Honorary (Research) Fellowships require approval in accordance with the Senior Honorary Fellow / Senior Honorary Research Fellow Policy).

3.6.3 Recommendation for the award of an appropriate honorary title at the end of the fixed-term appointment (note that honorary appointments require approval in accordance with the Honorary Appointments Policy).

3.6.4 Recommendation for the award of the title of Emeritus Professor (note that such awards require approval in accordance with the Award of the Title of Emeritus Professor Policy).

3.7 Accrued leave

In instances where considerable annual leave is carried forward, the PRC will include a leave clearance plan.

3.8 Sabbatical Leave

Academic employees engaged on a PRC will cease to be eligible for sabbatical leave unless specified otherwise in the PRC.

4 Monitoring performance

The University's staff performance management and appraisal processes will continue to apply to employees under PRCs.

5 Termination

A PRC will be terminated in circumstances including but not limited to:

  • The employee retires or dies prior to the contract expiry date;
  • Abandonment of employment;
  • The employee's services are terminated for unsatisfactory performance or misconduct.

Employees under PRCs will not be entitled to redundancy provisions specified in any of the University's enterprise agreements.

6 Confidentiality

PRCs are confidential agreements between individual employees and the University. They are negotiated privately on a case-by-case basis and are not to be communicated in any form to any person other than the supervisors, employee's agents, accountants or the Australian Taxation Office. The terms of one employee's contract will not set a precedent for other such contracts.

Procedure

- Request to negotiate a PRC instigated by Head or equivalent or employee

- Head negotiates terms and conditions of PRC with employee (Human Resources to assist)

- Head completes a Proposal for a Pre-retirement Contract Form (Human Resources to assist)

- Pro Vice-Chancellor & Executive Dean or equivalent to approve and send to Human Resources

- DHR to approve

- Human Resources prepares PRC

- Employee signs and returns PRC to Human Resources

Related forms:

Proposal for a Pre-retirement Contract Form

TRIM File No:

F36470-02

Contact position:

Deputy Director, Employee Relations and Management Services

Related Policies or legislation:

Senior Honorary Fellow / Senior Honorary Research Fellow Policy

Honorary Appointments Policy

Award of the Title of Emeritus Professor Policy

Sabbatical Policy

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