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Enterprise Agreement FAQs

Below you will find all frequently asked questions relating to the University of Adelaide Enterprise Agreement (2017 - 2021).

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Academic Workloads

Bringing a Representative/Support Person

The purpose of these FAQs is to provide guidance to staff members with information about the University’s obligations to enable a support person or a representative to attend a meeting with a staff member under the University of Adelaide Enterprise Agreement 2017 - 2021 (the ‘Enterprise Agreement’).

  • What is the University's responsibility?

    The University is required to provide staff members with a reasonable opportunity to arrange for a representative or support person to participate in internal processes. A balance must be struck between affording staff members procedural fairness and ensuring internal procedures take place reasonably efficiently and effectively. For example, the Fair Work Commission found in one case that a 5 day timeframe between notification of a meeting and the meeting taking place was reasonable to arrange for a support person, notwithstanding the weekend in between those dates.

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  • What is the difference between a support person and a representative?

    Under clause 1.3 of the Enterprise Agreement, a representative means a person chosen (including a union representative) by a staff member to represent them in any internal process arising out of the application of the Agreement, provided that the chosen person is not a practising solicitor or barrister. Clause 1.3 is a definition clause and is applied where the term “representative” or” representation” appears throughout the Enterprise Agreement.

    A support person provides a staff member with emotional support during a process; they may not attend a meeting as an advocate and should not act or speak on behalf of the staff member.  A support person may take notes on a staff member’s behalf and may act as their sounding board however their role does not extend further than that.

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  • When is a staff member entitled to a representative?

    A staff member is entitled to a representative when required to attend a meeting as part of a process under the following clauses of the Enterprise Agreement:

    • 2.2 Hours of Work – Professional Staff
    • 3.9 On Call and Standby Allowances
    • 3.12 Recovery of Overpayments
    • 6.6 Incapacity to Perform Duties
    • 6.7 Redundancy
    • 7.10 Consultation about Changes to Rosters or Hours of Work
    • 8.1 Unsatisfactory Performance
    • 8.2 Disciplinary Procedures for Misconduct and Serious Misconduct
    • 8.3 Review of Decisions
    • 8.5 Dispute Settlement Procedures

    The University should advise a staff member of their entitlement to a representative when the entitlement arises.

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  • When is a staff member entitled to a support person?

    Where a meeting is not part of an internal process under the Enterprise Agreement which makes specific reference to a right to a representative or representation, a manager may offer a staff member the opportunity to have a support person attend the meeting with them.  Alternatively, a staff member may ask to bring a support person with them.

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  • Can the University refuse a staff member's request for a representative?

    The University can say no to a staff member’s request for a specific representative when that request unreasonably prolongs internal processes.  For example, where the University arranges for a staff member to attend a misconduct meeting within 3 business days and the staff member refuses to attend on the basis that their preferred representative isn’t available to attend a meeting for at least 7 days, the University can require the staff member to make alternate arrangements to ensure their attendance at the scheduled meeting.

    A staff member is not entitled to bring a representative to meetings which do not form part of an internal process enlivening the right to one under the Enterprise Agreement. 

    1. Planning Development and Review (PDR) meetings

    PDR is a process outlined in clause 5.2 of the Enterprise Agreement which does not entitle a staff member to a representative as there is no reference to “representative” within the relevant clause.

    If a staff member asks to have a union representative present at their PDR meeting as a representative, the University should give genuine consideration to the staff member’s reasons for the request. 

    A manager may choose to accept a staff member’s request for a representative (whether a union representative or otherwise) to attend a PDR meeting, but in doing so they are providing that staff member with a right over and above their entitlements under the Enterprise Agreement

    The preferable alternative may be to allow the staff member to bring a support person to the meeting. This may assist the conduct of the meeting. A support person may or may not be a union member.

    Where a staff member brings a support person or a representative to a PDR meeting, the manager may elect to invite the relevant HR Advisor to attend to provide them with support.

    2. Regular Group Staff Meetings

    A regular group staff meeting does not form part of a process which gives rise to a right to a representative under the Enterprise Agreement.

    If it does not suit the University to have a union representative attend the staff meeting and if the union representative does not have a permit from the Fair Work Commission to attend, the University can refuse the request.

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  • Can the University refuse a staff member's request for a support person?

    The University can say no to a staff member’s request for a specific support person when that request unreasonably prolongs internal processes.  For example, where the University arranges for a staff member to attend a PDR meeting and the staff member refuses to attend on the basis that their preferred support person isn’t available, the University can require the staff member to make alternate arrangements to ensure their attendance at the scheduled meeting.

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  • What represents good practice for the University?
    • Providing staff members with a reasonable period of notice for meetings to allow them to arrange for a representative or support person to be present;
    • Not refusing a staff member’s reasonable request to have a representative attend a meeting where it is part of an internal process which gives staff a right to a representative under the Enterprise Agreement;
    • Not refusing a staff member’s request to have a support person present so long as the request is reasonable;
    • Clarifying the role of the person as a representative or a support person at the outset of any meetings or discussions (including the obligation to keep processes confidential); and
    • Suggesting that breaks be taken during any meetings or discussions for the representative or support person to consult with or have frank and private discussions with the staff member as required or appropriate.

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Convertible Academic Employment Contracts

The purpose of this Information Sheet is to provide managers with an understanding of the new fixed-term contract option to employ academic staff at clause 2.3.9 of the University of Adelaide Enterprise Agreement 2017-2021 (the ‘Enterprise Agreement’).

If you have any further questions after reading these FAQs, please contact your HR Advisor.

  • What is the fixed-term Convertible Academic Employment Contract type?

    The Convertible Academic Employment Contract is a unique category of employment that enables an academic to be engaged to work for a period of up to three years on a fixed-term contract, after which their employment converts to a continuing position in particular circumstances. It is a new opportunity to encourage the recruitment of academic staff.

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  • When would I choose to employ a staff member under this category?

    When there is uncertainty about the future of a particular type of work, this contract type enables the employment of a staff member on a fixed-term basis in a position that will only convert to continuing employment if at the end of the fixed-term, the University still needs the position and provided the staff member has been performing satisfactorily. If at the expiration of the fixed-term contract the position is no longer required by the University, the contract will come to an end through the process at clause 2.3.9.3 of the Enterprise Agreement.

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  • How long can I appoint someone under this contract type?

    The University may appoint a staff member under this fixed-term contract type for up to three years, noting that at the end of this term, the employment is converted to continuing. It is recommended that a School offer a contract for a minimum of 2-3 years to allow sufficient time for the staff member to meet the performance expectations that will set for them as an academic in this role.

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  • What is the probationary period for this type of employment?

    A probationary period of 6 months may apply to staff members on a Convertible Academic Employment contract under clause 2.3.9.6 of the Enterprise Agreement. Once the position is converted to continuing, no further probationary period will apply.

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  • How do I manage performance under this contract type?

    Managers must ensure that reasonable performance expectations are set at the commencement of employment and communicated to the staff member from time to time during the term of the contract. These conversations should occur through the PDR process where conversations and any process undertaken to manage performance are recorded.

    If the staff member has not met the performance expectations, the position does not convert to continuing at the end of the contract term. To bring the employment to an end at the end date of the contract, the Head of School (or equivalent) must make a recommendation not to convert the employment to the Executive Dean who will consider whether the performance expectations were communicated from time to time, were reasonable and whether they were met by the staff member before making their final determination (clause 2.3.9.3). This recommendation process should commence at least 3 months prior to the contract’s end date, as the staff member must receive a copy of any recommendation by the Head of School at least 8 weeks prior to the expiry of their contract, in accordance with clause 2.3.9.4 of the Enterprise Agreement.

    It is important that the staff member’s performance is regularly monitored and communicated with the staff member throughout the duration of this contract, and that the fixed-term contract is of a duration (2-3 years minimum) that allows sufficient time for this process to occur. Managers are encouraged to contact their HR Advisor for support in managing performance.

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  • Can this contract type be extended or can another such contract be offered?

    This fixed-term contract type can only be extended in accordance with a period of parental leave or other extended leave of absence. In the circumstance where a recommendation is made not to offer conversion, the University may exercise its discretion to extend the contract for a period of up to 12 months. At the end of this extension of up to 12 months, the position is then converted to continuing unless one of two circumstances apply, where the position is no longer required or the staff member has not met performance expectations.

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  • Can I bring this contract to an end sooner than the contract end date?

    This contract type cannot be brought to an end sooner than the contract end date, other than in accordance with clause 2.1.2.2 of the Enterprise Agreement; that is the contract may be brought to an end during the probationary period, or for unsatisfactory performance or for serious misconduct.

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Dispute Settlement

(Printable version)

Major Organisational Change (MOC)

Manager's Fact Sheet for Responding to Academic Staff Member requests for Alternate Supervisors

Misconduct and Serious Misconduct

(Printable version)

Professional Staff Development Scholarship Scheme

Redeployment for Hiring Managers and Coordinators

The purpose of this Information Sheet is to provide Hiring Managers/Coordinators with an understanding of the steps in the redeployment process and their responsibilities when considering a redeployee to fill a vacant continuing position as outlined in the University of Adelaide Enterprise Agreement (as amended) (the ‘Enterprise Agreement’).

  • What is redeployment?

    Redeployment is a process that provides continuing staff members whose positions have become redundant an opportunity to find another suitable position within the University.  It supports the University to retain the skills and experience of these staff members. A Redeployment Information Sheet is available on the HR website.

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  • When does the redeployment process commence?

    If a staff member’s substantive position is declared redundant in accordance with the Enterprise Agreement (clause 6.7 Redundancy), they may elect to be redeployed from the date their position becomes redundant. From that date, the staff member will enter into a transition period of eight weeks during which they can exercise one of three options:

    • Option 1 – Voluntary Redundancy (clause 6.7.10)
    • Option 2 – Redeployment (clause 6.7.11)
    • Option 3 – Review (clause 6.7.12)

    If the staff member elects option 2 – Redeployment, they are required to notify their Manager in writing, who will then inform HR via redeployment@adelaide.edu.au.  HR will forward the staff member a link to the on-line Redeployment Register for the staff member to formally register their details.

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  • What are my obligations to consider a redeployee if I have a vacant position available?

    The Enterprise Agreement (clause 6.7.11) requires the University and the staff member (redeployee) to monitor vacancies across the University to determine whether there is a suitable position where the staff member could be redeployed.

    No action will be taken to fill a vacant continuing position until redeployees have been assessed against the classification selection criteria to determine their suitability for transfer to the position.

    If you have a vacant continuing position, prior to advertising, you are required to review the redeployees on the Redeployment Register.

    If you have identified potentially suitable redeployees against the selection criteria of the vacant position, you are required to consider whether they could perform the duties satisfactorily within a reasonable time frame, or whether the position is able to be redesigned to accommodate them.

    If a redeployee is considered suitable for the position, they will initially be relocated on a trial basis for an agreed period of time, no longer than three (3) months and placed on a training program, if required.

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  • What is the definition of a 'suitable position' for a redployee?

    The Enterprise Agreement (clause 6.7.2.6) defines it as follows:

    Suitable alternative employment means alternative continuing employment at the same classification and time fraction, within or outside the University.

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  • Who is responsible for funding the trial period for the redeployee?

    Under the redeployment clause of the Enterprise Agreement (6.7.11), a redeployee is first engaged for a trial period of up to 3 months and if the staff member is deemed suitable, they will be permanently transferred to the position.

    The area with the continuing vacancy is responsible for funding the trial period.

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  • What if the new position is at a lower classification than the redeployee's substantive salary position that has been declared redundant?

    If the staff member was to be redeployed into a lower classified position, the University is required to maintain the salary of the redeployee’s substantive position for a period of one year whilst employment continues.  The area with the vacancy is responsible for funding the difference between salaries for that period of time.

    At the end of the 12 month period, the salary will revert to the lower classification.

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  • What are the specific steps in the redeployment process for the Hiring Manager/Coordinator?

Redeployment for Staff

The purpose of these FAQs is to provide staff with an understanding of the redeployment process as outlined in the University of Adelaide 2017 - 2021 Enterprise Agreement (the ‘Enterprise Agreement’).

  • What is redeployment?

    Redeployment is a process that provides continuing staff members whose positions have become redundant an opportunity to find another suitable position within the University.  It supports the University to retain the skills and experience of these staff members.

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  • When am I able to seek redeployment?

    If your substantive position is declared redundant in line with the Enterprise Agreement (clause 6.7 Redundancy) you may elect to be redeployed from the date your position becomes redundant.  From that date, you will enter into a transitional period of eight weeks during which you can exercise one of three options:

    • Option 1 – Voluntary Redundancy (clause 6.7.10)
    • Option 2 – Redeployment (clause 6.7.11)
    • Option 3 – Appeal (clause 6.7.12)
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  • How do I indicate that I want to pursue the option of redeployment and become a redeployee?

    If you elect to seek redeployment, you need to indicate in writing to your manager that you want to pursue the option of redeployment before the expiration of the eight week transition period.  You will then be forwarded the link to the Redeployment Register by HR.

    The Redeployment Register provides you with the opportunity to nominate your interest in areas across the University that may have a vacant continuing role. Registering for redeployment does not guarantee you another role within the University, however the register provides managers with a valuable pool of resources to consider for vacant positions.

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  • Can I monitor vacancies that I wish to apply for?

    Yes, you can register for an emailed ‘job alert’ for all open jobs (including internal-only opportunities) and receive job alert emails based on selected classification level(s), job category and work types.

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  • What if I apply for a role, and am successfully appointed to another position in the University before the effective redundancy date of my substantive position?

    If you are appointed to another role in the University, you will not be entitled to any redundancy payment in relation to your previously held substantive position.

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  • What will the University do when I notify them of my intention to seek redeployment?

    Hiring Managers will review the Redeployment Register for potential redeployees to fill a vacant continuing position You will be assessed against the classification criteria to determine your suitability for transfer to the position.

    A Hiring Manager will contact staff members on the Redeployment Register who have been assessed against the selection criteria of the vacant continuing position as suitable to check if they are interested in applying for the vacancy.

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  • If I am interested in a vacant position, what are the next steps?

    You will be asked to submit an Expression of Interest to the Hiring Manager addressing the essential criteria of the position and nominating three referees by an agreed date.

    You will be invited to attend an interview by a panel from the relevant area who will consider if you could perform the duties satisfactorily within a reasonable time, or whether the position is able to be redesigned to accommodate your skills and experience.

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  • If I am redeployed to a role, is it a permanent appointment?

    Initially, you will be relocated to the new role on a trial basis for an agreed period, no longer than three months.

    You may be placed on a training program, if required.

    After the trial period, if you are deemed suitable, you will be permanently transferred to the continuing position.  You will not be entitled to any redundancy payment in relation to your previously held substantive position.

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  • What if the new position is at a lower classification than my substantive salary position that has been declared redundant?

    The salary of your substantive position will be maintained for a period of one year whilst employment continues.

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  • How long can I pursue the redeployment option?

    The redeployment option can be pursued for the remainder of the eight week transition period and, if necessary, during the extended notice period that follows in accordance with clause 6.7.9.

    At the expiration of the extended notice period, if you have not been permanently transferred to a suitable position, you will be retrenched in accordance with clause 6.7.13.

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  • Can I seek a review by a Review and Appeals Committee regarding the Redeployment process?

    Prior to the expiration of the transition period you may seek a review by an Internal Reviewer of a decision to declare a position redundant in accordance with the terms of reference at clause 8.3.9.1. Staff cannot seek a review regarding the redeployment process.

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Salary Increases

(Printable version)

Scholarly Teaching Fellows

(Printable version)

Unsatisfactory Performance

The purpose of these FAQs is to provide Manager/Supervisors with guidance on the requirements for managing unsatisfactory performance in accordance with the Enterprise Agreemnt (EA) 2017 - 2021, Clause 8.1 Unsatisfactory Performance.

(Printable version)
  • A staff member in my team is not meeting the expectations of their role, what should I do?

    In the first instance and to ensure you commence an appropriate process in line with the EA contact your HR Advisor to discuss your concerns.

    It is likely that your HR Advisor will first recommend that you take reasonable steps to address your concerns. As a first step, you should meet with your staff member to outline your concerns and clearly communicate the expected level of performance; ask them if there are any issues that you may not be aware of which may be impacting on their performance. It is important that they have an opportunity to respond to your concerns, and for you to discuss support measures that may assist them to lift their performance.

    If you plan to meet your staff member, keep a written record of your discussions and communications about their performance. Follow up your meeting with an email which includes what the performance concerns are, any agreed actions required to improve performance and the support measures you have/will put in place; also note the date and time you have agreed to review progress.
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  • A staff member in my team is in their probationary period and I have concerns about their level of perforemance and/or their job fit. What should I do?

    There is no specific time frame for managing underperformance. The time it takes to manage performance will depend of the nature of the concerns that you have and how quickly the performance concerns can be addressed with your staff member. Every performance management case is different depending on the particular circumstances.
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  • I have been having conversations about performance concerns with my staff member for a while, but I haven’t involved my HR Advisor. The performance concerns are not significant, what should I do?

    It would be a good idea to make a time to discuss your concerns with your HR Advisor. This will give you the opportunity to share what you have already done and discuss any possible next steps to ensure that if the unsatisfactory performance is to be formally managed you commence that process in line with EA requirements..
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  • What might the disciplinary action be as a result of the performance management process?

    Before any disciplinary action is taken, you must demonstrate that you have taken appropriate steps to bring the unsatisfactory nature of performance to the staff member’s attention; that the staff member has been given adequate opportunity to respond; any response was taken into account; and a reasonable opportunity was afforded to remedy the performance problem.

    Disciplinary action under the Enterprise Agreement ranges from a written letter of censure to termination of employment depending on the nature of the unsatisfactory performance. It is limited to the actions listed in clause 8.1.8;

    • Formal written censure/warning
    • Counselling
    • Withholding a salary increment
    • Reducing salary by 1 or more salary increments
    • Demotion by 1 or more classification levels; or
    • Termination of employment

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  • How long will it take to manage performance?

    There is no specific time frame for managing underperformance. The time it takes to manage performance will depend of the nature of the concerns that you have and how quickly the performance concerns can be addressed with your staff member. Every performance management case is different depending on the particular circumstances.
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  • I don’t have time to manage my staff member’s underperformance, what should I do?

    As a Leader at the University of Adelaide it is your responsibility to lead and manage your team’s performance.

    If you believe you do not have time to manage an underperforming staff member you should discuss why this is so with your supervisor. It is important they are aware of your concerns in order to provide you with support and to ensure you have time for your leadership responsibilities to effectively manage the team’s performance. The performance management process can appear challenging but your HR Advisor is available to discuss options with you, provide practical support and help you plan how you can reasonably manage the process.
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  • My staff member can perform their role but I have concerns about their attitude, can this be addressed?

    Yes, depending on what the issues are, both performance and attitude can be addressed in the performance management process.
    Performance includes behavioural expectations. Your HR Advisor wlll provide support to manage these concerns as part of the performance management process. If the concerns you have about attitude are serious and could amount to misconduct, your HR Advisor will advise you about how this could more appropriately be addressed in a misconduct process.
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  • I have performance concerns about my staff member, but they also have some health concerns, can I still manage their performance?

    Yes. Your HR Advisor will work closely with you to discuss options available to address both the performance and health concerns.
    Your HR Advisor will liaise with an Injury Management and Wellbeing Advisor (IMWA) so they are informed about the health concerns which may be impacting on the staff member’s work performance. A meeting may be arranged with you, the IMWA and the HR Advisor to plan and appropriately manage these concerns. Contact your HR Advisor to discuss.
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  • I have a staff member on a fixed term contract who is not performing satisfactorily in their position. I have managed their performance during their contract period. The contract is coming to an end and I still need the work to be done. Do I need to offer them further employment in the position?

    No, even though there is an ongoing need for the position, further employment is contingent upon: a) the staff member was employed in the relevant position through a competitive and merit based selection process; and b) they have performed satisfactorily in that position.

    If you have evidence of your discussion/s outlining the your nature of the performance concerns, the specific improvements required, they were given an opportunity to respond and time to address these concerns which has not resulted in improved performance, then further employment will not be offered.

    Contact your HR Advisor to confirm that the action you have taken is consistent with the Enterprise Agreement.

    In future, contact your HR Advisor early for advice on how to appropriately manage a fixed term staff member’s performance where you have identified performance concerns. Do not wait until the end of the contract
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  • I have a staff member on a fixed term contract who has not performed satisfactorily in their position. I haven’t raised my concerns with them and the contract is coming to an end. I still need the work to be done. Do I have to offer them further employment in the position?

    Yes, probably. When there is an ongoing need for a position, if the staff member was employed in the relevant position through a competitive and merit based selection process and they have performed satisfactorily in that position they are entitled to be offered a further contract.

    Despite the staff member’s underperformance, if you do not have evidence that you discussed the performance concerns, specified the improvements required, gave them an opportunity to respond and time to address these concerns, they are likely to satisfiy both the criteria for being offered further employment and you will be obliged to reemploy them. You will then need to manage their underperformance.

    Your HR Advisor will advise and assist you to plan how you will manage performance in line with the EA requirements.

    In future, contact your HR Advisor for early advice on how to appropriately manage a fixed term staff member’s performance where you have identified performance concerns. Do not wait until the end of the contract.
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  • I have performance concerns about a staff member on a convertible academic employment contract. The position is still required. Must I convert their employment to continuing?

    This contract type is offered on the basis that at the expiration of the contract, it will be converted from fixed term to continuing unless the staff member has not met the performance expectations set by the University or the position is no longer required.

    The performance expectations need to be consistent with the requirements of the position and need to have been communicated to the staff member from time to time during the contract. When raising your concerns, you need to have provided the staff member with an opportunity to respond and time to improve their performance with support measures offered and in place. You should have written evidence of your discussions and copies of your communications with the staff member.

    If you have not communicated reasonable performance expectations and managed the staff member’s unsatisfactory performance the contract will convert to continuing employment at the expiration of the contract.

    Your HR Advisor is available to provide you with advice on how to successfully manage convertible academic employment contracts.
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Further Information

For further information please contact the HR Service Centre 831 31111 or email HR Service Centre.

 
 

Contact HR Service Centre

For all enquiries please contact the Human Resources Service Centre.

 
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