RELEVANT LEGISLATION

SCOPE

This policy applies to all staff at the University, volunteers, honorary appointees and persons engaged by the University in any capacity and in relation to section 8.3 to students of the University.

POLICY

1. Recruitment, selection and appointment of staff

1.1   Staff are recruited and selected based on merit through fair and open processes set out in the Recruitment, Selection and Appointment Procedure and in the context of an overall workforce plan. The principles underpinning the recruitment process are fairness, credibility, equal employment opportunity, merit and optimising the career prospects for currently employed staff.

1.2   Heads of budget division are accountable for compliance with University policy.

1.3   The creation of a new position must be approved by the head of budget division on the basis of an approved budget and workforce plan. Level 2 delegates are authorised to approve funds for the advertising of a position and its associated costs, where the position is within the division’s approved workforce plan and budget. Where the position varies from the plan or budget, approval is required from the head of budget division or level 3 delegate.

1.4   The composition of a selection committee and the delegated authorities for approval of committee membership are out in the Recruitment, Selection and Appointment Procedure. Gender parity is required on selection committees. Training is provided to staff involved in recruitment and selection processes.

1.5   A contract of employment must be provided for all new staff and current staff who are offered a different position or different terms and conditions to those of their current position. The details to be included in the contract of employment are specified in the Recruitment, Selection and Appointment Procedure.

1.6   Senior staff may be employed on performance based contracts setting out key performance criteria or targets which the staff member must meet within defined timeframes or under defined circumstances.

2. Personal relationships, employment and other staffing decisions

2.1   As a broad guiding principle, it is undesirable that personal relationships should intrude or be seen to intrude on or influence staffing decisions.

2.2   Staff members should be neither advantaged nor disadvantaged because of a personal relationship with another member of staff or a member of a University committee.

2.3   In the context of staffing decisions, personal relationships are defined as relationships which extend beyond professional relations, based on factors irrelevant to the working competencies of staff.

2.4   Examples of personal relationships are:

  • family relationships (siblings, parent/child, husband/wife, cousins, relations by marriage such as brother or sister-in law) and
  • emotional relationships (which might include de-facto spouses, other sexual relationships and close friendships).

2.5   The University strongly encourages staff members to make every effort to avoid situations within the workplace where personal relationships may lead to questionable staffing decisions.

2.6   Whilst a close personal relationship with another staff member or an applicant for an employment opportunity within the University does not itself preclude a staff member from making staffing decisions, it is imperative that such decisions are based solely on the criteria of merit, the needs of the University and are consistent with the Conflict of Interest Procedure.

2.7   Normally, it is inappropriate for a member of a head of department's or head of budget division's family to work in the same department. In these circumstances, the appointments and payments must be approved by an appropriate delegate with a higher level of delegation than the head of department or head of budget division directly affected by the conflict of interest.

3. Appointment types

3.1   The University contracts with the following categories of individuals to provide a service or services to the University:

  • employees
  • independent contractors
  • honorary appointments
  • University visitors
  • sui generis (one of a kind).

3.2   The rights and obligations of the University and the individual vary with each category of service relationship. The Appointment Types Procedure sets out the framework for categorising and establishing the service relationship between the individual and the University.

3.3   A person may have more than one type of relationship with the University, and rights and obligations will apply in respect of each type of relationship.

4. Employment types

4.1   Staff members can be engaged in one of the following types of employment:

  • continuing employment
  • fixed-term employment
  • casual employment.

4.2   Continuing employment means ongoing employment with no fixed end date and includes Research continuing employment (contingent-funded). The circumstances under which a staff member engaged in contingent-funded research may be employed under a Research continuing employment (contingent-funded) arrangement are set out in the Employment Types and Flexible Work Arrangements Procedures.

4.3   Fixed-term employment contracts are only offered where the staff member is to be engaged in a work activity that falls within one of the categories listed in the Employment Types Procedure and where:

  • the employment is for a specified term or ascertainable period for which the contract specifies the starting and finishing dates of that employment (or in lieu of a finishing date, the circumstances or contingency relating to a specific task or project upon the occurrence of which the term of the employment will expire)
  • during the term of employment, the contract is not terminable by the University, other than during a probationary period or for serious or wilful misconduct.

4.4   Casual employment means employment by the hour which is paid on an hourly basis that includes a loading related to benefits for which a casual employee is not eligible to receive.

4.5   A continuing or fixed-term staff member may be employed to undertake additional work as a casual staff member and be paid as a casual staff member in work unrelated to, or identifiably separate from, the staff member’s normal duties.

5. Work focus categorisation

5.1   There are four work focus categories for positions held by academic staff.

  • teaching and research
  • research focussed
  • teaching specialist
  • academic specialist

5.2   The work emphasis and focus of each position and staff member will be categorised, recognising that each academic position involves elements of all aspects of academic work.  The University will encourage and support all academic staff to achieve outstanding contributions to their relevant work focus category.

5.3   The categorisation of a position to a work focus category is independent of academic classification and the existing academic classification structure which continues unchanged.  The categorisation recognises the diversity of wrok undertaken by individuals within that classification structure.

5.4   An individual staff member may move between work focus categories over the course of an academic career, through a process of appointment to an advertised vacancy or transfer.  Transfer between categories will take into account the focus of the individual’s academic career, and their skills, performance and development needs as degermined through the application of the Performance Development Framework.

5.5   The dean will consider the strategic direction and the specific needs of the graduate school or faculty to determine the number of positions required in each work focus category.

5.6   Appointment to a position that falls within a particular work focus category may be the result of an advertised vacancy or a transfer of an existing member.

5.7   Staff members holding positions categories as teaching and research should be able to demonstrate:

  • evidence of satisfying research active criteria as specified for the relevant faculty or graduate school
  • overall high level teaching evaluations
  • contributions to improving the quality of teaching and enhancing the student experience
  • contributions to knowledge transfer and engagement
  • institutional, national or international reputations for expanding knowledge within their discipline.

5.8   Staff members holding positions categorised as research focussed should be able to demonstrate:

  • primary involvement with the conduct of original research with the aim of publishing and disseminating new knowledge from the work undertaken in the position
  • evidence of satisfying research active criteria as specified for the relevant faculty or graduate school
  • institutional, national or international reputations for contributing to expanding knowledge within their discipline
  • contributions to engagement

5.9   Staff members holding positions categorised as research focussed will not be expected to undertake significant teaching in their area of research specialty, but may do some teaching or research training supervision.

5.10 Staff members holding positions categorised as teaching specialist should be able to demonstrate:

  • overall high level teaching evaluations or be involved as a practitioner or clinician in a teaching related area (eg clinical or practitioner roles involving interactions with students)
  • contributions to improving the quality of teaching and enhancing the student experience
  • leadership appropriate to the level of appointment in the development of teaching practice and curriculum
  • contributions to engagement
  • primary involvement with teaching-related activities.

5.11 Staff members holding positions categorised as teaching specialist must engage in significant scholarly activity appropriate to their current classification level, to support, enable and disseminate teaching practice within their discipline.  Staff in these positions will not be expected to focus on or undertake original research in their area of teaching speciality, but may elect to do so.

5.12 Level A academic staff may be eligible for appointment or transfer to teaching specialist positions where they can demonstrate:

  • potential to make a significant contribution to teaching and learning; and
  • potential to meet the criteria described in section 5.10 and the requirements of Schedule A to the Categories of Employment Procedure.

5.13 Level A academic staff in teaching specialist positions will be provided with mentoring during non-teaching periods and opportunities to engate in curriculum innovation and pedagogical scholarship.

5.14 In addition to the activities in section 5.10 and 5.11 teaching specialist academics at level D and level E should also demonstrate:

  • institutional, national or international reputations for contributions to pedagogical issues within their discipline
  • innovation in curriculum and pedagogy that have influenced and enhanced learning.

5.15 Staff members holding positions categorised as academic specialist should be able to demonstrate as relevant:

  • contributions to engagement
  • contributions to professional practice
  • contributions to leadership and service
  • other academic activities as outlined in Schedule D to the Categories of Employment Procedure.

5.16 Academics who are undertaking senior management responsibilities may be categorised in the academic specialist work focus category for the duration of their appointment which involves those responsibilities, where they are not appropriately placed in another category based on research or teaching activity.

5.17 The academic specialist work focus category may also, with the agreement of the Provost, include positions which are appropriately classified as academic but not expected directly to undertake teaching or research activities.

5.18 Work focus categories will be implemented consistently with the existing classification structure, academic promotions policy and the provisions of the enterprise agreement relating to academic workloads and the performance development framework.

6. Senior administrative service

6.1   Expectations of senior administrative staff in the University are that they:

  • possess knowledge, skills and experience relevant to occupying a position at a senior level in a large organisation;
  • have the capacity to think and plan strategically on a range of issues and functions;
  • have decision making and problem solving skills, and the capacity to provide creative solutions to new and old problems;
  • lead and manage large groups of staff;
  • accept responsibility for developing and managing change;
  • understand the broader financial government, legal and industrial environment and ensure administrative compliance with community standards;
  • accept responsibility for the performance of their function and its contribution to the University’s objectives;
  • represent the University to the public, staff and students;
  • act autonomously within policy guidelines in accordance with University procedures;
  • work to ensure a high level of client service.

7. Conditions of employment

7.1   Staff employed on continuing contracts have continuity of employment and accrue various benefits such as overtime, annual leave, long service leave, sick leave, parental leave and redundancy entitlements in accordance with relevant workplace agreements, agreements with external funding bodies, Council policies (including University policies) and University Statutes and Regulations.

7.2   Staff employed on research continuing employment (contingent-funded) contracts have different conditions of employment to other continuing staff members which are set out in the Employment Types Procedure.

7.3   A fixed-term staff member is entitled to the same employment conditions that apply to a continuing staff member engaged in an equivalent classification and working an equivalent proportion of normal weekly hours or time fraction for academic staff, unless the contract of employment specifies otherwise.

7.4   Casual staff members are engaged on an ad hoc or irregular basis, are paid by the hour and receive a loading in lieu of annual and sick leave in accordance with relevant workplace agreements, agreements with external funding bodies, Council policies (including University policies) and University Statutes and Regulations. Casual staff are engaged with no guarantee or expectation of work beyond the period of their current employment.

7.5   Sessional staff are employed under casual conditions of employment, with variations as outlined in the Employment Types Procedure, to undertake a series of sessions over a specific period. Sessional staff members are engaged with no guarantee or expectation of work beyond any given agreed period of employment.

8. Basis of employment

8.1   Continuing and fixed-term staff may be employed on a full-time, part-time (or fractional), seasonal or part year basis or annualised hours basis.

8.2   Full-time staff are entitled to employment conditions as specified in relevant workplace agreements, agreements with external funding bodies, Council policies (including University policies) and University Statutes and Regulations as varied from time to time.

8.3   Part-time staff members are entitled, on a pro-rata basis, to the same employment conditions that apply to an equivalent full-time staff member, unless otherwise specified in the contract of employment.

8.4   Employment on a seasonal or part year basis may be offered to professional staff who have converted to continuing or fixed-term seasonal or part year employment from casual employment. The process for conversion and the conditions of employment which apply to employment on a seasonal or part year basis are set out in the Employment Types and Flexible Work Arrangements Procedures.

8.5   Employment on an annualised hours basis may be offered to professional staff who have converted to continuing or fixed-term employment on an annualised hours basis from casual employment or who elect to move to an annualised hours arrangement for a defined period of time. The process for conversion and the conditions of employment which apply to employment on an annualised hours basis are set out in the Employment Types and Flexible Work Arrangements Procedures.

 

9. Flexible work arrangements

9.1   The University offers home-base work for professional staff, with such arrangements set out in a home-based work agreement between the University and the staff member. The staff member is required to spend some time at the University workplace. The procedures to establish and manage a home-based work arrangement are set out in the Employment Types and Flexible Work Arrangements Procedures.

9.2   The University provides job-sharing opportunities where two or more staff share one full-time or part-time position, each working on a part-time basis. Each member of staff is appointed to a job-share position as a separate appointment. The procedures to establish and manage a job-share position are set out in the Employment Types and Flexible Work Arrangements Procedures.

10. Provision for parental and carer responsibilities

10.1   Accommodation of the responsibilities a person has as a parent or carer in relation to the work arrangements of a staff member, a contract worker or a person offered employment must not be unreasonably refused.

10.2   A person who wishes to request particular work arrangements to accommodate their parental or carer responsibilities must comply with the Flexible Work Arrangements Procedure

Staff and students may, when it is appropriate and safe to do so, bring one or more children to the University to enable the parent to attend classes or the workplace. Staff and students who wish to bring children on campus must comply with the “Children on Campus” section of the Flexible Work Arrangements Procedure.

11. Categories of employment

11.1   Staff are employed as either academic or professional staff.

11.2   Academic staff are appointed as teaching and research staff and as research only staff at levels A-E. The titles which can be used at the different levels and procedures relating to the appointment of professors, associate professors, laureate professors, deans and heads and to adjunct appointments are set out in the Categories of Employment Procedure.

11.3   Academic staff may hold concurrent employment with a recognised teaching hospital. Differences between the employment conditions of teaching hospitals and the University have led to the development of four models for joint hospital-University appointments: full-time employment with shared costs, employment as a University teacher for full-time hospital staff, hospital patient-care appointments for full-time University staff and staff who work part-time for both hospital and University. The procedures for employing staff under these different models are outlined in the Categories of Employment Procedure.

11.4   Professional staff are employed at levels 1-10. All members of professional staff employed at level 10 are members of the Senior Administrative Service, a group of senior administrative staff in the University who have the skills and knowledge necessary to ensure a high level of operational effectiveness and efficiency in the University.

11.5   Apprentices and trainees are employed on fixed-term contracts where a formal apprenticeship or traineeship can be offered through a relevant statutory authority with the aim of providing the staff member with relevant skills, experience and qualifications in a specific trade field.

12. Job classification

12.1   The Job Classification and Linked Advancement Procedure sets out the framework for the classification and reclassification of professional staff positions at levels 1-10 and the classification of academic staff positions at levels A - E. 

12.2   The classification of professional staff positions at professional staff levels 1-10 is based on a process of job analysis and evaluation that assesses the relative work value of the position in a structured relationship with all other positions at the University. The Cullen Egan Dell points factor evaluation system is used for classifying positions at professional staff level 10.

12.3   The classification of academic positions levels A - E is based on minimum standards for academic levels (MSALs), derived from the Higher Education Academic Salaries Award (2002) and adapted to reflect the expectations of academic activity at the University.

13. Pre-employment requirements

13.1   Pre-employment assessments and checks of a prospective staff member may be undertaken prior to the commencement of work, including assessments and checks relating to:

  • immigration status
  • health
  • police records
  • working with children
  • identity and background.

13.2   The circumstances under which a staff member or prospective staff member may be required to undergo a pre-employment assessment or check and the processes to be followed are set out in the Pre-Employment Procedure.

13.3   The immigration status assessment is intended to ensure that the University’s overseas visitors and staff hold appropriate entry and resident visas and otherwise comply with Commonwealth immigration policy and procedures.

13.4   Different health assessments apply to different categories of staff according to the type of University appointment and exposure to occupational hazards and are intended to ensure that:

  • the physical capacities of the employee are adequate for the work tasks
  • the intended work activities do not aggravate a pre-existing condition
  • the intended work activities will not precipitate an illness or injury
  • the prospective employee does not pose a risk to themselves or others in the proposed work environment.

13.5   A police records check will be obtained where this is a statutory pre-requisite for a position and in other cases where the University determines that a police records check is a pre-condition of employment in a specified position.

13.6   A staff member who works or volunteers in specific types of child-related work at the University is required to pass a Working with Children Check in accordance with the Working with Children Act 2005 (Vic) to ensure he or she has no criminal offences or findings from professional disciplinary bodies which may mean that he or she is not suitable to work with children. If the child-related work at the University is funded by Australian aid, the Child Protection for Australian Aid Projects Procedure (MPF1266) will be complied with and additional criteria may need to be satisfied.

A staff member who works, handles or accesses Security Sensitive Biological Agents (SSBAs) or sensitive information relating to SSBAs or who accesses a facility where SSBAs are handled must comply with the National Health Security Act 2007 and the Security Sensitive Biological Agent Standards. These staff members are required to undergo identity and background checks and may be required to undergo a national health security check.

14. Staff transfer

14.1   Academic and professional members of staff may permanently or temporarily transfer from one position to another within the University.  The situations in which a transfer is permitted and the transfer process are set out in the Transfer, Secondment and Exchange Procedure.

14.2   When a staff member permanently transfers to another position, the terms and conditions of the previous position are foregone and those associated with the new position to which the staff member has transferred are adopted.

14.3   A staff member may request a permanent or temporary transfer to their supervisor, head of budget division or local Human Resources in the following situations:

  • workcover
  • successful applications for another position within the University
  • staff development purposes
  • physical incapacity to carry out the duties of his or her current position
  • part of the redeployment process in a redundancy situation
  • existence of personality conflicts
  • for any other reason as determined by the Executive Director, Human Resources should such circumstances require such action.

14.4   A staff member who is temporarily transferred will receive a variation of contract of employment to cover the period of transfer.

14.5   A staff member who has been temporarily transferred will return to his or her vacated position at the end of the period of temporary transfer unless the releasing department and the staff member agree at the end of the period of temporary transfer the staff member will not return to their previous position but to another position of equivalent classification.  In such circumstances, the head of department of the releasing department will ensure that the position of equivalent classification is available

15. Secondment

15.1   The following secondment arrangements apply:

  • Secondment out of the University is where an employee of the University is placed in another organisation for a specified period and at the end of that time will return to duty at the University.
  • Secondment into the University is where the University wishes to fill a vacant position and at the end of the secondment, the seconded staff member returns to the releasing organisation or will no longer be an employee of that organisation if the employment has come to an end.  Where the secondment involves a University appointment, standard appointment processes and policy must be followed.

15.2   Secondment must be:

  • based on mutual agreement between the staff member, the University and releasing or host organisation
  • for a specific period
  • agreed by those parties before commencement of any secondment.

15.3   A formal secondment agreement is required where:

  • an employee of the University is placed in another organisation for a specified period
  • an employee from another organisation is performing work for the University and the University is reimbursing the other organisation for the work.

16. International exchange

16.1   The University is committed to establishing mutually beneficial links with other international universities to share ideas and expertise and provide staff development opportunities for academic and professional staff.  The procedures for participating in international exchange arrangements are set out in the Transfer, Secondment and Exchange Procedure.

17. Honorary appointments and University visitors

17.1   Honorary appointees and University visitors are highly valued members of the University community who, while not required to perform any specific work for the University, contribute to the teaching and research or general betterment of the University through voluntary activities.

17.2   By law, an honorary appointee or visitor is not an employee of the University.

17.3   Where an employment or independent contractor relationship arises between an honorary appointee or visitor and the University, this will be established by a separate appointment.

17.4   The appointment procedure, terms and conditions of appointment and the privileges, rights and obligations of honorary appointees and visitors are set out in the Honorary Appointments and University Visitors Procedure.

17.5   Honorary appointments are academic appointments in the following categories:

  • honorary fellows
  • honorary clinical fellows
  • visiting professors
  • professors emeritus.

17.6   University visitors are not awarded an academic title by the University during the period of their contribution and are appointed in one of two categories:

  • academic visitors
  • non-academic visitors.

18. Staff induction

18.1   New staff members are provided with both a Workplace induction and University induction program to assist their understanding of the University work environment, performance expectations and their own rights and obligations. Casual staff members are provided with a modified program. The induction processes in the University are set out in the Staff Induction Procedure.

18.2   Workplace induction and University induction must be undertaken within the probation period or within the first six months of employment if the probation period exceeds six months. Induction Compliance Checklist

 

19. Probation and confirmation

19.1   Continuing and fixed-term employment may contain a reasonable probationary period that is directly related to the nature of the work to be carried out under the contract.

19.2   The purpose of the probationary period is to establish whether there is an appropriate match between the person, the job and the work environment, and whether a good working atmosphere has been established within the work group.  Successful probation requires both the employee and the supervisor to be satisfied with the arrangements.

19.3   Before the end of the probation specified in the staff member’s contract, a decision must be made as to whether the staff member should continue in employment with the University.  In the event that the staff member cannot meet the probation criteria, employment may be terminated.

19.4   Probation periods (for professional staff) and confirmation periods (for academic staff) apply to all staff members who are new to the University (except casuals) or who are employed on a second or subsequent fixed-term contract, where the type of employment and duties are substantially different, eg. a move from a professional staff position to an academic staff position

19.5   Probation periods do not apply where the type of employment is unchanged and in cases of transfer or secondment.  The employment of casual staff will not be subject to a probationary period.

20. Linked advancement

20.1   The Linked Advancement Program (LAP) provides professional staff with the opportunity to progress through the incremental structure of their appointed classification level and into the classification level above on the basis of work availability, development and individual performance.

20.2   The LAP provides supervisors with the flexibility to reward and recognise performance at the department or faculty level.  As progression through the LAP is based in part on individual performance in a position, when the position is vacated, it may be filled at the lower classification level.

20.3   The processes for linked advancement are set out in the Job Classification and Linked Advancement procedures

21. Work experience

21.1 Departments are often approached by students wishing to gain work experience. Work experience can be a school-based program, tertiary college, or State or Commonwealth Government assisted adult education program which places students in the workplace. Work experience is part of work education which gives students the opportunity to learn about work and organisations as part of their total education.  The process for work experience placements are set out in the Work Experience Procedure.

RELATED DOCUMENTS

DEFINITIONS

child or children

In accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, ‘child’ means every human being under the age of 18 unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier. For the purposes of this Policy, the University considers a child to be a person under the age of 18 years.

child-related work 

Working on an activity or in a position that involves or is likely to involve contact with children, either under the position description or due to the nature of the work environment.

RESPONSIBLE OFFICER

The Executive Director, Human Resources & OHS is responsible for the development, compliance monitoring and review of this policy and any associated procedures and guidelines.

IMPLEMENTATION OFFICER

The Director, Employee Relations and Engagement is responsible for the promulgation and implementation of this policy in accordance with the scope outlined above. Enquiries about interpretation of this policy should be directed to the Implementation Officer.

REVIEW

This policy to be reviewed by 30 June 2015.

VERSION HISTORY

Version

Approved By

Approval Date

Effective Date

Sections Modified

1

Senior Vice Principal

24 August 2012

24 August 2012

New version arising from the Policy Simplification Project. Loaded into MPL as Version 1.

2 Vice-Principal Administration & Finance 21 May 2015 4 Jan 2016 Fix broken links in Related Documents section.
3 Vice-Principal Administration & Finance 19 January 2016 21 January 2016 Add reference to Child Protection for Australian Aid Projects Procedure in section 13, update Related Documents, Responsible Officer and Implementation Officer. Add Definitions section.
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