Schedule D - Medical Retirement

1.1

    1. The purpose of this provision is to:
        1. Provide the opportunity for Principals, currently in service, who are declared medically unfit or who have a terminal illness to retire from teaching with dignity;
        2. Give the ability for boards to recruit a new Principal to the vacant permanent position without delay.
    2. ‘Currently in service’ means the Principal is employed in a permanent position at the time the application for medical retirement is made and when concurrence is given by the Secretary for Education. This provision cannot be granted retrospectively.

1.2

    1. A permanently appointed Principal, currently in service, may be granted medical retirement under this clause in circumstances where the Principal has a either a terminal or serious illness which causes them to be incapable of continuing to work or returning to work.
    2. Serious illness includes serious injury.
    3. Stress is not considered to be a medical diagnosis. Any application for concurrence on the basis of stress will be declined. However, the medical impact of stress if it meets the criteria will be considered.
    4. A Principal is considered to be medically unfit for work by reason of terminal illness if they have a terminal illness which causes them to be incapable of continuing to work or returning to work in a state or state integrated school.
    5. A Principal is considered to be medically unfit for work by reason of serious illness if they are wholly or substantially unable to perform the duties of the position at the school and is unlikely currently or at any time in the foreseeable future to be able to undertake new employment in any other teaching or Principal position.
    6. A Principal is not eligible for medical retirement where they are receiving weekly compensation from ACC
    7. Either the Principal or the employer may initiate the medical retirement process. The employer must have reasonable grounds to initiate the process. “Reasonable grounds” arise where the Principal for a prolonged period is wholly or substantially unable to perform the duties of the position at the school due to medical reasons.

1.3 Principal Initiated Process

    1.  
        1. If the Principal initiates the process, the Principal shall provide to the employer from a registered medical specialist in writing the following: a description of the Principal’s illness, a statement as to whether or not the Principal will be able to wholly or substantially perform their duties both currently and in the foreseeable future, and the reasons for the decision.
        2. The employer may require a further medical opinion from a registered medical specialist nominated by the employer.
        3. If two medical opinions from a medical specialist are sought and these medical opinions conflict, the Principal and employer shall attempt to agree on a third medical specialist to provide a further medical certificate. If they cannot agree, the employer shall nominate the medical specialist.
        1. If the Principal is unable to obtain a registered medical specialist opinion in a timely fashion, or by virtue of distance, then the Principal will undergo a medical examination from a registered general practitioner. The general practitioner shall provide in writing the following:
            • a description of the Principal’s illness, a statement as to whether or not the Principal will be able to wholly or substantially perform her/his duties both currently and in the foreseeable future, and the reasons for the decision; and
            • attestation that the Principal could not obtain an opinion from a registered medical specialist.
        2. The employer may require a further medical certificate from a registered general practitioner nominated by the employer.
        3. If two medical certificates are sought and the medical opinions conflict, the Principal and employer shall attempt to agree on a third registered general practitioner or medical specialist to provide a further medical certificate. If they cannot agree, the employer shall nominate the registered general practitioner.
    2. All costs associated with the second and third medical certificates or medical opinions shall be met by the employer.

1.4 Employer Initiated Process

    1. Pre-process
      Where the employer has reasonable grounds (as outlined in 1.2) to consider that the Principal may be medically unfit for work as outlined in 1.2, the employer will in the first instance:
        1. write to the Principal outlining the concerns and the grounds on which it has formed a view that medical retirement may be an appropriate option;
        2. inform the Principal they are entitled to attend up to three sessions from an employee assistance programme (EAP) and extend to the Principal the opportunity to access EAP counselling;
        3. outline the medical retirement process should the employer proceed with the process; and
        4. inform the Principal of their right to have a representative.

Initiation of Process

    1. Registered Medical Specialist
      Following the completion of the pre-process:
        1. Where the employer proceeds with the process, the Principal shall undergo a medical examination from a registered medical specialist nominated by the employer.
        2. The medical specialist shall provide in writing a description of the Principal’s illness, a statement as to whether or not the Principal will be able to wholly or substantially perform her/his duties both currently and in the foreseeable future, and the reasons for the decision.
        3. The Principal is entitled to seek a second medical specialist’s opinion.
          Where two medical specialist opinions are sought and these medical opinions agree that the Principal will not be able to wholly or substantially perform their duties both currently and in the foreseeable future, then the employer may seek concurrence to medically retire the Principal.
    2. Registered General Practitioner
        1. If the employer is unable to obtain a registered medical specialist opinion in a timely fashion, or by virtue of distance, then the Principal will undergo a medical examination from a registered general practitioner nominated by the employer (or two general practitioners if the Principal so wishes, one nominated by the employer and the other by the Principal). The general practitioner(s) shall provide in writing the following:
            • a description of the Principal’s illness, a statement as to whether or not the Principal will be able to wholly or substantially perform their duties both currently and in the foreseeable future, and the reasons for the decision; and
            • attestation that the Principal could not obtain an opinion from a registered medical specialist.
        2. Where two medical opinions from a general practitioner are sought and these medical opinions conflict, the Principal and employer shall attempt to agree on a third registered general practitioner to provide a further medical certificate. If they cannot agree, the employer shall nominate the registered general practitioner.
    3. All costs associated with the medical examination(s) and the Principal assistance programme shall be met by the employer.

1.5 Where the majority of medical evidence does not support a claim for medical retirement under this provision this process shall cease.

1.6 Seeking Concurrence

    1. Where the majority of medical evidence supports the application for medical retirement either by reason of terminal or serious illness, as per 1.2, the employer shall seek the concurrence of the Secretary for Education to medically retire the Principal.
    2. All applications for concurrence must be in writing and accompanied by the correct documentation.
    3. Applications for concurrence for medical retirement will be granted where the following criteria have been met:
        1. The process has been followed; and
        2. The medical evidence has been supplied in sufficient detail so as to support the application for medical retirement as specified in 1.2.
    4. Where the medical evidence that has been supplied is not of sufficient detail to enable full consideration of the application for medical retirement, the Secretary for Education may request that the employer seek a further medical opinion.

1.7 Medical Retirement Payment

    1. Upon receiving notification that the Secretary for Education has granted concurrence, the employer shall notify the Principal that they are medically retired as of the date of the Secretary’s notification. No notice is payable. The Principal shall be medically retired and may elect either to:
        1. Receive remaining sick leave as a single payment.
          The Principal will receive the remainder of their sick leave (that is, the outstanding sick leave balance as at the final day of employment) as a lump-sum payment, or
        2. Receive a lump sum payment
          A lump sum payment of 13 weeks salary plus an additional week for each year of service after 25 years service, up to a maximum of 13 weeks (i.e. the total maximum payment payable under this provision is 26 weeks). Any paid sick leave taken by the Principal in the four weeks prior to the application to medically retire shall be subtracted from the payment.
          Note: Payment will be based on the normal fortnightly salary of the Principal at the time of medical retirement. It does not attract any salary increment that may fall due after the date of medical retirement. Holiday pay to the date of medical retirement is payable. The lump sum does not attract holiday pay.
    2. The Principal is not entitled to change options once the option has been actioned.
    3. Disregarded sick leave is not able to converted to a payment under any of the provisions of medical retirement

Note: For the sake of completeness please note that all payments are subject to normal tax provisions.

1.8 Vacant Position Appointment

    1. From the date of the Secretary for Education gives notification of concurrence to medical retirement, regardless of the option chosen by the Principal under 1.7, the employer shall be entitled to make a permanent appointment to the position as if that position were vacant. This position shall be advertised in the Education Gazette as an actual vacancy position.
    2. The Education Council will be notified by the employer that the Principal has been medically retired.

1.9 Re-entry policy

    1. It is not contemplated that when a Principal is medically retired from the teaching profession that they will return to work as either a Principal or a teacher in the future. It is however acknowledged that in exceptional circumstances a Principal may become medically fit to work in the teaching service.
    2. Where a Principal who has been medically retired under any clause set out in this provision is declared medically fit by a registered medical specialist and is reemployed in any teaching or Principal position in the Education Service (as defined in section 2 of the State Sector Act (external link) ) the following shall apply:
        1. The Principal shall be entitled to sick leave in accordance with the provisions of the Holidays Act 2003 (external link) and not the provisions in the ASPCA.
        2. Where employment in any teaching or Principal position in the Education Service (as defined in section 2 of the State Sector Act) commences within a number of weeks which is less than the number of weeks of payment received by the Principal under 1.7(a) (i) the Principal shall refund the difference between the number of weeks for which they were without employment and the number of weeks for which the payment was calculated.
        3. A Principal cannot be medically retired twice for any of reasons outlined in this Appendix.

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