Categories

Incapacity – Ill Health

Poor Work Performance - Ill Health

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Blueprint Summary

Dismissal for Incapacity due to Ill Health

In this section, we shall look at the meaning of incapacity and assess when such a dismissal will be substantively and procedurally fair.

General Principles

Incapacity is also sometimes referred to as “incapability”, and a dismissal for incapacity means that an employee may be dismissed if he/she is incapable of doing the work which he / she was employed to do.

It is important to understand that incapacity itself falls into two broadly defined categories, namely Poor Work Performance and Ill Health or Injury.

This means that an employee may be dismissed for incapacity either because he/she is performing poorly at work and not meeting the standards required of him or her, or because the employee’s health or some temporary or permanent injury is preventing him or her from doing the work which he/she was employed to do.

Ill health or Injury

This category of incapacity is where the employee is incapable of doing the job for medical reasons. There is no fault on the part of the employee, but incapacity results from a permanent or temporary illness or injury. Incapacity may, for example, be as a result of:

  • A motor-vehicle accident
  • A deterioration of sight or hearing
  • Alcoholism
  • Drug addiction
  • HIV infection or the onset of AIDS-related conditions
  • A terminal illness, such as cancer
  • A work-related illness or disease

Substantive fairness

A valid and fair reason for dismissal. Whether or not the illness or injury is serious enough to warrant dismissal will depend upon the type of job which the employee does, and whether the safety of co-workers or the public needs to be considered.  It may, in some cases be necessary to engage an independent person, such as a medical doctor, to determine whether an employee is, in fact, incapable of doing his or her job properly.

The following factors may be taken into account when judging the fairness of a dismissal due to incapacity:

  • How serious is the incapacity?
  • Had the employee been informed of the problem?
  • Was the employee given an opportunity to improve?
  • Was the employer willing to consider alternatives?
  • What was the likelihood that the employee would recover?
  • For how long would the employee be absent?
  • What effect would the incapacity have on the business?
  • Would there be any negative effect on the employee’s pension benefits?
  • Is the incapacity of a permanent or temporary nature?

Procedural Fairness

The Chairperson is responsible for taking notes or appointing a secretary to perform this task.

  • Discuss the Job Description
  • Discuss the illness
  • Assess Medical Reports
  • Discuss permanent/ temporary illness
  • Discuss & explore alternative positions
  • Agree on a timeline if temporary in nature
  • Refer for further medical evaluations if required
  • Ensure more alternatives are explored if it was an injury on duty

Process flow

Process Specification

Process Owner

Stakeholder(s)

Recording Requirements

Reporting Requirements

The person that is accountable for this specific process.

All parties that have a vested interest in this process.

Requirements that need to be recorded during this process. What, How, Where.

Requirements that need to be stored during this process. What, How, When, Where.

Storage Requirements

Audit Requirements

Notifications

Reminders

Requirements that need to be reported on during this process. What, How, When, Where.

Requirements that need to be met in to comply with Auditing Regulations.  What, How, When, Where & Type of Audit Requirement.

Any Notifications that need to be Generated and/ or Actioned During this Process.

Any Reminders that need to be Generated and/ or Actioned During this Process.

Transparency & Communication

Knowledge & Skills

System

Workflows

 Any Transparency, Communication & Distribution Requirements needed for this Process.

 Any Knowledge & Skills required to successfully complete this process.

Are there any Workflows that drive this Process? This can be Manual or NFE Workflows.

Links and Process within a system that directly relates to this Process.

Legislation & Governance

TEMPLATES, FORMS, GUIDES AND WORK INSTRUCTIONS

S.A. Board for People Practices

Any Legislation, Bodies, Processes, Policies that Govern this Process.

Links to Templates, Forms & Policies that are either to be used for application or as Guidelines to meet minimum requirements for this Process

Does this Process Align with SABPP. This can either be Fully, Partially or Not at All.

The Process

Inputs are all of the Elements deemed necessary to complete the process successfully.

  • Notice to attend Incapacity Hearing
  • Minutes of Hearing
  • Medical Practitioner Report

Tasks are the Step-by-Step Actions to be taken to complete the Process.

  • No-fault Termination Notice

Tasks are the Step-by-Step Actions to be taken to complete the Process.

General Principles
Incapacity is also sometimes referred to as “incapability”, and a dismissal for incapacity means that an employee may be dismissed if he/she is incapable of doing the work which he / she was employed to do.

It is important to understand that incapacity itself falls into two broadly defined categories, namely Poor Work Performance and Ill Health or Injury.

This means that an employee may be dismissed for incapacity either because he/she is performing poorly at work and not meeting the standards required of him or her, or because the employee’s health or some temporary or permanent injury is preventing him or her from doing the work which he/she was employed to do.

Ill health or Injury
This category of incapacity is where the employee is incapable of doing the job for medical reasons. There is no fault on the part of the employee, but incapacity results from a permanent or temporary illness or injury. Incapacity may, for example, be as a result of:

  • A motor-vehicle accident
  • A deterioration of sight or hearing
  • Alcoholism
  • Drug addiction
  • HIV infection or the onset of AIDS-related conditions
  • A terminal illness, such as cancer
  • A work-related illness or disease

Substantive fairness
A valid and fair reason for dismissal. Whether or not the illness or injury is serious enough to warrant dismissal will depend upon the type of job which the employee does, and whether the safety of co-workers or the public needs to be considered.  It may, in some cases be necessary to engage an independent person, such as a medical doctor, to determine whether an employee is, in fact, incapable of doing his or her job properly.

The following factors may be taken into account when judging the fairness of a dismissal due to incapacity:

Procedural Fairness
The Chairperson is responsible for taking notes or appointing a secretary to perform this task.

  • Discuss the Job Description
  • Discuss the illness
  • Assess Medical Reports
  • Discuss permanent/ temporary illness
  • Discuss & explore alternative positions
  • Agree on timeline if temporary in nature
  • Refer for further medical evaluations if required
  • Ensure more alternatives are explored if it was an injury on duty

END OF PROCESS