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Managing An Employee’s Fitness For Work - The Medical And Legal Considerations

Ms Michelle Carse, mlcoa SA General Manager opened the seminar by detailing the order of events and the resources provided in the attendees packs, and delivered an overview of what ‘Fitness for Duties’ means in mlcoa’s experience. Chris Sargent, Consultant Solicitor from Sparke Helmore Lawyers followed with Part 1 of the legal perspective, during which Chris detailed an employer’s responsibilities to provide a safe workplace for their employees.

Dr Mark Floyd, Occupational Physician then spoke about some of the health conditions that an employee may present with in the workplace that could affect their ability to undertake their role, which could highlight the need for a Fitness for Duties Assessment to an employer. Dr Floyd noted the benefits of such an assessment for all parties.

Michelle Carse followed and discussed some of the things an employer needs to consider when they are referring an employee for a Fitness for Duties Assessment, such as having a discussion with the employee before the appointment to prepare them, what is required in their referral, privacy and consent to contact the employees treating doctor.

Mr Chris Sargent followed with Part 2 of the legal perspective, during which he provided some thought provoking case studies, noting some of the legal avenues employers can take when considering if an employee can undertake the inherent requirements of their role.

Rosanna Conti, mlcoa National Quality Manager joined Dr Floyd and Chris Sargent for a robust panel discussion. One of the questions was - At the cessation of an employee’s 104 weeks of entitlement under the RTW Act, what liability does the employer have to provide ongoing duties? For Example – the employee has permanent restrictions and cannot return to their pre-employment role.  

A networking lunch was served after the panel discussion. 

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