FCW Lawyers

6 questions to ask, when your employee is not fit to perform their job


If my employee is not fit for the job they are employed to do, what must and can I do, as an employer?

The first questions to ask are:
  • What are the values of your organisation?
  • Do you want to comply with the law or go beyond the law to build a wellbeing-based organisation?

Before you can answer these questions, you must know what the law requires before you determine what, if any, wellbeing ambitions you want to pursue and implement across the whole organisation.

The legal questions that you must ask are:
  1. What is the job?
  2. What is the employer’s obligation of supervision of fitness for work?
  3. Does it matter where the injury or illness arose?
  4. Am I obliged and entitled to require a health-related assessment of an injured or ill employer?
  5. When and how can I terminate an employee’s employment when they are not fit for their job?
  6. Are there specific concerns I should have about my workers’ compensation premium?

The law around injured or ill employees, although complicated, is quite settled. Getting this wrong exposes you and your organisation to discrimination, general protections and unfair dismissal claims

And don’t forget to focus on prevention above all else. There is a significant amount of learning around what, how and why injuries arise at work and addressing the causal factors will reduce your injury/illness rates, employee absences, increase your workforce productivity, talent retention and sustainability.