Sick Leave

Sick Leave

See Collective Agreement Section 51

 

When can I take Sick Leave?

 

You can take Sick Leave if you have an illness, disability, or injury that medical documentation describes as preventing you from doing your job, even with an accommodation. This includes accidents or surgeries – you do not have to be “sick” to be on Sick Leave.

See Collective Agreement Section 51.4

When can I take Sick Leave?

 

What does Sick Leave provide?

 

When you are on Sick Leave, you continue with your full salary, benefits, and pension contributions. Time on Sick Leave counts towards your Study Leave eligibility.

What does Sick Leave provide?

 

How long can I be on Sick Leave?

 

Sick Leave can last a maximum of six months, with medical documentation. If you are not able to return to work within six months, you may be eligible for Long Term Disability.

Members on Sick Leave longer than three months may be asked to apply for Long Term Disability to allow time for the LTD provider to process the application without any gaps in the receipt of benefits.

How long can I be on Sick Leave?

 

Who approves Sick Leave?

 

When you become ill, disabled or injured and cannot perform employment duties and responsibilities, you should inform your supervisor as soon as possible, and provide appropriate medical documentation. Your supervisor can approve the first week of Sick Leave. Sick leave for the remainder of the first month – if needed – can be approved by the Dean or the University Librarian in consultation with Human Resources. Sick Leave for the next two months can be approved by the Dean or the University Librarian in consultation with HR and the Provost. After the first three months, sick leave up to an additional three more months can be approved by the Provost with updated medical documentation. A Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor can assist you in each step of this process.

Medical documentation may be requested at various points during the six months of Sick Leave.

See Collective Agreement Section 51.6 – 51.10

Who approves Sick Leave?

 

I had an accident and could not submit medical documentation immediately. What do I do?

 

You should submit documentation as soon as you reasonably can. Sick leave starts on the date when your illness, disability or injury made you unable to perform your employment duties.

See Collective Agreement Sections 51.4 and 51.11

I had an accident and could not submit medical documentation immediately. What do I do?

 

I have surgery scheduled that my surgeon knows will require weeks of Sick Leave. Will I need to provide medical updates when it is obvious in advance that I cannot return after one week or one month?

 

It can be logistically difficult to acquire proper documentation from your doctor after surgery. We suggest that you discuss the documentation schedule with Human Resources before the surgery. You may also ask a Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor to do this on your behalf.

I have surgery scheduled that my surgeon knows will require weeks of Sick Leave. Will I need to provide medical updates when it is obvious in advance that I cannot return after one week or one month?

 

I do not have a regular doctor. Can a doctor who does not know me well provide the necessary documentation for a Sick Leave?

 

In Victoria, many people lack access to a regular family doctor. This circumstance should not prevent you from going on Sick Leave when medically indicated. If you are in this situation, we recommend you discuss your circumstances with a Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor.

I do not have a regular doctor. Can a doctor who does not know me well provide the necessary documentation for a Sick Leave?

 

My doctor charges for providing the documentation that Human Resources requires to start or end a Sick Leave. Who pays these fees?

 

The University should cover fees for obtaining medical documentation to document a Sick Leave or to authorize a return to work from Sick Leave. If your doctor will not bill the University directly, you can submit a receipt to Human Resources along with the medical documentation. A Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor can assist with this.

My doctor charges for providing the documentation that Human Resources requires to start or end a Sick Leave. Who pays these fees?

 

Can I take Sick Leave in the middle of a teaching term?

 

Yes. You should go on sick leave as soon medical circumstances (that can be documented) require it. Pushing yourself beyond what your medical team advises can further compromise your health and lead to a longer recovery.

Can I take Sick Leave in the middle of a teaching term?

 

I am on a wait list for surgery. I have been offered a surgery date during a teaching term. Can I accept this date?

 

Yes. If surgery is needed you can accept a surgery date during a teaching term. Once you accept the date, you should notify your supervisor.

I am on a wait list for surgery. I have been offered a surgery date during a teaching term. Can I accept this date?

 

If I need to stop teaching in the middle of a teaching term, do I have to provide teaching materials for the entire course?

 

No. You are not required to share intellectual property or to do extra work before or after your Sick Leave.

If I need to stop teaching in the middle of a teaching term, do I have to provide teaching materials for the entire course?

 

Can I return to work from Sick Leave during a teaching term?

 

Yes. You return from Sick Leave when, and only when, your medical documentation authorizes it. You should not return at the start of a teaching term if you are not medically prepared to do so.

If you teach and return to work during a teaching term, you may be asked to take over a course or to substitute other duties.

A Faculty Association’s Membership Services Advisor can help you with these negotiations.

Can I return to work from Sick Leave during a teaching term?

 

Can I have an accommodation when I start back to work after Sick Leave?

 

Yes. Your doctor can authorize you to start work again with an appropriate accommodation. You do not need to be able to work without an accommodation to start back to work from Sick Leave.

Can I have an accommodation when I start back to work after Sick Leave?

 

Can I have a graduated return to work from Sick Leave?

 

A graduated return to work usually only applies to Long Term Disability rather than to Sick Leave. It is rare that one can be negotiated after Sick Leave. If your medical team will not authorize you to start back to work – even with an accommodation – you may need to apply for LTD.

A Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor can assist in reviewing your options.

Can I have a graduated return to work from Sick Leave?

 

I have been on Sick Leave for three months. I don’t think I’ll need Long-Term Disability. Should I still apply?

 

Yes. It is a good idea to apply for LTD even if you think you will probably not need it. This is so there is no gap in your receipt of benefits if you do not recover as quickly as you expect.

I have been on Sick Leave for three months. I don’t think I’ll need Long-Term Disability. Should I still apply?

 

How does time on Sick Leave affect the evaluation period for reappointment or tenure?

 

Depending on the amount of time you are on Sick Leave, evaluation windows periods may be extended.

You can also appeal to your Dean to defer reappointment or tenure evaluation if you have not been on Sick Leave, but feel illness or disability has adversely affected your work to a significant degree. In this case, we strongly encourage you to seek the support of a Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor prior to starting your appeal.

See Collective Agreement Section 48.1 – 48.5

How does time on Sick Leave affect the evaluation period for reappointment or tenure?

 

I am a Faculty Member. How does time on Sick Leave affect evaluation windows for Merit Increments?

 

If you have been on Sick Leave or LTD for more than one teaching term during the evaluation period, the evaluation period for the purposes of evaluating teaching and other contributions is retroactively extended by one year. This does not apply to evaluating research.

Faculty Evaluation Policies must have provisions for taking into account the effects of Sick Leave and LTD. If these provisions are lacking or are vague or ambiguous, a Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor should be contacted.

See Collective Agreement Sections 19.29.3 & 19.5.7

I am a Faculty Member. How does time on Sick Leave affect evaluation windows for Merit Increments?

 

I am a Librarian. How does time on Sick Leave affect my evaluation window for Career Progress Increments and Merit Increments?

 

If you have been on Sick Leave or LTD for more than four months during the evaluation period, the evaluation period is extended back by one year.

See Section 19.29.4 of the CA

I am a Librarian. How does time on Sick Leave affect my evaluation window for Career Progress Increments and Merit Increments?

 

My Sick Leave affected my productivity. What happens when I am evaluated?

 

Every Faculty Evaluation Policy must have a provision for taking into account the effects that Sick Leave or Long-Term Disability may have on performance and your performance evaluation. Some Faculty Evaluation Policies lack specific details about what this means.

In addition to the fact that you are not working while on Sick Leave, Sick Leave can also have impacts that may include, but are not limited to, an inability to participate in conferences, the need to turn down professional invitations or active roles in projects, and the need for a “catching up” period when your leave is over as you get up-to-date with literature and developments in your field that took place during your leave.

It is important to note that evaluation windows may be extended back for teaching and other contributions, but that they are not extended back for research. This means that your evaluation window for research may be shorter than that of your colleagues who were not on leave.

A Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor can assist you in explaining the impacts of your leave.

See Collective Agreement Section 19.5.7

My Sick Leave affected my productivity. What happens when I am evaluated?

 

Can I do any work while I am on Sick Leave?

 

You should not do any paid employment while you are on Sick Leave.

It is advisable to avoid any work activities, even work without pay, while you are on Sick Leave. If you need Long-Term Disability at the end of the six months of Sick Leave, eligibility requires that you were unable to perform work for the previous six months. Even minor activities such as writing letters of recommendation for students may negatively impact your eligibility for LTD.

Before performing any professional duties, paid or unpaid, you should consult a Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor.

Can I do any work while I am on Sick Leave?

 

I am on Study Leave or Administrative Leave and have become ill or disabled. Can I go on Sick Leave?

 

Depending on how long your leave is, how long you are expected to be sick or disabled, and how much of your leave remains, you may be able to cancel the remainder of your Study Leave or Administrative Leave and go on Sick Leave. You may then be entitled to a replacement Study Leave after you recover. Make sure to consult a Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor to see if you are eligible.

See Collective Agreement Section 51.22 – 51.23

I am on Study Leave or Administrative Leave and have become ill or disabled. Can I go on Sick Leave?

 

I am on leave without pay or compassionate leave and have become ill or disabled. Can I go on Sick Leave?

 

No. Your current leave will not be cancelled. If your medical condition continues past the end of your current leave, you should notify your supervisor in order to document the date when the illness or disability began. This is important in case you need to go directly onto Long-Term Disability when your current leave is over.

If you are still ill when your current leave ends but have not yet been ill or disabled for the six months required to qualify for LTD, you will go on Sick Leave until you have been ill or disabled for six months (with appropriate documentation).

See Collective Agreement Section 51.21

I am on leave without pay or compassionate leave and have become ill or disabled. Can I go on Sick Leave?

 

I have not yet reached my normal retirement age. Is there a limit to how often I can take Sick Leave?

 

The Collective Agreement does not include restrictions on how often you can take Sick Leave if you have not reached normal retirement age. However, any consecutive Sick Leave for the same medical condition can only last six months. It is expected that if you are not able to return to work in a sustainable way after a six-month Sick Leave for the same condition, you will apply for Long-Term Disability.

I have not yet reached my normal retirement age. Is there a limit to how often I can take Sick Leave?

 

I am past my normal retirement age and have become ill or disabled. Can I go on Sick Leave?

 

Yes. However, if you are on Sick Leave for longer than six months, you will not be eligible for Long Term Disability. Also, if you are past your normal retirement age you are limited to a maximum of six months of sick leave in any two adjacent Academic Years. If you have exhausted your six months of sick leave, you can take leave without salary for up to two years.

See Collective Agreement Section 51.24 – 51.27

I am past my normal retirement age and have become ill or disabled. Can I go on Sick Leave?

 

When can I return to work from Sick Leave?

 

If you have medical authorization, you have the right to return to work. The University may request additional documentation. If so, you should contact a Faculty Association Membership Services Advisor immediately.

See Collective Agreement Section 51.13

When can I return to work from Sick Leave?

 

What must the medical documentation authorize?

 

Your medical documentation must indicate that you are ready to perform the duties of your job, even those components that may not be immediately necessary. You must be able to perform anything you need to do for your job at any time of the year. If you teach and are returning to work at a time of the year when you do not normally have classes, your documentation must authorize you to teach even though you will not be doing so immediately.

What must the medical documentation authorize?

 

Can I return to work from Sick Leave if I will need an accommodation?

 

Yes. If you will need an accommodation, your medical documentation should make this clear.

Can I return to work from Sick Leave if I will need an accommodation?

 

When I return to work, am I expected to make up work that I missed when I was sick?

 

No. If you teach, you do not owe courses that you missed. If you are a Librarian, you do not owe work that you missed. In either case, if you are expected to continue with a project you were working on before you were on Sick Leave, it should be included as a part of your normal work load.

When I return to work, am I expected to make up work that I missed when I was sick?

 

I teach but I have to go on Sick Leave. Who finds my replacement?

 

Your supervisor is responsible for finding a replacement and/or redistributing your responsibilities. They may consult with you if your health permits, but this should not become onerous.

See Collective Agreement Section 51.12

I teach but I have to go on Sick Leave. Who finds my replacement?

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