The Work Capacity Assessment Procedure is still in dispute. The ETU strongly advises that in the interim, members should hold off attending any medical assessment.
In the Fair Work hearing on 16th May 2017, Essential Energy and their Lawyers adamantly argued in front of DP Sams that they have not threatened or disciplined any employee for refusing to attend a Work Capacity Assessment appointment.
On the 20th June 2017 the ETU wrote to Essential Energy requesting specific wording changes within the Procedure. Essential responded with another revised Procedure on 30th June 2017 which again failed to address the key issues the ETU has identified. Namely-
1) Restrict the scope of employees to Live Line & Heavy Vehicle employees which under statutory requirements, Work Capacity Assessments must be carried.
2) Where an employee is deemed “Unfit for substantive duty –permanently”, the ETU requested the employee be placed in a suitable alternate role. Essential failed to address this and their revised Procedure shows their true intent. It states that if an employees is deemed “Unfit for substantive duty –permanently”, they will be placed on Personal leave. It also now states “Essential Energy may terminate the employee’s employment in accordance with the industrial instrument in place at the time”.
3) The Procedure document is still deficient in ensuring that employee’s personal medical history details and specific outcomes of the Assessment are kept confidential and not disclosed to Essential.
4) The ETU sought improved wording around workers compensation, assessments to occur in paid time & document control but Essential failed to address these concerns.
Have you given Essential consent to obtain private medical history?
Employees who have already completed and signed the Essential Energy Work Capacity Assessment Musculoskeletal and Functional Assessment forms have given Essential Energy consent to obtain your private medical information through the your treating Doctor’s and other Health Practitioners.
Essential have now changed the forms, but members who have already signed a form should contact your Organiser ASAP and the ETU will provide you with instructions on how to revoke that consent to ensure Essential cannot access your private medical history.
The ETU has advised Essential that the matter remains in dispute and the Union intends to relist the matter before DP Sams.
Members are reminded you are legally entitled to have ETU Representation in any employment matter including investigations, performance matters, disciplinary matters, safety matters etc. The ETU will keep members updated on this matters through our ETU workplace delegate’s network, Facebook and via the ETU website.