Medical Boarding Out
From time to time, an employer may have an employee who suffers a medical condition that would warrant a long term medical leave or hospitalisation leave. While employers are generally expected to be accommodating, there are instances where the employer may have little or no choice but to terminate the employee’s employment on medical grounds. This is also known as “medical board out”.
There is a non-exhaustive set of issues to be taken into consideration in deciding whether to medically board out an employee which, amongst others, would include the following:
- Nature of employee’s medical condition;
- The employee’s job functions;
- Prospect and duration of recovery;
- Duration of the employee’s continuing absence;
- The necessity of hiring temporary staff or outsourcing the employee’s job functions; and
- Likelihood of relapse or deterioration in condition.
We also frequently receive queries from our clients, both employers and employees, pertaining to the issue of retirement. The Minimum Retirement Age 2012 states that the age of 60 years shall be the minimum retirement age of an employee. Notwithstanding the stipulated minimum retirement age, the employer and employee may agree to set a higher retirement age and this is usually reflected in the employment contract. Subsequent to an employee’s retirement, the employer may also offer a fixed term post-retirement contract to retain the services of the employee.
The issues commonly experienced our clients are:
- Validity of a retirement clause in an employment contract;
- Minimum retirement age and early retirement;
- Post-retirement fixed term contract;
- Termination or non-renewal of employment contract on the basis of retirement;
- Retirement clauses in company policies; and
- Dismissal without just cause and excuse.
Our services and support include, but is not limited to the following areas:
- Reviewing and drafting employment contracts or employee handbooks to encapsulate the terms and conditions of medical board out and/or retirement.
- Reviewing and drafting company policies.
- Advising on the legal rights and obligations of both the company and the employee in the event of medical board out and/or retirement.
- Representing the employer or the employee in the Industrial Court.