Where an employee has been absent for a significant period or for repeated short periods or there is a concern that a medical issue is impairing the employee’s ability to work, you as an employer may need support to manage the situation in a fair and consistent manner.
As an employer, you may choose to refer an employee for an assessment by one of our occupational health doctors. Where ever possible, we would seek to construct a path for a return to work or to full potential but if necessary, we can support decisions including
- Role incapability
- Early ill health retirement
- Permanent health insurance eligibility
Following referral, our triage team will decide the most appropriate clinical path to take and our process will produce a report to management containing an independent diagnosis, prognosis and appropriate recommendations pertaining to the employee’s fitness for their role.
- Ensure that the employee is made aware of reasons for referral to OHS
- Provide our Health Professional with relevant documentation
It is best practice to make referrals to occupational health specialists with the full knowledge of the employee concerned, encouraging open exchanges of information.
It is important that the occupational health adviser is made aware of all relevant facts about a case to ensure that objective advice is given, based on a full understanding of the issues of concern to the referring manager. We use a standard form which is designed to help provide sufficient information and specify the type of advice they are seeking when making a referral.
On receipt of a referral form, the OHS will determine the most appropriate referral route. This may include one or more of the following:
- Referral to an occupational health medical adviser (OP)
- Referral to an occupational health nurse adviser (OHA)
- Application to the employee’s treating physician or specialist for a medical report.
If an employee cannot attend the OHS because of poor health, we may ask the employer to obtain consent for us to obtain a medical report from the employee’s GP or Hospital Doctor. Any such request should be made in line with the requirements of the Access to Medical Reports Act 1988, using theSummary of Principal Rights under the Act and Consent Form The employee should be made aware of the reason for the request for consent in the same way as they would be made aware of the reasons for referral to Occupational Health. The signed consent form should be sent to us along with the completed referral form.
Advice given to the manager will not normally contain confidential medical detail, but is concerned with matters of employment and fitness and may include:
- The identification of a health problem that may impact on an individual’s work.
- The potential effects of the problem on current and future performance or attendance.
- Adjustments to the work place or tasks that would assist in maintaining health and reducing the adverse effects of the health problem on attendance and performance.
- Whether the advised adjustments are temporary or permanent.
- Timescales for expected improvement.
- Opinion on the implications of the Equality Act 2010.
- The need for further investigation or medical report from treating doctor
- The potential for an individual to maintain a good attendance record, and if appropriate, suitability for Ill Health Retirement