What to Consider When Referring an Employee to Occupational Health
Before even thinking of terminating someone’s employment on the grounds of ill health, Kays Medical always advise commissioning a statement from your occupational health specialist.
Before undergoing any process of referral, you should begin by asking yourself:
- If the employee’s ill-health is permanent, does it fluctuate, is it progressive or, in fact, resolvable?
- Is the worker currently fit to carry out their role?
- Is there any action that can be taken by the organisation to help support the worker?
- If retirement from ill health is likely.
- If a further OH referral would be necessitous.
- If the staff member is likely to return to work and when.
By answering these questions, you can begin to form a picture of the situation. After you’ve answered those questions and gained a picture of how best to proceed, you must begin to ask yourself about their returning to work. This will help you decide:
- If the employee is able to return
- What work can be conducted when they do return
- If a phased return is considered what days or hours will be covered
- If any adjustments or modifications can be made to the employee’s role or hours
When considering occupational health’s review it may be useful to carry out a risk assessment, which should be done in partnership with the staff member. In addition to these steps you should also keep a record of:
- The reason for their absence
- Their duties; comprising the nature of the work environment and prospective demands on the worker
- Their hours or pattern of work
- And any actions are taken thus far in relation to the absence.
Keep in mind that the staff member has a right of access to this report and you will want to discuss the contents with them, professionalism is a given in these circumstances regarding the referral letter.
A report from Kays OH services will then help you decide if the staff member is able to fulfil the role and when a return to work is to be expected.
If you would like to learn more about the employer/employee rights with occupational health, speak to a member of our team today.