Referral to Occupational Health (OH)
You may be referred to Occupational Health (OH) for advice where your health is affecting your fitness to carry out your role, or your role is adversely affecting your health. A referral may be appropriate when:-
- Your sickness absence is long–term (four weeks or more)
- Your sickness absence is short-term, intermittent and/or frequent (five days sickness absence in the last 12 month rolling period)
- You require help and support with health concerns at work
- Health surveillance for Health & Safety regulatory purposes as required for specific roles, e.g., working with hazardous materials etc.
- You have had an accident at work
Further information is provided in the University Managing Sickness Absence Procedure.
Who does this apply to?
Any member of staff employed by the University can be referred to OH because the University has a duty of care to ensure that you are fit for work and that work conditions do not have an adverse effect on your health.
You may not refer yourself to OH. Staff who are experiencing health-related conditions or concerns that may be impacting on their fitness for work, should bring this to the attention of their line manager who will be able to complete an OH referral to obtain further advice and guidance. In exceptional circumstances, you may be referred by Human Resources (HR).
What do I need to consider?
You will be referred for one of the reasons shown above and your manager will explain this to you. Your manager will complete a standard Occupational Health Referral Form giving the reason for the referral and the specific questions related to your work that require OH advice. You are not required to provide approval for the referral or reasons for the referral and your responsibilities are detailed in the Staff Guide to Occupational Health Referral and Advice.
The OH practitioner will prepare a report and you have the right to see the report before it is sent to your manager and Human Resources. Informed consent for the report is explained in the referral form.
The OH report will provide advice in relation to your fitness to work and may include suggested adjustments. Your manager will discuss the report with you. The report will not include confidential clinical information.
What do I need to do?
1. Ensure that you record all your sickness absence on the Employee Self-Service (ESS) system as soon as possible on your return to work after the period of sickness absence. You are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) and Occupational Sick Pay (OSP) depending on your length of service. The information recorded on ESS is used to meet the statutory requirement to pay the correct sick pay and maintain accurate records.
2. Familiarise yourself with following documents:
3. Confirm and attend your appointment with OH. If you do not attend or engage with OH, decisions may be taken on the information available and without the benefit of OH advice.
4. You should attend an appointment with OH even if you are signed off sick and are absent from work. There may be follow up appointments which you are expected to attend.
5. Discuss the report with your manager including the suggested adjustments to confirm what actions will be taken.
Where can I find further advice?