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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 45359
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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My doctor has advised that I am fit to return to work after

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My doctor has advised that I am fit to return to work after 2 weeks off. The occupational health team have however advised my employer that I am not fit to return to work, and will need further time off (amount unspecified).

Is it possible for me to use my GP's view to override the Occ Health team and return to work?

Alternatively, would it be possible for me to opt out of continuing to speak to occupational health, so that they are unable to make an assessment, and then return to work?

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
Before proceeding please note that as I am a practising solicitor, I am often in and out of meetings, travelling between clients or even at court when I pick your question up. This may even occur at weekends. Therefore, I apologise in advance but there may be a delay in getting back to you and providing my advice. Please be patient and I will respond as soon as I can. You do not have to wait here and you will receive an email when I have responded. For now please let me know how long you have worked there.

Customer:

I have worked there for 2 years (and not experienced any other medical issues during this time). The time off was due to exhuastion/stress (although only the OH team know that this is the case, since no medical details have been disclosed to the employer).

Ben Jones :

There is no easy way to deal with this because you are effectively fighting the professional opinion of two doctors. The employer will not be able to decide for themselves who is correct in the circumstances ad they would have to take each party's opinion when making a decision on whether to allow you to return.


 


If the opinion you are getting from both parties is conflicting then you may wish to consider asking them to seek the opinion of a neutral third party in order to get some resolution to this subject.


 


Legally, if you have been declared fit to work your employer cannot prevent you from returning from work and if they do so then you can expect to receive full pay for this period until this is resolved.

Customer:

Thank you for your response. Can I clarify your sentence '...your employer cannot prevent you from returning from work and if they do so then...' - does this mean they can or cannot prevent me from returning?

Ben Jones :

they cannot prevent you as you have the legal right to work if you are fit to do so and if you have been declared fit by a professional but they do not allow you to return then whilst you may actually be in work doing your job, you should still expect to be paid for that time

Ben Jones :

I just need to quickly go into a meeting, if you have any further queries I will answer them as soon as I return, many thanks

Ben Jones :

Hello again, do you need me to clarify anything else for you or has your original query been answered?

Customer:

Hi, no I think I understand thank you. It seems as though if I insist on returning to work, and they prevented me, this would effectively be a suspension and we would enter dispute mode.

Ben Jones :

unfortunately it may end up that way - if your and your employer's views differ then entering some form of dispute may be inevitable.

Ben Jones :

I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating - your question will not close and I can continue providing further advice if necessary. Thank you

Ben Jones and other UK Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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