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Managing Employee Health Concerns

Dr Mawson’s latest article in Lancashire Business View;

Managing an employee safely, fairly and legally remains a challenge particularly in a complex employment law environment. Occupational Health support can often help those challenges.

Ensuring that due account is taken of all factors is key, especially so when the employee has a health condition. Involvement of occupational health and an up-to-date assessment of an employee’s health and clear advice regarding how to support the employee’s health condition is crucial.

Under the provisions of the Equality Act having a disability relates to a condition that has an adverse impact on day-to-day activities as distinct from workplace activities. This is quite a wide definition and can include those who may not appear disabled. Understanding how the condition affects the employee is important to ensure there is not discrimination and that appropriate adjustments are made.

Quite apart from the matter of being disabled an occupational health assessment provides the opportunity to consider the employee’s capability in their role and for those with ongoing health problems what the future means for their role and their employment.

Successful redeployment relies on a good match between the employee and the role, particularly if they have limitations due to their health. Understanding those limitations and ensuring a good person to role fit is an important place for occupational health.

For those whose health condition precludes a return to work making sure that a capability-related dismissal or ill-health retirement is undertaken with the most accurate and up-to-date health information ensures fairness and helps protect the employer from challenges at tribunal.

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