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  • FIRST POST
    • wizzards
    • By wizzards 9th Jan 19, 10:06 PM
    • 85Posts
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    wizzards
    Occupational Health assessment on return to work
    • #1
    • 9th Jan 19, 10:06 PM
    Occupational Health assessment on return to work 9th Jan 19 at 10:06 PM
    I have been very ill for six months with a Pituitary Adenoma. This has now been shrunk to almost nothing with drug treatment which is excellent. My consultant has given me a letter stating I can return to work. Since then I had a one off seizure due to too much of one of the medication. As a precaution I now have a low dose of a new medication to prevent any more seizures. I do not drive as part of my job and my consultant has given the green light to return to work. I can get to work by train and am allowed to do 3 days at home working.

    I had very bad experience with the companies occupational Health provider. In particular they way they obtained consent to my medical records. In my contract of employment there is no clause saying Occupational Health assessments are Mandatory.
    My boss arranged a new appointment and I went but I was not happy with the conditions I had to sign up to regarding access to my medical data. The forms seemed to allow the health provider to make reports which I could not stop reaching my employer if I objected to the content.
    I gave the occupational health provider a letter stating my concerns and also a copy of my consultants fit to work letter. I also suggested if they need more info they can write directly to the consultant.

    Given I have a letter from my consultant which I am going to get updated with details post seizure am I obliged to undergo an assessment. I am not looking to have special treatment or a phased restart to work as I have had a month holiday. Can they force me to undergo this assessment. I am under the care of hospital doctors and have a dedicated nurse I can call if I have any problems. The condition is not affecting my work capability as far as the consultant is concerned.

    Are there any risks if I don't do the assessment. Obviously if I have issues later on my employer may be less sympathetic.

    Initially my boss said I would have to stay on reduced pay and work only a few days a week until I completed an assessment as he thought my total sick time has exceeded 6 months. I think he was saying this to pressure me into agreeing to go. He then talked with HR and they changed their minds about that and said no loss of pay.
Page 2
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 11th Jan 19, 10:30 AM
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    Undervalued
    Is it illegal for me to tape the interview with the OHS people without telling them. I was just thinking rather than write everything down long hand I could just tape it and then when the reports come through I can cross check what we said and the report. I can just pop a mini tape recorder in my pocket. The mic can sit on my jacket button hole. If they ask I just say its for my mobile. I have an external mobile phone mic / ear piece that will plug into the mini tape recorder I use for notes to myself at work.
    Originally posted by wizzards
    No, it is not illegal (i.e not a criminal offence) providing you are present. It would be illegal if you left the recorder running while you were out of the room (i.e bugging!).

    However there can be all kinds of issues using covert recordings as evidence. Under some circumstances the recording (or more likely a certified transcript) will be accepted but it is complex.

    It will also go down like a lead balloon if they find out!

    Providing you are absolutely sure you are not going to get caught then record it if you wish. The recording may be of some use depending on what develops.

    I will say this one more time.....

    You really need to get some one to one legal advice. You mention a union has been involved in general redundancy negotiations? Are you a member and if so why are they not advising you?
    Last edited by Undervalued; 11-01-2019 at 10:32 AM.
    • nicechap
    • By nicechap 11th Jan 19, 11:13 AM
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    nicechap
    Well I am pretty sure that the current boss is a hatchet man to reduce cost. I will get about 75-80K based on the current union negotiated deal. Part of that tax free. Just about allows me to retire at approx 55 and get a nice relaxing job in wildlife/conservation or something less stressful. Swapping jobs when your expecting a next round of cuts with a payout would be silly I think. I don't love my current job but on the other hand its flexible working from home at 37.5 hours with OT after that. Holiday trading allowing you to transfer or buy an extra week. Because i started in the 90's I don't have the performance related pay and retained a long service bonus so I think I better play along. Moan a bit but not too much. Thus ensuring I get selected at the next round. I can't say that will happen as I am / or was very good at my job.
    Originally posted by wizzards

    Why aren't you using the union to support you through this process instead of grasping at strawman arguements with strangers on the internet?
    Originally Posted by shortcrust
    "Contact the Ministry of Fairness....If sufficient evidence of unfairness is discovered you’ll get an apology, a permanent contract with backdated benefits, a ‘Let’s Make it Fair!’ tshirt and mug, and those guilty of unfairness will be sent on a Fairness Awareness course."
    • JCS1
    • By JCS1 11th Jan 19, 12:37 PM
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    JCS1
    Why wold they pay you £75-80k redundancy, when they could go down the capability route and pay you notice pay + any unused holidays?
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 11th Jan 19, 12:57 PM
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    Undervalued
    Why wold they pay you £75-80k redundancy, when they could go down the capability route and pay you notice pay + any unused holidays?
    Originally posted by JCS1
    Quite, as I pointed out on the previous page.

    However there is a possibility that the OP might have been one of those eligible for the redundancy deal, but the firm are trying to avoid this in the hope that they can dismiss on capability grounds. That would obviously save them a lot of money.

    If the OP could evidence this then he might have a case. As I keep saying he needs proper professional advice. I don't think it is very likely but given the amount of money involved he shouldn't be relying on strangers on a forum.

    Where is his union in all this?
    Last edited by Undervalued; 11-01-2019 at 4:23 PM.
    • pmduk
    • By pmduk 11th Jan 19, 2:39 PM
    • 10,124 Posts
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    pmduk
    Why wold they pay you £75-80k redundancy, when they could go down the capability route and pay you notice pay + any unused holidays?
    Originally posted by JCS1
    Especially when the OP has already described him:
    Well I am pretty sure that the current boss is a hatchet man to reduce cost.
    Originally posted by wizzards
    Last edited by pmduk; 11-01-2019 at 2:41 PM.
    • wizzards
    • By wizzards 11th Jan 19, 5:16 PM
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    wizzards
    Redundancy notification finished a week or so before I decided to go back. While I was getting better the last thing I wanted was redundancy as it might affect my medical cover among other things.

    On a plus note HR want to use my case as an improvement discussion with the health provider. But obviously they want my consent.
    I would say its OK if they anonymise any private data such as my name etc in discussions. Or I say a flat no.
    This means that HR accept there has been some issues and want to address them. That is the first positive I had today. Before my boss was threatening me I had to stay off sick and suggested that I would be on 3/4 pay insurance scheme now as I had exceeded 6 Months. I said I didn't think so. After saying I would rather take holiday than lose pay he said he spoke with HR and forget what he said.

    HR claim no data is kept on there systems and they access the data via the Health companies portal. So kind of its a case that its not there problem.
    In terms of a recording device I saw some nice pens on here https://www.spygadgets4u.co.uk/spy-pen-cameras.html

    In terms of involving the union I tried before I was diagnosed. And they said say as little as required during the OCC health.

    As to: - Why aren't you using the union to support you through this process instead of grasping at strawman arguements with strangers on the internet?
    Answer:- I am with UNITE UNION. I rang there legal helpline regarding the consent issue and they didn't think they could do anything. The local rep has been helping me a bit with the HR issues but beyond that I haven't got any support.
    I'll talk to him again to see if he has any ideas to help me. If someone knows who in UNITE head office I can contact for help if thats better let me know or point me at the web link.

    Do people think I should pop into a solicitors and get some advice. What would that cost and how should I approach it. Just tell them whats happened and see what they say and give them the docs etc to look at. I should get free legal advice through the union but so far I haven't managed to get anywhere with that. I have got copies of all the reports and consent forms.
    • nicechap
    • By nicechap 11th Jan 19, 7:05 PM
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    nicechap
    Before you go back to your union or seek external legal advice, maybe write down what it is you actually want rather than naysaing any suggestion made by your employer.

    What did you hope to achieve by asking strangers on the internet questions you'd already asked of your union legal helpline? Their answer seems very similar to what was given on page 1. I don't really want to know your answer, as I'm out. I don't think the root cause of your problem is your employer.
    Originally Posted by shortcrust
    "Contact the Ministry of Fairness....If sufficient evidence of unfairness is discovered you’ll get an apology, a permanent contract with backdated benefits, a ‘Let’s Make it Fair!’ tshirt and mug, and those guilty of unfairness will be sent on a Fairness Awareness course."
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 11th Jan 19, 7:33 PM
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    • 3,519 Thanks
    Undervalued
    Do people think I should pop into a solicitors and get some advice. What would that cost and how should I approach it. Just tell them whats happened and see what they say and give them the docs etc to look at. I should get free legal advice through the union but so far I haven't managed to get anywhere with that. I have got copies of all the reports and consent forms.
    Originally posted by wizzards
    If the union find out you are taking legal advice elsewhere they may well no longer represent you.

    So you either need to stick with the union or keep any other advice you get to yourself. You certainly don't say to the union "my solicitor says"!

    Maybe check briefly elsewhere, you might even get 30 mins free, then decide whether to stick with the union or not.
    • wizzards
    • By wizzards 11th Jan 19, 9:37 PM
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    • 11 Thanks
    wizzards
    Before you go back to your union or seek external legal advice, maybe write down what it is you actually want rather than naysaing any suggestion made by your employer.

    What did you hope to achieve by asking strangers on the internet questions you'd already asked of your union legal helpline? Their answer seems very similar to what was given on page 1. I don't really want to know your answer, as I'm out. I don't think the root cause of your problem is your employer.
    What I am looking for is how to get an apology for the way I have been treated by my employer and the health company from them and the their faulty reports about me to be deleted and them to let me get back to normal life. And also how to deal with going through the ordeal of yet another OH review. if you'd suffered a seizure you'd not want to spend time with some GP going over all the history again.

    From the internet I was hoping I would get some sensible advice given I've tried the union. I don't want to sue anyone.

    As to my boss he didn't tell anyone I was ill. Not even the departmental secretary knew. I think he thought thats another one I got rid of...
    • elsien
    • By elsien 11th Jan 19, 9:42 PM
    • 18,578 Posts
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    elsien

    As to my boss he didn't tell anyone I was ill. Not even the departmental secretary knew. I think he thought thats another one I got rid of...
    Originally posted by wizzards
    Or maybe he was just respecting your confidentiality.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • wizzards
    • By wizzards 11th Jan 19, 9:57 PM
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    wizzards
    I don't think so. He is not allowed to say whats wrong with me yes.

    Also while I was ill I posted something on the company website about the office move plans and the fact that the new office layout didn't show computer screens on many of the desks. I politely asked if this would comply with DSE requirements. Then I get a text message from him saying I've misused the IT services and disobeyed his instruction not to work and I must immediately surrender my laptop and phone till I am back from sick leave.

    I said in reply I don't believe I have done anything wrong. It isn't work and if he wants my IT equipment he will have to collect it from me as I am not allowed to drive. Also I said I would need to see the union rep and HR to discuss it and I would need a receipt if he really wanted the laptop or alternatively we could let sleeping dogs lie. He let the dogs lie
    • wizzards
    • By wizzards 11th Jan 19, 11:19 PM
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    wizzards
    It is perfectly reasonable for them to want access to your medical records to compile an OH report. In fact it could be argued they were being negligent if they did it without!

    You don't have a right to stop a report being sent once you have agreed to having one produced.

    You do have a right to ask for changes and if you are unable to agree have a statement of your views added to the report.
    Originally posted by Undervalued
    Occupational Health aren't qualified to comment on Pituitary Adenoma. Experts are they in what ?? Occ Health only and GP practice. This is kind of out of the realms of type of things the GP is qualified to make detailed comments on hence thats why all my treatment or advice is given by the clinic and my GP doesn't do anything but provide repeat prescriptions when instructed by the consultant. When I asked the Occ Health Woman what are the common types of Pituitary Adenoma she got very evasive and rather flustered. She seemed to know just about where the Pituitary Gland was just about but thats about it.

    Occ Health can only really take the report from the consultant. I have done them a favour by bringing that with me to the review. But of course if they get it themselves they can charge lots of money to my employer. Really they should just write a report and say xxxx consultant says yyy and attached is a copy.
    • wizzards
    • By wizzards 12th Jan 19, 4:03 AM
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    wizzards
    I would also resist the temptation to be overly pedantic about the finer points of the GDPR and doctor's names missing from forms.
    Originally posted by Undervalued
    Well they didn't give me all of the form explaining my rights i.e Page 2 and refused to give me a copy and snatched it away, My relative that was with me witnessed the incident. Also the request to sign the form was post assessment ?? I remember learning on the desk at the reception trying to fill it out. They certainly didn't explain anything about what it was for. In hindsight I should have refused to sign anything but the doctor was pressuring me to do it as he had another appointment. I have complained to my employer. Its not just the doctors names its the address of my firm. The name of the person at the firm. The name of my doctor. The name of the practice is there but I didn't at that time have a named GP. My address and the GP practice address is there. Any named person or phone number or any more details are blank.
    The options about if I would see a copy of the report before my employer have been altered in a different pen. Mistakenly I ticked all 3 options. I must have been pretty ill as I spelt the name of my firm wrong as well.
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 12th Jan 19, 9:02 AM
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    Undervalued
    What I am looking for is how to get an apology for the way I have been treated by my employer and the health company from them and the their faulty reports about me to be deleted and them to let me get back to normal life. And also how to deal with going through the ordeal of yet another OH review. if you'd suffered a seizure you'd not want to spend time with some GP going over all the history again.

    From the internet I was hoping I would get some sensible advice given I've tried the union. I don't want to sue anyone.

    As to my boss he didn't tell anyone I was ill. Not even the departmental secretary knew. I think he thought thats another one I got rid of...
    Originally posted by wizzards
    With respect you have been given some very sensible advice but you really don't seem to be taking it on board.

    You still seem to be focusing of what are, at best, fine procedural points and ignoring the bigger picture.

    You have been off sick a long while and it is perfectly reasonable for the employer to want occupational health reports etc before allowing you to return. Assuming you are "disabled" (for employment law purposes) they also need to assess what reasonable adjustments are required.

    Within reason you need to comply with these requests. If there is a real material problem with one of these reports that will significantly affect your chances of returning to your job (with reasonable adjustments) then, and only then, do you take issues with it. You will need to back that up with medical evidence that is contrary to what the employer has been told by OH.

    If you don't comply or if you are assessed as medically unfit to do your job you will be dismissed on capability grounds and all you will be entitled to is 12 weeks notice plus accrued holiday.

    If you get back to work then you may have a chance of getting a redundancy package if the firm are still needing to shed staff.

    I wish you well but I'm sorry I am not going to repeat myself further. I'm out!
    • wizzards
    • By wizzards 12th Jan 19, 9:41 AM
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    wizzards
    Oh well. I just received the GPDR reply from my employer with all the info they have access to on the web portal of the health provider. It contains 3 letters.
    1. The original hospital report and test results from a london NHS hospital including all my blood test results
    2. A Private and confidential letter to me from my consultant with detailed medical data.
    3. Another private and confidential letter from my consultant with detailed medical data.

    Thanks for the advice. I wish you the best of health as well

    I am going to comply but I am going as suggested to contact my union
    • Browntoa
    • By Browntoa 20th Jan 19, 5:14 PM
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    Browntoa
    You seemed to have opened a new thread on exactly the same subject ?
    I'm the Board Guide of the Referrers ,Telephones, Pensions , Shop Don't drop ,over 50's , Boost your income and Discount Code boards which means I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum runnning smoothly .However, please remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
    • k3lvc
    • By k3lvc 20th Jan 19, 5:22 PM
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    k3lvc
    You seemed to have opened a new thread on exactly the same subject ?
    Originally posted by Browntoa
    Which gives an indication to me of how difficult the employer might be finding this to manage
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