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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46224
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Can my occupational health cut short my sick leave by

Resolved Question:

Hi can my occupational health cut short my sick leave by declaring me fit for work even though I have been signed off by my GP? I was forced to take 5 days annual leave to cover the final week instead as I wasn't ready to return - but I feel it isn't fair or right for my company to take 5 days of my annual leave even though my GP certificate covered this week?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

How long have you been off sick for? Please can you also tell me how long you have worked for the company? Thanks

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I have been off for 10 weeks - and I have worked for the company for 5 years
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Also, please do not responded to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

Many thanks for your patience. To be perfectly honest the law does not directly deal with such a situation, in terms of the is nothing in black and white that says who is eight and who is wrong. What you have here is two medical professionals disagreeing with each other and providing conflicting opinions. Whilst it could be that your doctor is in the right, it could well be that OH are correct instead. That is not for a lawyer to decide though and ideally there should be final opinion given by someone else qualified to decide who they side it and make that the officially binding decision. The problem with that is there could be further costs incurred in getting that and in the end neither party has to accept it.

An important thing to check is whether your contract or any workplace policy says that the employer can use OH opinion as the final binding decision which takes precedence over any other medical advice. If not, then they should tread carefully when deciding to rely on it so much, especially if it is in conflict with other professional advice already given. In the end, only an employment tribunal can decide what is fair and they will consider all of the above factors when making such a decision.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the ways you can challenge this decision, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question and if you need me to discuss the next steps in more detail? In the meantime please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. The question will not close and I can continue with my advice as discussed. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46224
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hello - thank you for your answer I have read in full my contract and the companies HR section that covers sickness absence. Neither make a reference to this situation and to note I don't think the OH are really disputing my fitness for work, it is my company who have made a decision based on the bare facts provided by my OH without considering all of the documentation that I have provided them. The company also have not provided me with an explanation on as to why they believe I should forfeit 5 days annual leave, even though I have a certificate, plus medical advice not to return until my certificate has expired, aside from insisting that OH can overrule your GP.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

Hi there, whilst the final decision rests with the employer, if there is professional evidence to contradict that then they would be under greater scrutiny and would need to justify their decision even more so than normal. So this would be best challenged through a formal grievance.

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