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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45375
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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do I have to disclose to my employer in a return to work interview

Resolved Question:

do I have to disclose to my employer in a return to work interview the nature of my time off work. it was only 2 days and was for menopausal symptoms that are now being treated by HRT. I am worried that if I confess to my menopause status that it will undermine my considered effectiveness at work and its also deply personal and nobodys buisness but my own. I also have concerns about the so called HR depts discretion
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

How long have you worked there for?

Ben Jones :

Is there a formal policy at work that requires a return to work interview after only 2 days absence?

Customer:

Yes Ive worked there 5 years give or take a couple of months, and its a formal return to work interview. I do them myself since I am a manager, and we do have to delve quite deep. its expected

Ben Jones :

OK, thank you, XXXXX XXXXX this with me - I will look into this for you, get my response ready and get back to you on here. No need to wait around and you will get an email when I have responded, thank you

Customer:

Oh and Hi Ben!

Customer:

thank you, XXXXX XXXXX to return to work tomorrow, Im jsut not keen on haveing my personal buisness discussed with people that I know are less than discreet or sympathetic. I shall await your email. Thanks!

Ben Jones :

Thanks for your patience. An employer can require certain information or evidence from an employee if they have been absent on sick leave. As far as the law stands then the following considerations are important:



  • If you only get paid statutory sick pay for this absence then the employer cannot ask for anything more than a self-certification certificate from you for the first 7 days of absence. They cannot refuse to pay you if you fail to supply more evidence than the self-cert

  • If you get paid company sick pay then it is for the employer to decide how much information they require from you in order to pay you company sick pay. If you do not provide any proof they require to justify your absence then they may refuse to pay you company sick pay and just pay you statutory sick pay

  • They cannot force you to disclose information you do not wish to disclose. If you do then the employer and its employees has a duty to keep it confidential. If they share it with others then that would be breach of trust and confidence and will allow you to raise a grievance with the employer.

Customer:

Ok so aside from the pay issue, which is really very unimportant. I do not have to according to employment law disclose a confidential matter in a return to work interview. If I choose not to discuss it with my manager the only consiquence is that they can refuse to pay me sick pay?

Ben Jones :

the other potential issue that may arise is if they believe that the absence was not genuine and by failing to provide any details of why you were absent they may get suspicious and it could fuel the argument that you did not have a genuine reason to be off. That is when it may become a potential disciplinary matter but it is when you can defend it by providing any required evidence to defend yourself, but I would hope it would not get that far anyway

Customer:

Gosh who knows - its a big blue chip company and they take a dim view on absence in any form.

Customer:

If they do persue me on this I can ask to speak with a proper medical person ie an occupational nurse or soemthing like that?

Customer:

we dont have one but i know they have secured the services of one in the past

Ben Jones :

if it gets that far then you could request it, or you could get your own GP to write something that is conservative with the facts but confirms you had reasons to see them and take the time off

Customer:

Yeh that sounds good, get the GP in the case. Its not about the treatment or condition itself its more about the assumptions employers make. The other thing is Im quite young to be going through this and I have overheard managers and others speak of certain women (older than me) being menopausal and unable to cope anymore. I dont want that said about me.

Ben Jones :

Yes I understand. Gossip in the workplace can be quite upsetting. See how it goes and use the above as needed. A lot is speculation at this point because I simply can't predict how they will deal with this and it is a matter of evaluating your position and options and things develop

Customer:

OK thanks for your help, I will let you know what happens tomorrow and come back to you if I need more advice! :)

Ben Jones :

You are most welcome. Please take a second to leave a positive rating for the advice I have provided as that is an important part of our process. Thank you and feel free to bookmark my profile for future help:



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Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45375
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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