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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50187
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I am employed as a Assistant Care coordinator & Supervisor

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I am employed as a Assistant Care coordinator & Supervisor at a Home based care company. I have been signed off sick with Stress/Stress at home since June 2015. I am looking to return to work as I am feeling much better and have attended a Return to work meeting. I asked if I could do a phased return to work on 2/3 days a week and see how I go. My employer said that the responsibility had become much more now as the company had grew and would I still want to do that specific job role, however the way in which she said and other evidence (such as advertising a permanent replacement) for my job role online just seems like she doesn't want me back. I said I am happy with the job role I would just like a phased return and my hours stated in my contract which are 9-5 and not be working until 9pm or every weekend as I have a disabled child and other responsibilities of which she is aware of. Further to this she asked that I get a GP Fitness to work note to state I am well to return to work. I also received an email about a day after the meeting stating "Unfortunately during our meeting I didn’t take details of any medication your GP has prescribed during your sickness period. Can you please advise if you are on any medication at the moment. Also we need to update your health declaration. Can you please fill the attached form and return it at your earliest convenience. Also I have attached a consent form with this email for your GP & Counsellor. In order for us to assess your fitness and likely to return to work. The report should also help me to understand the effect of your condition on your day-to-day activities and whether there are any reasonable adjustments we may be able to make that would assist you in returning to work."
I am not on any medication or have been since been off. The health and fitness declaration is a "pre-employment" questionnaire of which I filled out before employment and does not apply to me as I am currently employed already. I am not happy to have her contact my GP as my sick notes should be sufficient into my condition and any reasonable adjustments my GP recommends will be on a fit to work note. However on the health and fitness questionnaire there is a clause at the bottom stating...
Applicants Declaration – Read and understand before signing.
1. I confirm that the information given above is complete and correct, and that I understand that any incomplete, untrue or misleading information given to the employer will entitle the employer to reject my application, withdraw any employment offer made, or, if I am employed, dismiss me without notice.
2. By my signature, I give authority to the employer to contact my GP for further details regarding any of the potential health problems I have declared above.
3. I agree that the employer reserves the right to require me to undergo a medical examination to assess my suitability for work.
4. I do not wish to complete the questionnaire, and I do not wish to have a free health assessment.
Delete as appropriate (i.e. strike out either 1, 2 and 3, or only 4)
The questionaiire also states at the top....
We are committed to the Health and Safety of its staff. As part of this commitment, a Pre-employment Health Questionnaire is required to be completed by all applicants wishing to be considered for employment with the Company.
The Company, in common with all responsible employers, complies with its duties under The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. Under the scope of these Regulations, we are required to make assessments of any significant risks that employees may be exposed to whilst at work. A “suitable and sufficient” risk assessment involves considering not only the nature of the job, but also the fitness of the employee to carry out that work.
In addition, The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 imposes a further obligation on the prospective employer, to make, where appropriate, reasonable adjustments to enable a suitably qualified candidate to take up proposed employment. This Pre-Employment Health Questionnaire, (supplemented where necessary by a further medical assessment), is part of the Company’s fulfilment of our legal responsibilities in respect of the above legislation.
My question is.. where do I stand if I refuse to update this questionnaire or give permission to contact my GP.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified solicitor and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have worked there since September 2014.
You cannot be forced to complete this questionnaire or to allow access to your health records. The employer can ask for such permission but the final decision rests with you. However, if you do not provide the requested information the employer could make a decision based on the information they have available to them, which may not necessarily be the correct and most relevant one. What you could do, if you do not want full access granted, is advise the GP to only disclose such information that you consider relevant and appropriate. So you can reject their request by arguing that this is not relevant and that all details they need are contained in a fit note that is provided. If the employer does anything as a result, for example treat you detrimentally or discipline you, then you can certainly try and argue that they are discriminating against you. You then have the option of going down the grievance route if necessary. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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