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Jenny, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6464
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor specialising in Employment Law and general legal matters. Please start your question For Jenny Only
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I am a corporate officer of a global software company and my

Customer Question

I am a corporate officer of a global software company and my employer is demanding that I have a health assessment carried out and provide a letter confirming I have no medical problems or conditions and can work without limitations. I am not off sick, do not require any limitations and am performing my job well and fully (with appraisal results to prove this). None of my peers have been asked to have a health assessment. can you tell me what my rights are? Can I refuse? Can they dismiss me if I refuse? (my job is an office/behind the desk job with no physical demands. I am qualified to drive and do drive to and from the airport etc. but dont need to take customers in my car and my license is clean).
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jenny replied 4 years ago.
Hello and welcome to Just Answer, how long have you worked there for?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have worked for my employer for thirteen years and have an excellent sick record and there is nothing in my contract requiring me to undergo any medical assessment. I am 59 years old.

Expert:  Jenny replied 4 years ago.
thank you, do you have reason to believe that the reason for the request is due to your age?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It might be, i have asked in lots of different ways for a reason as to why they want the health assessment but all they say is that they want to tell the board I am completely well. They have never asked me for such a thing before in the thirteen years I have worked for them. However - about 3 months ago I had a stent put into an artery to correct a calcified blood vessel. It was a minor blood vessel and I was told I could return to work the next day but I did take 3 days off sick afterwards to rest and frankly get over the shock - I have always been a very healthy person and I excercise several times a week and play sports regularly. Since then I have worked normally and have not sufferered any health problems and have had no further sick time. I am feeling vulnerable and singled out and I am worried that if I have a health assessment and something is found to be wrong then I will be victimised as a result, and if I refuse to have the assessment I am worried they might sack me. They seem to think they have the right to insist I undergo this assessment - but I feel this is an invasion of my privacy and I want to know if they can force me to do this.

Expert:  Jenny replied 4 years ago.
Ok thanks for the information, can you tell me if the companies contract or sickness absence policy gives them the right to ask the information?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

no there is nothing in our policy or handbook about it - all it says is that if an employee is off sick for a prolonged period of time or very frequently then the company may ask them to see an occupational health professional - but I have not been off sick and dont have any thing wrong with me

Expert:  Jenny replied 4 years ago.
Hello, it is not uncommon practice for an employer to request a medical report if the employer has concerns about an employees health. Normally employers do this in order to ensure that they are not exposing you to risk or to ensure that there are no measures they can take to assist you. Many employers make it a term of employment that they can ask for medical reports and make it a disciplinary offence if an employee unreasonably refuses to give consent.

An employer is not entitled to access a report to use the information in it to try to dismiss, any attempt to do so would render a dismissal unfair. There are exceptions to this where a person is on long term sick leave and nothing can be done to get them back to the workplace.

In your situation where you feel it is an invasion of privacy and you are not under a contractual duty to give the information then you have the right to refuse. You can make your feelings clear about the reasons for refusal.

If you do have further health problems in the future then it will be reasonable for the employer to ask for a report as the employer will want to protect you and may be under a legal obligation to make 'reasonable adjustments' to assist you in the workplace depending on the content of any report.

If you have any further questions please do ask. If I have answered your question I would be grateful if you would igve my answer a postiive rating. Thank you and all the best.