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Nicola-mod, Moderator
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 21
Experience:  Moderator
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I hurt my back in the garden. I went to the Doctor and he gave

Customer Question

I hurt my back in the garden. I went to the Doctor and he gave me a note for work for amended duties ie. no lifting etc Three days later I am not being given light duties and I end up having to go back to my Doctor who then signs me off as unfit for work for two weeks. I have returned to work today. The HR lady is saying that I have to see the Company Doctor, she is saying that she will be passing on previous unrelated occasions when I have been off sick. Can my Employer insist that I see the Company Doctor?? If I refuse to see the Company Doctor can I be fired??
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.Before proceeding please note that as I am a practising solicitor, I am often in and out of meetings, travelling between clients or even at court when I pick your question up. This may even occur at weekends. Therefore, I apologise in advance but there may be a delay in getting back to you and providing my advice. Please be patient and I will respond as soon as I can. You do not have to wait here and you will receive an email when I have responded. For now please let me know if your contract says anything about this and also how long you have worked there for?

JACUSTOMER-h3yd6gg8- :

I have worked for the Company for three and a half years. I cant find my contract.

Ben Jones :

Many thanks for your patience. Depending on the nature of the illness, employers can request that an employee attends an examination with an independent specialist doctor or occupational health expert. That is because information from an independent specialist who has not previously been responsible for the employee may be seen as more reliable than information from an employee's GP. Whilst a GP is professionally qualified to provide an opinion, their report and suggesitons could be swayed by the employee to an extent because they may have known each other for some time, the doctor may feel more sympathetic towards them when it is not necessary, etc. I am certainly not saying this is the case here but from an employer's point of view it is something they may have to take into account.

Saying that, referrals to occupational health should only really occur when there is a long-term absence issue. There is no law that specifically says this but it is the general rule.

I won't go as far as saying that your refusal to see a company doctor would result in instant dismissal. Would say check your contract first to see if you can be forced to see a company doctor but if that is not the case then your refusal may result in a warning but not dismissal - it is unlikely to be seen as a reasonable and fair outcome in the circumstances.

Ben Jones :

I hope this has answered your query and would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating - your question will not close and I can continue providing further advice if necessary. Thank you

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 4 years ago.

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