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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 49851
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Good evening, My girlfriend has been off ill from work last

Customer Question

Good evening,
My girlfriend has been off ill from work for the last 7 months with an injured back. Her Doctor is happy with her pre overly and sees no problem in going back to work. Also she has been assessed by an occupational health doctor as well and she sees no problem in returning to work. She works with students at a Uni and her boss and HR are telling her to stay signed off till the middle of June even though herself and the doctors agree that she can return. She is currently on half pay. The reason her boss gave was that the students will be on holiday then so it would be better to acclimatise being back at work. My girlfriend sees her point but disagrees with her. I assume her work can't make her sign off when she is fit for work? We are just wandering where she stands on this.
Thank you in advance
Alan Mcken
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
How long has she worked there?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She has been there just over 4 years. Just to ass it is a non physical job, with the most physical part being doing a patrol through the student accommodation once a shift.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is ***** ***** my colleague has asked me to assist with your query as it is more my area of law. Do you think any of this has anything to do with the employer not willing to have her back on full pay yet?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben. To be honest I'm not sure, my girlfriend thinks her work thinks she is not ready though there is no reason for them to think that in our eyes and the doctors eyes.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. As a general rule the employer has a duty under health and safety laws to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of their employees at work and avoid any risks they may be exposed to. So if an employee is not fit to work the employer could prevent them from working to protect them from potential risks or harm. However, there are times when an employee is seemingly fit to return to work, yet the employer does not quite agree. That is when additional evidence would be required such as a fit note or a doctor’s report. This is also the role of OH, who are there to advise on such matters. The opinions of these parties are just that – opinions, and are not legally binding on the employer, who retains the final decision. However, as the employer is not going to be medically qualified they will need to take into account these opinions when making their decision. If there is overwhelming evidence that the employee is fit to return (such as opinion from OH and their own doctor) a decision by the employer to keep them off work will become more difficult to justify. It then really becomes a matter of what is considered reasonable and if there are justifiable reasons for keeping them off work, considering their illness and how it would affect them going back to work. If the potential risks are minor then this is likely to be unreasonable on their part, however, if there are certain more serious risks, which may have been overlooked by the medical practitioners, they could be justifiable. As you can see there is nothing in black and white that she can use to guarantee she is allowed to return and this is going to come down to negotiations with the employer and trying to reach an amicable resolution. There are options for her to do that re formally if needed. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the next steps she can follow to try and resolve this more formally, 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 I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year 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 1 year ago.
Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.