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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70281
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I am a teacher and my head has refused a doctor's note of

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Hi, I am a teacher and my head has refused a doctor's note of medical suspension/working from home. She has stated that will then withdraw my pay. I need help with this please
JA: Was the suspension discussed with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: I had let her know before the doctor's note was written that this is what the doctor was advising. I then sent it to her afterward
JA: Does the workplace operate with employees, freelancers, consultants, contractors or with unionised employees?
Customer: yes
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
okay

I am sorry to hear this. What reason has the headteacher provided for refusing the doctor's note? and how long have you worked there for please?

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
no I'm happy with messaging
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
I will forward you the email which may make it easier to understand

Sure no problem at all. Did you receive the query I sent through just now?

What reason has the headteacher provided for refusing the doctor's note? and how long have you worked there for please?

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
I emailed her this:Hi Jackie,In addition to the advise of my midwife I have spoken to both my GPs who both agreed on the same things. One stated that my current sick letter still stands and that I am to remain working from/staying at home. I then spoke to my other GP who further stated that due to the recent numbers of rising cases again he concurs with my midwife and highly recommends that I am to continue to stay at home on medical suspension if I am unable to work from home with no alternative work allocated.
Both stated that this medical suspension should extend from now until the 28th week of pregnancy when the government guidelines recommend pregnant women in the vulnerable category stay at/work from home.I have attached the letter from my GP.Kind regards,Emily
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
she responded with:
Hi Emily,Thank you for your email.You will recall me saying I had not heard of the term 'medical suspension' when we spoke on Tuesday 8th September and would have to take advice on what this means for your circumstance.When you say below:
highly recommends that I am to continue to stay at home on medical suspension if I am unable to work from home with no alternative work allocated.
I had not agreed to you being on medical suspension so it is incorrect to say that this is to be continued. In my view this never started.I thought we had agreed that you were going to your Midwife and GP to discuss the list of health issues that you shared with me on Thursday 3rd September. The doctor's letter does not make reference to any of these so as your employer I am not able to judge whether this is a pregnancy related request to work from home or a health request to work from home.As discussed, I am following the DFE Guidance that suggests that pregnant staff can attend school once a Risk Assessment is in place. To fulfil our duty of care to you, I recommended that we complete a maternity and COVID Risk Assessment with you, however, you said you did not need one.As we are moving into the weekend, I am able to speak with you on Monday about returning to work on site, after this I may have to withdraw your pay due to the fact that your work cannot be carried out remotely and I am able to put in place a Risk Assessment that will consider your needs.I am sorry that at this point I cannot support your request to work from home.Kind regardsJackie
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
I have worked there since 2017

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information. Please do not worry and leave it with me for now; I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Many thanks for your patience. First of all, I note that the employer has said they have nit heard of the term ‘medical suspension’. That may be the case but it does not mean it does not actually exist and it is very much a legal term used in these circumstances.

The legal position for employers is as follows: If there is a pregnant employee then the employer has to consider whether there are any identifiable risks in the workplace, which could adversely affect her or her baby. If that is the case, they need to conduct a risk assessment to identify such risks and ways of dealing with them. If they could be mitigated to safe levels or altogether removed, then the employer should take the necessary steps to do so. This includes moving you to a different suitable role or working from home. If that is not possible, the employer should medically suspend you on full pay, which is basically suspending you on medical/health grounds (as opposed to on disciplinary ones).

If the employer cannot implement the necessary changes to sufficiently mitigate the risks and also refused to medically suspend you, then you can accuse them of pregnancy discrimination. You can then raise a formal grievance about it first, before considering whether to make a claim for it in the Employment Tribunal.

Hopefully this clarifies your position

Ben Jones and 4 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Hi, thank you for this. You have been great

Thank you for taking the time to leave your feedback - it was my pleasure helping you with your query. All the best

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Hi Ben,The head has emailed all staff of the school to state there has been a confirmed positive Covid case from a child.Does this help my reasoning of working from/staying at home?
How would I go about adding it to my risk assessment?Kind regards,Emily

Hi yes it doe, but again, it depends on what safety measures are in place to reduce/avoid the risk of this potentially being passed on to members of staff like yourself. You should now write to the employer to add this to your risk assessment

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Hi Ben, thank you. I have completed a risk assessment and will be forwarded it to add anything we may have missed out. If I have any issues with it if it's okay I will message you for guidance as you have been great so far

Yes of course, any time