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  • Frequently Asked Employment Questions - Can we insist a long-term sick employee sees an occupational health advisor?
    Well you can insist, but they can't be forced to go! So if you have an employee who is refusing to see an Occupational Health Advisor (OHA), you should try to find out why. For example, they could have genuine worry that their illness could be something more serious, or they may have a real dislike of seeing doctors. Should they continue to refuse to see an OHA, calmly explain that you will have no choice but to take any decisions on their future employment situation without the benefit of expert medical...
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  • Frequently Asked Employment Questions - Must we accept a "fit note" that contains advice on a return to work?
    No. The advice is for the employee and it isn't binding on you. So if you think that the employee's medical condition presents a danger to your workplace, you can refuse to accept the fit note's advice and recommendations. However, never dismiss them out of hand; first have a "meaningful dialogue" with the employee and explore all workable options with them including, wherever possible, homeworking or lighter duties. Also, bear in mind that the advice in the fit note might constitute a reasonable adjustment...
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  • Frequently Asked Employment Questions - Can we allow an employee back to work before their fit note has expired?
    Legally, there's nothing to stop you agreeing to their request - that's because there's no statutory requirement for an employee to be officially signed back on as being fit for work. Furthermore, any advice provided in a fit note isn't binding on you - so, in theory, you can disregard it. However, there is a significant danger here: if you let the individual return to work with no questions asked, your insurers are likely to take a dim view if anything happens to them, e.g. they suffer a personal injury, or...
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