Information for managers

Referring a member of staff for occupational review

When referring a member of staff to Occupational Health, a referral form must be completed by the Line Manager, (or referring manager). It is important that you provide full contact and address details on the referral form to ensure that reports are forwarded to the appropriate managers.  As much information as possible needs to be provided in order to facilitate a meaningful and useful consultation.  If no information is provided, the consultation may be led by the employee and the manager is unlikely to receive the information they require to assist with their management of the employee.

Useful information would be considered as: -

Relevant background to the workplace or domestic situation

Measures already taken by the manager should be identified.  These may include commencement of an investigatory process, consideration or implementation of redeployment, or adjustments already made within the workplace.

It is important not to include any information that has not previously been discussed with the employee such as suspected alcohol or drug abuse.  If you would like these issues to be discussed by us, you need to make the employee aware of this before they attend the consultation.  Concerns not previously identified by the manager to the employee will not be raised at an Occupational Health consultation.  The referral form and any attached documents supplied by the manager must be shown to the employer prior to the referral in order to ensure the employee is aware of the reasons for referral.

The Occupational Health Unit will endeavour to see referred employees within a week of receiving the referral.  Reports will generally be typed on the day of the appointment and are sent to the referring managers within 2-3 days, depending on the reviewing Occupational Health Adviser's working pattern.

The Occupational Health Review Form and the accompanying guidelines can be found on the Human Resources website. You may also find the OH referral guidance on completing the form helpful.

Supporting Employees Returning to Work

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) provide a useful guide to managers to help support for employees returning to work following a long-term sickness absence:

Sick Note to Fit Note – Helping People Stay in Work

On the 6 April 2010 the sick note changed and became the fit note. Doctors will be able to advise people who are on sick leave for more than 7 days on whether, with extra support from their employer, they could return to work earlier.

Evidence shows that work is generally good for your health and that often going back to work can actually aid a person’s recovery. On the other hand, staying off work can lead to long-term absence and job loss with the risk of isolation, loss of confidence, mental health issues, de-skilling and social exclusion.

More information on the fit note for employers and line managers can be found on the HR website.

Health and Work Related Issues

Health Surveillance

Information about the types of Health Surveillance carried out can be found by using the link on the left of this page.

Guidance for the provision of health surveillance in higher education institutions can be found on the HEOPS website.