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Q. My manager wants to refer me to Occupational Health (OH) for an assessment but I am not sure exactly why. What should I do?

If your manager is suggesting that you are referred to OH for an assessment and advice as part of managing ill health or performance they are likely to be being proactive in seeking specific advice in how to manage any health condition that you may have in relation to your work. It is however imperative that they first discuss this with you so that you are clear about the reason and benefits of the referral and any specific questions being asked. If this has not been explained to you by your manager then please ask him/her to do so. The Management Referral Form has been designed to assist with such a referral and should be completed by your manager and signed by you or if agreed and preferred a letter written to OH explaining the reason for referral.

Q. Do I have to agree if my manager wants to refer me?

Unless clearly stated in your contract or as part of the sickness absence policy then you don't have to attend. However if you decline the offer of an assessment by and occupational health doctor or nurse then your manager will have to manage your case without the benefit of you both receiving appropriate occupational medical advice and support.

Q. Can I self refer to OH?

Yes. If you have a health problem that you think is affecting your ability to perform at work or is aggravated by or associated with your work, then please do contact us. We will ask you to complete a self referral form and return this where possible prior to arranging the appointment. This is to ensure that you are given an appointment with the appropriate team member at the outset.

Q. If I divulge confidential health information to the OH doctor or nurse, will my manager be informed?

No definitely not. If the referral has been made by your manager information reported back to your manager is on a need to know basis only and only answers the specific questions that have been asked and that you will already be aware. Information reported back to your manager is factual advice that is given with you informed consent and is focused on achieving the best way forward to manage your health problem at work. If the referral is initiated by you but following assessment workplace changes are deemed to be necessary to accommodate your health condition, then we would fully discuss how this could be managed with you before talking to anyone else.