Attendance Procedure – GP v OHA Advice
My department has received many complaints about managers not following the correct procedure when there is a conflict of advice between member’s GP and Occupational Health Advice (OHA).
Complaints are around managers acting on the advice of the OHA and ignoring any advice from the member’s GP. We have met with Royal Mail and re-emphasised the wording and spirit of the agreement. In doing so, we have ‘tweaked’ the agreement to enable the proper conversations to take place. Instead of the Occupational Health Practitioner having the conversation with the GP, the OHA Regional Health Lead will have the discussion with the member’s GP.
Consent still has to be given by the member prior to any discussion taking place.
We have agreed the following wording which will replace Question 19 at the back of the attendance procedure booklet:-
If the advice provided by the Occupational Health significantly differs to that of a GP and cannot be resolved by a discussion between the manager and employee, the Regional Health Lead (RHL) will contact the employees GP to discuss any issues and come to a mutual consensus. The manager will then confirm this in writing and discuss the outcome with the employee.
In addition to this, the following wording has been sent to managers and been updated on PSP.
If there is a substantial difference in opinion between the GP and the Occupational Health practitioner then the manager should contact their Regional Health Lead (RHL) and inform the employee. The RHL will review the case, and speak to the OHS practitioner concerned for clarification if required. If the RHL is unable to bring the issue to resolution, then on receipt of written consent from the employee, the RHL will make contact with the GP to discuss and reach agreement. If after engaging with the GP, resolution is still not reached, then a face to face appointment with an Occupational Health physician will be arranged in order to determine the final outcome. The RHL will confirm the final outcome to the DSM, DOM or the appropriate manager, who will then inform the employee verbally and in writing. If the employee still does not return to work following the final advice, the manager should contact HR Advice and Support.
This re-emphasis should ensure managers use the correct process within the procedure and eliminate managers just using the OHA advice.
Any enquiries should be addressed to PTCS department, quoting reference PTC/RE/dj/415. Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org