Appointments and referrals

  • Managers can refer staff for assessment where there is concern that a health problem may be affecting attendance, performance or safety.  

    The range of problems which may lead to management referral include:

    • Fitness for work following illness or injury.
    • Long-term or frequent sickness absence.
    • Deteriorating work performance/conduct associated with health problems.
    • Actual or suspected work-related adverse health effects.
    • Work placement advice under the Equality Act 2010.
    • Where the work itself or the working environment changes significantly


    Members of staff may also self-refer to OH and they will generally be seen for one appointment. If the problem has implications for work, the OH Adviser will talk through options for dealing with the situation. The Adviser may recommend that a formal management referral is made so that OH reviews can be set up if needed. 


    • The reason for referral for an OH opinion should first be discussed with the employee concerned.
    • The link Human Resources (HR) Manager should also be consulted.
    • Managers are always welcome to speak with an OH Advisor for advice before making the referral.
    • It is important to be clear on the OH Management Referral Form why the referral is being made and what advice is being sought from OH. Line Managers will be asked to complete an OH Management Update form prior to the review meeting to ensure that any new management questions or concerns can be dealt with.
    • Management Referrals to Occupational Health Form
    • Email the OH Management Referral Form to the
    • The OH Administrative Assistant books all OH Appointments. The Line Manager is informed of the appointment date.
    • The OH Adviser completes an OH Initial Assessment. The aim of the OH assessment is to take a full health history and to give advice about the person’s fitness for work. This may in some instances require a workplace visit. Workplace visits may also include carrying out environmental monitoring of work areas thinking about ergonomics, occupational hygiene and safety.
    • Additional medical information may be required from the individual’s GP or Specialist. It is likely to take a minimum of four weeks to obtain a medical report once requested.
    • A medical report can only be requested with the informed written consent of the individual and is requested by the OH Adviser. If consent is refused or given but later withdrawn, the employee will be informed that any management decisions will be made without the benefit of medical advice.
    • The OH Outcome Report is written as soon as possible after the initial assessment. The report is sent to the employee in the first instance before being sent to the Line Manager, employee and HR Link.
    • The OH Outcome Report concentrates on responding to the key questions asked by the referring manager. Medical details are generally not discussed in these reports.
    • If an OH review is considered appropriate it will be arranged through the OH Administrative Assistant.

    Return to work plans

    • Following a period of sickness absence when an employee is referred to OH, a return to work plan is typically put together in a three way dialogue between the employee, the Line Manager and the OH Adviser.
    • A phased return to work may include advice on adjustments to hours of work or job tasks. It is tailored to individual employee’s needs taking into consideration what can be accommodated operationally.

    It can be useful for managers to meet with OH and HR to discuss a management referral. Case Conferences are a useful way of:

    • Developing better communication.
    • Understanding the employee’s problem.
    • Discussing what can be done to support the employee.

    The OH Advisor will offer advice to employees with concerns about their working environment and office set up.

    Workplace visits may also include carrying out environmental monitoring of work areas with regard to ergonomics, occupational hygiene and safety. These activities are often carried out in conjunction with the University’s Health and Safety team.