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london runner

Covered by DDA - Problem with employer

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Hi everyone

 

Not sure if this is the right place to put this but here goes.

 

My husband had an industrial injury last year and had to have surgery. A week later he suffered a heart attack and had as quadruple bypass. He has been off sick for over a year. During this time he has had various medicals by his company's occupation health and they agreed all the time with the heart surgeon. They all said that he would be covered under DDA.

 

He is being paid 50% of his wages by a group insurance policy by his company.

 

His heart surgeon and GP have now said he is fit to return to work but on lighter duties than he was before. The GP has given him a fit for work certificate on lighter duties and he should go back tomorrow. He works nights by the way.

 

Now the problem - his company have asked him to go to a back to work meeting at noon tomorrow and have said in the letter requesting this meeting that he would not be able to return to work until OC have carried out another private medical. So without a medical certificate for his company to pass onto their group insurance (and we know what insurance companies are like) he is at risk of not being paid. Also why (if the company can get around this problem) should he only be paid 50% of his wages when if he returned to work he would receive a full wage. He made the company aware that he would be returning to work soon a couple of months ago and they have done nothing in the way of an OC assessment or lighter duties.

 

Also I found a bit on other web pages about medical suspension does anyone know if he may be elegible for that as it is not his fault that the company are not letting him work but could possibly be penalising him with respect to his wages.

 

Your help in this would be great.

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The company have presumably only got the paperwork from the GP in the last couple of days?

 

It seems to be pretty standard for companies to not start their assessment early. They need to wait to see what your GP suggests, but they also cannot start their own OH medical until you are fit. For instance, if you had a broken leg, and told them you would be coming back the day after the plaster came off, to light duties, that would be the first day they could assess you - and ultimately, the same could be argued in any other case, you were not fit yesterday, so OH could not assess you until today.

 

In the cases I have heard of, the companies concerned have continued to pay at the rate they were paying while the person was off sick, and the process has not taken longer than a couple of weeks.

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The company have presumably only got the paperwork from the GP in the last couple of days?

 

It seems to be pretty standard for companies to not start their assessment early. They need to wait to see what your GP suggests, but they also cannot start their own OH medical until you are fit. For instance, if you had a broken leg, and told them you would be coming back the day after the plaster came off, to light duties, that would be the first day they could assess you - and ultimately, the same could be argued in any other case, you were not fit yesterday, so OH could not assess you until today.

 

In the cases I have heard of, the companies concerned have continued to pay at the rate they were paying while the person was off sick, and the process has not taken longer than a couple of weeks.

 

Thanks my spirit sorars free.

 

Had meeting yesterday and they have agreed to pay my husband full money until the OH assessment which is great as we were hitting financial problems. They have arranged for OH on Wednesday but think it may take upto 6 weeks before he can start a staged return to work as they have to look into how they can accommodate the lighter duties.

 

Your comments have been appreciated.

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Hi London Runner......... quite a few problems here.

 

I take it that you have registered the injury as an industrial injury with the DWP? You cannot rely on an employer to do so. They only have a duty to keep a record of it nothing more or less. It is for the applicant to register it and then apply for Industrial Injury Disablement Benefit should it apply. As an Industrial Injury there may be a liability for the injury (what was it?) by the employer. If it serious enough for an operation then it is serious enough for the employer to have notified their insurers. If they are at fault then perhaps you should be thinking of claiming. Lawyers may be necessary.

 

Resultant loss from the injury is recoverable eg wages ie the other 50 % !! There does seem to be a problem of the heart attack. But maybe it was all part of the initial problem eg if he had a condition at the time of the industrial injury then the law would say that they have to take the person as they found them. If the heart attack was then brought on because of events or even contributed to them then it should be covered. But hey you need to get proper legal advice. I say this in all seriousness because if everything does not go well on his return to work then you have to think of future loss, medical and nursing care, equipment and all manner of things. Trust me I have been there.

 

You also should be thinking of DLA for care. Think about what you do now for him that you didn't do before? That may be as simple as driving him to work to avoid stress. I am sure if you think about it you will come up with lots of things.

 

The employer should be making adjustments to things to ease your husband back to work. I am sure if he thinks about it long enough he will think of PCP's (Policies, Customs and Practices) that his employer has control over that could be adjusted to help him. They don't have to cost anything to change eg allowing parking where none existed before??? etc etc.

 

Hope I have given you food for thought.

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