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Hi all


need a touch of advice


if your employer asks you for permission to contact your doctor/access medical records contrary to the terms stated in the abscence policy can they penalise me for refusing?


the relevant part of our company policy is here


4.1 Medical Examination/Access to Medical Records


In cases of long-term sickness absence (generally periods exceeding four weeks and/or where no expected return date is known), the Company will write to an Employee to seek their permission to contact their G.P./Specialist/Consultant and request a report on the Employees medical condition. This request will comply with the Medical Reports Act 1988 and will ask

· The cause of the absence

· The likely duration of the absence

· The effects the illness would have on the Employee performing their duties

· Any workplace adjustments that they may recommend

· The likelihood of any recurrence of this illness

· Any other questions as may be relevant


The Company reserves the right to ask an Employee to undergo a medical examination by a Doctor appointed by the Company, at the Company’s expense.


This will enable the Company, on the advice from the Company appointed Doctor, to make informed decisions regarding the Employees future employment with the Company.




the reason I am asking is I have soaring high blood pressure which is being heavily contrubuted by stress, part of which is work related and my GP keeps suggesting he signs me off work which I keep refusing at the moment however this morning when I came in and fed back to my boss about my most recent appointment he stated that if my GP signs me off they will ask for access to my medical records, I really dont want them to have access unless they have to as I am an extrememly private person


I have been off sick twice this year so far (unheard of for me!), the first time for 2 weeks with a viral infection (signed off by GP) and the second occasion for one day of S&D and the company policy on this is as follows


4.1 Unsatisfactory Attendance Record


If the Employee is absent from work due to sickness on more than 3 occasions within a 6 month period, then the Company reserves the right to invite the Employee to a formal investigation for unsatisfactory attendance, which may lead to potential disciplinary action being taken against the Employee.



the first period of sickness JUST falls outside the 6 month rule


as far as I can tell unless my GP signs me off for more than 4 weeks (unlikely) they cant request my medical records as per their policies?


it would also appear they CANT send me to automatic discplinary on the 6 months rule (which is another huge fear for me)


am I correct in thinking this?


many thanks

claim v natwest WON!


all posts made by myself are without prejudice

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you will see the policy states the employer can ASK. Nowhere does it say the employee must comply.


You can refuse access to records, and you can refuse to see occupational health. In doing this you acknowledge they may have to make decisions about your continuing employment without all the facts.


you can also ask for any reports to be seen by you before they go to the employer.

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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If you have a disability the Equality Act 2010 may apply to you and your condition. If you think you are covered then you can ask the employer to make a reasonable adjustment to their policies. In this case it may be to suspend their policy.


If the matter / injury is CAUSED by work then you should be considering putting in a grievance to eliminate that cause. Employers have to ensure that employees work in a safe environment, and causing a stressful place to work may not meet that health and safety condition, but obviously we don't know the cause, unless you care to tell us more?


As far as medical records are concerned, they can ask, you can refuse or indeed you could write to your doctor and ask that a) a partial disclosure is made and b) that you see and advise on whether that disclosure should be sent once the GP has prepared the report. If the GP said that the cause was because of work related stress and you followed it up with a grievance and asking for reasonable adjustments then the employer will have quite a lot to contend with. You can ensure that YOU control what information is released from your records and it is especially important if those records relate to your mental health.

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