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My brother has worked as a car valeter for a firm for seven years. His firm has now made him and one other member of staff have a medical. Both these have diabetes. Neither of them wanted or felt they needed to have a medical and be singled out. The firm said it was regarding getting cheaper car insurance. The other person works as an accountant and never drives for the firm at all. Is this legal to force members of staff to have to undergo a medical they don't want to undergo.

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Are they Type 1 or Type 2 diabetics and if Type 2 how is it controlled? Do either have a restricted licence?

 

For reference I am T2 and insulin dependent, only get a licence for 3 years at a time, also have had cardio problems for over 20 years. DVLA advised for both conditions and Insurance Co are aware but have not added a single penny extra to premiums.

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Can the employer insist on a medical? Yes. Simple as. It isn't relevant whether only some people are required to have one, or what their opinion of that fact is. What might mastery is if the employer went on to take some action as a result of the medical, because then it would stay into the territory of whether it was reasonable to take the action that they did.

 

To be honest, the explanation sounds logical - I can't honestly see an employer suddenly deciding to do costly selective medical examinations unless some other factor was at play.

 

Every individual had the right to refuse to undergo anything they want (within the law). So he is entitled to refuse to have a medical. However, the employer is then entitled to consider that a refusal to follow a reasonable instruction. That might result in dismissal, and that dismissal might be fair. Assuming the employer is truthful in what they are saying, it is reasonable for them to wish to save money, and to wish to comply with the request of insurers or potential insurers in pursuit of that. An employee refusing to cooperate is then costing the employer money unreasonably and dismissal would not be outside the scope of possible reasonable sanctions.

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Look on the bright side, they now know he has diabetes and it will be nigh on impossible for them to use that information to try and engineer a change of his employment or to dismiss him as a result of knowing this. they will be obliged to take any reasonable adjustments if requested to to keep him employed. In short, they cant now say that he is fired because the insurance is going to cost them more

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Look on the bright side, they now know he has diabetes and it will be nigh on impossible for them to use that information to try and engineer a change of his employment or to dismiss him as a result of knowing this. they will be obliged to take any reasonable adjustments if requested to to keep him employed. In short, they cant now say that he is fired because the insurance is going to cost them more

Sorry - but actually they might well be able to dismiss someone whose insurance is more costly to the business. Or someone who insurers won't cover. That isn't to say they can, or will, or want to. Just that the statement that they can't isn't correct.

 

Looking into a bit more, it may well be that a change in the law this year has put the issue up the radar of insurers. It used to be the case that two hypo attacks in a year had to report to DVLA. That changed in January and actually got better - in that the attacks must now be whilst awake. But the change itself may have put the issue on the radar.

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Thanks for replies. At least we know it is legal. They have given him a disciplinary because of too many doctors appointments but he didn't get dismissed.

What is "too many"? I presume that you mean during working hours? In other words, it's for too much time off work? It would be helpful if you could explain the circumstances. Although that too may have triggered insurers questions.

 

Diabetes is a complex area, because whilst it does count as a disability, managed diabetes often causes little to no impact to working life. My sister, for example, has never required any time off for doctors appointments or anything else. My friends husband had a couple of hospital appointments during working hours when first diagnosed. It's highly "individualised" as to the impact.

 

Whilst expecting a medical is not unreasonable, disciplinary action may be much more on the border line - although, in the end, too much time off can still be grounds for dismissal even where a disability exists. Unfortunately, only a tribunal can determine what exactly that means. Even the most experienced people can only guess at what it means given the context - the power to decide lies solely in the hands of a tribunal, and by that point you have already lost your job, and long before you get a decision. However, if you can explain further we might be able to offer some further advice.

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My 2 pennies.

If he wants to protect himself he needs to see a specialist consultant and get a report.

Most likely he will have to do this privately.

If the consultant says that he's fit for the work he does, the company would have hard time dismissing him on medical ground.

However, if he takes time off often because of his diabetes, the company could go down the attendance route.

Regarding insurance, I would personally think that dismissing someone because of a disability which ups the insurance premium is discrimination, but only a tribunal could decide.

If it turns out that they want to give him hard time because of insurance costs, he could offer (as a last resort) to pay the difference.

I wouldn't, but maybe this I s the easiest solution.

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Thanks for replies. At least we know it is legal. They have given him a disciplinary because of too many doctors appointments but he didn't get dismissed.

 

Hmmm have they referred to OH? They may be at risk of a discrimination claim .

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Hmmm have they referred to OH? They may be at risk of a discrimination claim .

The first post was about the fact that they've sent him for a medical. Not everyone has OH services anyway. But since they did send him for a medical then your suggestion appears to be superfluous. And the OP didn't come back to answer the earlier questions about what this is about.

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A Medical is more likely to be an exam to ascertain the overall health, blood and urine tests and so on (standard before engagement in many businesses). An OH assessment is to ascertain if the individual has any medical issues and in an ideal world if there are any adjustments which may be needed. A scattered absence may be indicative (according to superior court decisions) of a disability and an employer should be alive to such an issue....

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A Medical is more likely to be an exam to ascertain the overall health, blood and urine tests and so on (standard before engagement in many businesses). An OH assessment is to ascertain if the individual has any medical issues and in an ideal world if there are any adjustments which may be needed. A scattered absence may be indicative (according to superior court decisions) of a disability and an employer should be alive to such an issue....

That's a very large number of assumptions based on nothing, though, isn't it? There is no legal definition of what a "medical" is, and all we know is just that an employer who may, or may not, have an occupational health service (which many did not) may have required some form of medical examination (because we have no idea whether the OP or their brother are using words in the same way as you, or even accurately to the context) for some reason that we don't know. How do we even know that the OP knows the difference between some form of medical examination and an OH examination. Assuming all OH examinations are the same thing as your definition, which in my experience they are not - there are many forms of OH function, not just the one that you describe. And a "scattered absence" - I don't know where that came from anyway as it isn't in evidence anywhere in the thread- may be indicative of a great many things, including malingering!

 

I think it would be better to try to base advice on actual facts, or at least on information given, none of which are in evidence until or unless the OP comes back with some.

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Well the OP stated "Too many Doctor's appointments" which is an absence, well, unless he took those doctors appointments in his own time which would be odd that they would be concerned with it (unless they are a wonderful employer checking on his health to ensure he is not disabled of course, but IME that is rare...). But further discourse is indeed unlikely to generate success absent more details from the OP.

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That is just more assumptions though, and certainly no reason to have jumped straight to disability discrimination without any substance. I have asked the OP to explain further, and would prefer to wait to see if they actually do before assuming anything.

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