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Occupational Health

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Occupational health is a specific branch of medicine which specialises in the physical and mental health of Employees in the workplace. Occupational health services are most frequently utilised to assist in managing both short and long term individual cases of sick leave absence. Best practice would often recommend obtaining the medical opinion of an expert practitioner in order for appropriate decisions to be made as to how best to handle an individual sick leave absence case. An expert practitioner will provide guidance as to the Employee’s fitness for work, and supports or accommodations, if any, which might be required in order to facilitate the Employee’s successful return to work on a more long term basis. 

Fair Procedures and Occupational Health Assessment 

While an Employee’s contract of employment will generally provide the Employer with the right to refer an Employee to a medical practitioner nominated by the Organisation, the Employer should also obtain explicit consent from the Employee for a written report to be provided to the Organisation. Prior to a medical assessment, an Organisation should ensure an Employee is informed of:

  • The basis on which the Employee is being referred;
  • The nature of the assessment; 
  • The reason for the examination; 
  • Who will have access to the written report and the guidance / recommendations will be shared and discussed with.