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Occupational Health Referrals

The reason for referral and the process should be fully discussed with the employee before the referral is made. Visit the OH section of the intranet for more information on OH fees and the process in making a referral.

Costs to the Employee

From 1st January 2015 the Government introduced a tax exemption of up to £500 (per year, per employee) on medical treatments recommended to help employees return to work. This exemption will apply to treatments recommended by health professionals within the Occupational Health services.

If an employee has been, or is likely to be, absent from work through sickness or injury for a period of at least four weeks and medical treatment, such as physiotherapy, is recommended to assist the employee to return to work, the Authority may pay medical costs of up to £500 per tax year without giving rise to a taxable benefit for the employee.

Any payment above the £500 limit will be liable for tax and national insurance contributions on the excess.

When to Refer to Occupational Health

Managers may make referrals to Occupational Health at any time during an employees’ service.  It is most likely this will be during an employee’s sickness absence or following a period of occasions of absence.  Employees do not need to be absent due to sickness in order for a referral to be considered. There will be occasions when employees are referred in order to get additional support through the Occupational Health Unit in order that future absence can be prevented.

A referral for an employee can be considered in the following circumstances:

  • employees have hit a formal trigger
  • employees have submitted a ‘Fit Note’ advising a continuous absence for over 28 calendar days
  • employees are experiencing psychological ill health
  • employees have a musculo-skeletal injury or condition
  • following a work related injury
  • identify/review reasonable adjustment

Why is a referral necessary?

The purpose of a referral is to obtain an objective medical assessment of an employee’s health in the context of their employment. This information will aid the Authority in providing the most effective support during a period of absence in order to facilitate a return to work.

How to make a referral

It is necessary for the manager to complete an Occupational Health online referral form.


Page updated: 09/09/2021 11:08:35