The following guidance has been developed to support line managers with arranging Occupational Health referrals in a timely and purposeful manner.
A comprehensive referral to Occupational Health will aid the delivery of a thorough assessment of an employee’s health condition and advice/recommendations to support and facilitate a successful return to work or maintaining attendance.
Line manager’s play a pivotal role in supporting staff wellbeing to maintain regular attendance at work or ensure staff receive the appropriate support if absent, to ensure a return to work at the earliest opportunity.
When managing absence or supporting staff wellbeing, line managers need to engage in regular dialogue with their staff and adopt a solutions focused, compassionate approach. Simple questions can assist with a productive discussion, such as:
- How are you?
- How long do you think you will be off?
- What support do you need from me?
- Are there any adjustments that would support you in the workplace?
- What do you think you are able to do?
The first few days of absence are crucial in preventing a member of staff from falling in to long term sickness. Line managers should ensure that regular wellbeing discussions are held with staff and contact arrangement is agreed from day one of their absence.
Line managers should be aware of the most up to date support services in order to ensure they can sign post their staff when the need arises.
A thorough return to work discussion allows the line manager and member of staff to assess fitness to return to work and any support needed to maintain their attendance.