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request for medical record

(17 Posts)
wheresthel1ght Thu 17-Mar-16 18:20:21

Hoping someone can help me!

I have triggered our company short term absence policy, I had 3 periods of absence October to December due to my 2 year old being poorly (d&v) and unable to go to childcare and then 2 weeks ago I had flu.

During my dd's illness I have worked at home, been contactable and this was agreed with my line manager. On one of the occasions I asked if I could put holiday in.

Any way I have had a welfare meeting today and they want access to my medical records from this instance because the flu left me with a hacking cough which has been complained about by visitors and other colleagues (small office). I know I can refuse but our HR manager has said I could be subject to disciplinary proceedings for any further absence of I do.

Where do I stand and what do I do? The info online suggests that they an only request this info if I have had repeated absence for the same issue which I haven't.

Can anyone help me?


TiredButFineODFOJ Thu 17-Mar-16 19:03:34

Your employer has a duty of care to you and other employees. They can request your permission to access a medical report from your GP at any time if they are concerned.
If you don't give it they can't take your medical assessment into account if there is further sickness, so ther would be no reason not to use disciplinary.
What is the absence policy? If dc had d&v then you were not ill? If you had agreement to work from home then you were not ill? Why is that even included? I'd start by getting that sorted out first tbh.
Anyway what's the gp going to say? "She has a cough, no reason to believe there's any need for hospital referral" you can ask the GP for a copy of the report before they send it to work.

wheresthel1ght Thu 17-Mar-16 19:16:00

It's not massively clear to be honest. It basically states 3 periods of absence in 3 months. They are saying that by being out of the office I was making myself unavailable for work. I have tried to argue that I wasn't but HR are not taking any of it.

I am not sure I understand why having a cough as the last part of my flu virus requires them to access my medical records.

TiredButFineODFOJ Thu 17-Mar-16 19:18:08

Because staff and visitors are complaining about the cough....

DoreenLethal Thu 17-Mar-16 19:18:17

Whoa - if you were working from home then you were not sick. So you need to get to the bottom of this first. Perhaps you need a chat with someone like ACAS.

wheresthel1ght Thu 17-Mar-16 19:23:02

Tired sorry i am not trying to be annoying but from my reading it would seem that they can only request them if I have had repeated bouts of the same illness. A 2 week cough that hasn't caused me to be absent from work wouldn't seem to come under that.

Doreen believe me I am trying as is my line manager but they are not budging. To be honest it is feeling a bit like a witch hunt, there have been quite a few redundancies lately and a lot of us are nervous so part of me wonders if this is to do with trying to force me to leave/find a reason to sack me. Of course I could just be paranoid

TiredButFineODFOJ Thu 17-Mar-16 19:58:50

They don't have to stick to that policy if they have a concern. I once had a staff member who had one absence then returned and actually we sent them off to the GP and asked for medical report. She had TB

wheresthel1ght Thu 17-Mar-16 20:02:43

Ah ok thank you. Am I entitled to request their justification in writing?

I seriously don't trust them at the moment, when I was sent home with flu I was told that because they were making me go home it wouldn't come under the absence policy. They knew I had only gone in because I was worried about getting into trouble after my daughter had been poorly. And now they are doing this. Am a little unsure of their motives I guess.

Koala2 Thu 17-Mar-16 20:18:10

Do you have a trade union rep? There are a number of things here which concern me: First you weren't sick on one of the absences (was it therefore counted as annual leave or dependent's leave? Or were you working from home? Records should exist to clarify this). Secondly, when they sent you home they told you it didn't count as an absence. So actually you have only had one sick absence and therefore they shouldn't be taking action under their own policy. I would ask your line manager to clarify all this in writing so that you can then make an informed decision on consent for the gp report. The request does sound a little odd and I'm not sure it will tell them anything useful anyway if you don't have an underlying health condition.

wheresthel1ght Thu 17-Mar-16 20:22:44

Koala the only time I have been sick is when I had 3 days off with the flu recently. This is when I was sent home and told it wouldn't invoke. Absence policy.

Prior to that my 3 absences before Xmas were due to my dd being ill, I worked at home for 2 of them and requested the third used my annual leave as I didn't want to get into trouble.

We are not paid sick leave so no one takes the mick, I never call in sick unless I genuinely cannot get into work. Hence the fact that even with a horrid cough I have still been in work. The cough is a pita for me and others but it hasn't made me poorly enough not to work even though our MD keeps suggesting I take a week off to recover.

There are records as HR log it all. But I am not sure how forth coming they will be in handing them over.

wheresthel1ght Thu 17-Mar-16 20:23:33

And no sorry no union rep.

TiredButFineODFOJ Thu 17-Mar-16 21:23:55

There's nothing to fear from giving their permission for a medical report though. You're not too ill, and they don't get to ask / the GP won't give some kind of overall potted history of your medical life, just give facts on whether you have a contagious disease, if you're likely to be fit to work or not. They won't find out about your abnormal smearvresult 5 years ago, your veruccas, anything like that!

wheresthel1ght Thu 17-Mar-16 21:33:29

Thanks tired I really appreciate your information!

I have asthma and have told them before that when I am ill and have a cough virus it can make my asthma worse which is about the worst they will see on my records I suspect. The fact our office is bloody freezing doesn't help! We have heating of sorts upstairs but downstairs where the loo and kitchen is has no heating and the doors don't fit properly ao it blows a gale. My desk is right by the stairs which acts as a wind tunnel so every time anyone comes in or goes out the front door or goes for a cuppa or a wee they freeze me half to death with definitely hasn't helped my coughing!

I am sure I am just over thinking it all but when 3 of them are dependent a leave and the company is having some degree of financial trouble I am just worries they are looking for ways to cheaply reduce the workforce

Koala2 Thu 17-Mar-16 21:35:24

Tired might be right. Ask them to clarify why they want the report. They mught just be a bit rubbish at this kind of stuff. But I still think you need to understand how they have viewed your previous absences, so you understand what will happen if you are ill again (as could happen to anyone). Could you ask your line manager? I hope you get sorted out.

TiredButFineODFOJ Thu 17-Mar-16 22:05:05

Well only a really stupid manager would think that trying to dig up "dirt" in this way is a good idea, because it just does not work that way! So let them go ahead....
Asthma is a disability under the equalities act, so using that as a reason to get rid of you would be dumb.
Getting rid of you because "you might be off sick in future" is dumb.
I actually think HR are doing the right thing, your cough sounds bad and they are getting you checked out!

Musicaltheatremum Fri 18-Mar-16 14:33:06

I wouldn't give HR access to your records even with your permission. It should go through an independent occupational health professional. All they need to know is if you are fit to work or not and with a cough for 2 weeks at this time of year you probably are (even if annoying with the coughing :-) )

wheresthel1ght Fri 18-Mar-16 15:33:09

Thanks musical!

I have spoken to a friend who is a union rep who has basically said they cannot legally ask unless I have had repeated absences for the same reason. Have been advised to decline as the previous absences were due to my daughter being ill and no childcare as a result

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