Days lost at work from staff being absent due to long term sickness or long term injury can be very costly both for small and large companies.
Most companies will have the right contained in an employees Contract of Employment to request an employee to have an Independent Medical Assessment by the company doctor. The assessment enables the company to better understand the reasons behind the employee being off work, can help recommend actions to enable the employee to return to work as soon as possible and to make changes in the workplace if appropriate when the employee is able to return.
The company doctor will typically be Occupationally Health trained and well versed in Employment legislation in particular with the Disability Discrimination Act (‘DDA’) & Equality Act. Companies have a legal duty to ensure that they look after the Health and Safety of their employees and claims for Unfair Dismissal can be brought against a company that falls foul of the legislation.