Employer Medical Referral

I work for a Government Dept. Have a very good attendance record (no sick in 10 years). I have volunteered info about my condition and mentioned that am not well. My Dr has now signed me offsick for a few weeks until I am seen by my Consultant at end of month. I had a home visit by my Line Manager who wants to refer me to ATOS Occupational Health, without having to wait and he is going to refer me with or without my consent form signed. Can someone please advise me whether this is legal and reasonable and my options? Thank you

Chad, I am a carer for a pwp but also am qualified to give advice on employment matters having worked in employment law for more years than I care to remember.

You will probably find that, in your contract of employment of staff handbook it states that your employer reserves the right to require you to undergo medical examination at any time at their expense. They can then use the results of the exam for whatever reason they want. As it is in the contract they do not need your permission to do this and a refusal to attend on your part could give rise to disciplinary procedures. It is therefore legal for them to do this. Whether it is reasonable is an arguable case, it always is.

I would advise you to go along with them and attend the medical. Under the terms of the Equal Rights Act that took over from the discrimination acts, a disability is defined as a chronic physical or mental condition that affects your normal daily activities, a classic description of PD. You would therefore be “disabled” under the act. An employer CANNOT take action against a disabled person without extreme justification and must make any and all reasonable adjustment to the work and the work environment to accommodate the employee.

If in the extreme your employer took this course of action and then dismissed you, it would be an obvious case of unfair dismissal due to discrimination and the payout for discrimination cases are without limit, but don’t worry as I believe they will not go that route.

Good luck and keep us posted. I will keep an eye out for any further posts or questions.
Thank you Mike. That's most helpful.


hi chad
my name is daz i have had work issues get in touch with ehrc 0845 604 6640 they will give you ref no and keep notes about everyone you deal with
my bosses wont pay for risk assessment or been in touch with me for 8 months since i been on the sick i work for them 13 years
get as much advice as you can but always keep notes
cheers daz:wink:
Hi Chad,

You dont say how old you are but my experience may be of interest. I was working for a local authority as a housing oficer when I was diagnosed.(nearly 9 years ago now) I managed to struggle on for another two years but the job was very stressfull and eventually I was signed off for a month. This gave me time to consider my options and I decided to request early retirement on medical grounds - I was 56 at the time. My line manager didn't think I stood a chance but in fact the Dr acting for the local athority was most sympathetic and said he really didn't see how I could be expeected to continue in my job and couldn't see any alternative but to recommend early retirement. This was eventually approved by the appropriate committee (there is always a committee!!). I got my pension right away and it was added to because of the fact I had to retire on hill health. I had done 12 years service but my pension was made up to 20 years. I assume a government department would operate a similar system. Hope this is helpful. I have to say retiring was the best thing I could have done - my condtion has progressed only slowly and I lead a more or less normal life (with help in the form of various medication!!)
Allll he best.
Thank you Daz.

I suppose only when we are in this position that we can relate to the experience.

We sometimes assume that the fact that relevant legistation are in place we are protected.

The legislation rightly does offer protection but you still have a battle to fight and one cannot just take it for granted that people will understand. Let alone you have to deal with PD, sometimes you feel like having to take on the whole world!!!

I will get in touch with ERHC and thank you again for the advice.


Thank you.

I am 53 and was diagnosed nearly 2 years ago.

I have been working as normal since then, but obviously things are not "normal". I know my PD has progressed slowly.

My work is very demanding and I have noticed that any pressure is the worst enemy for my PD.I will go along with the referral and see what happens. If I do get early retirement so be it, I am reaching the stage to realise that there is more to life than work and health is primary!

My worry is that I look ok but only I know my symptoms and whether the medical assessment will come to the right conclusions! My employer also does not think I will get medical retirement. And when I asked him what happens in that case, his response was that he would dismiss me!!! And i am still doing the work despite the PD!


I work for the NHS and met with my Manager and HR to look at early retiral through ill health but I wont be pursuing it as it looks as if you have to be terminally ill to get it!!! The criteria is that you just cannot function at work and have exhausted all options to be considered for it and as you know with PD there are good days as well as bad days. The other reason is, that you have to set a date when you would like to retire and if you are not awarded the early retirement you still have to leave on that date and I didn't want to risk it.
Chad, you have told your employer of your dx therefore they are aware that you have a disability. They are taking the right course of action in getting a medical opinion BUT the action they then take MUST be governed by the fact you have the disability. Their first action in law is to discuss the situation with you to see what reasonable adjustments they can make to enable you to continue to do your job. This may be changing your hours, work patterns or content of the job, BUT with your agreement. If your boss dismisses you without doing this and because of the medical report alone, he/she can only do so with due process i.e. going through the disciplinary procedure, which must allow an appeal to a higher authority than him/her. If they do not do this it would be considered automatically unfair. If any of this happens, AND I STRESS IF, go to a solicitor because you would have a cast iron case of unfair dismissal by reason of disbility discrimination. I stressed if because any employer even contemplating this course of action is mad and it would cost them a fortune.

Come back any time for more as it develops but for the time being don't worry!!!
Hi schnaffer

Take look at this thread and the posts by mikeB . I hope this helps you. Please keep in touch as how things are going at work. Good people with good advice on the forum.
Take care pb
Hi there , I also work for the Govmt but as a firefighter. I didn't tell my employer at first as the pd wasn't that bad. However, it gradually worsened and it was flagged up in a regular fitness assessment (i passed all physical tests)I was eventually referred to Atos - in the meantime I was taken off operational duties and a desk job was "created". Atos decreed that although i was unfit for operations i was fit to do the desk job (reasonable adjustment??)However , senior managers decided that i could not be non-operational and the desk job didn't really exist !! After 18months and a Capita medical i retire due to ill health on Friday - i am 45yrs old
i trusted them but it feels like they shoouldn't be able to get away with it - it looks like they have