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Management Referrals

How to arrange a Management Referral

A staff member may be referred to Occupational Health at the request of the individual staff member or if the manager has concerns with regard to a staff’s health and how that may be impacting on either performance or attendance. Or where the staff or the manager feels work is having a negative impact on the staff’s health.

We provide support and advice to both the employee and the employer (your manager and human resource business partner). Advice for managers can also be found in advice for managers guidance.

Common reasons for a Management Referral

  • Long term absence – classed as over 21 days
  • An underlying health complaint that may require workplace adjustments
  • A disability
  • Work related stress/Mental health issues
  • Recurrent short-term absences
  • Support for long term chronic health complaints

The start of the process

Your manager should meet with you, or if you are absent discuss the Occupational Health referral and agree the process. Ideally the manager should forward you a copy of the referral if this is not possible then they should be discussing the content with you.

The manager will provide enough information for Occupational Health to undertake a meaningful review and also to provide the answers to the questions the manager poses to Occupational Health. This process ensures Occupational Health will be able to recommend the adjustments that will allow you to work in a safe and healthy environment.

With long term absence the Management Referral should be undertaken as soon as a Fit Note is submitted that states that the employee will be absent for over 21 days. This allows Occupational Health to support staff from the beginning of absence and also allows for scheduling in the appointment into the team’s diary.

Included in the Management Referral form will be the following information:

  • Your personal details including occupation and hours worked
  • The reason for absence
  • The questions they require to be answered
  • Any risk the manager feels is relevant
  • Your absence record for the past three years
  • Your job description
  • Any other background or helpful information regarding the reason for referral

Your Occupational Health appointment

Once Occupational Health receive the Management Referral form, we will prioritise your appointment and either letter or email an appointment date and time out to you. If the date does not suit, then please let us know as soon as possible.

Your appointment will be for 45 minutes, the majority of appointments will be face to face. However, telephone  or teams consults can be undertaken where health circumstances prohibit you attending the University location.

At the review

At the start of the review we will clarify that informed consent has been given for the review to take place.

All Occupational Health Advisers are registered practitioners and therefore work within the legal safeguards of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations). They adhere to the standards set down in the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (OHA’s), and other relevant bodies’ Codes of Conduct. Confidentiality is assured.

We will discuss all the details on the management referral form.

Your health problem or disability, your treatment plan and any other concerns you may have.

Any difficulties at work either interpersonal ones or difficulties in performing your role.

The support that you are receiving via the NHS.

If you are absent any barriers that may prevent you from returning and measures that you may be beneficial in assisting, you to return.

Together we will undertake a plan regarding fitness to return or the reasons for continued absence.

Reports to Management/Human Resources

We will discuss the content of the report and you will be offered a choice of whether the report goes directly to your manager or whether you would like to receive a copy first. If you receive the draft electronic copy you will have 3 working days to review the report prior to it being sent out to your manager. You have a legal right to decline consent or request any changes that you feel do not accurately reflect the review. Your report can be sent out electronically password protected. The adviser will advise you of the password at the consultation. 

Occupational Health reports are advisory only.  The content of a report will depend on the reason for the referral, the specific questions that have been asked and any necessary specific recommendations. Medical details are not usually disclosed unless this is deemed necessary when managing the individual in their work and when the individual has given their informed consent for disclosure.

Information provided may cover:

  • Whether you have an underlying health condition or disability that may affect attendance or performance at work
  • If so, the likely effects on future attendance / performance
  • Measures to support you during your absence
  • Whether time off work will be required for appointments / treatments
  • When you may be likely to return to work
  • Recommendations on how to assist return to work
  • Advice regarding any workplace restrictions / adaptations
  • Whether the disability provision of the Equality Act is likely to apply

At the review a clinical assessment of whether you would benefit from workplace adjustments or a phased return will be undertaken and the details for this will be discussed with you.

Reasonable adjustments may include:

  • Amended duties and / or temporary redeployment
  • Reduced working hours
  • Assistance with some tasks,
  • Temporary restrictions on tasks undertaken
  • A combination of the above
  • Time during work hours to attend any onward referrals from Occupational Health to physio or Counselling sessions

The individual will be reviewed regularly and supported both during and after any referral. Also during a phased return or whilst undertaking any recommended reasonable adjustments.

The recommendations within the report are only recommendations and it is for the manger to decide whether they are reasonable and can be supported. All staff have a legal right to decline consent for an Occupational Health report to be issued. If a staff member does not wish a report to be forwarded, then in these circumstances the manger will make decisions on work activity in relation to the health issue without the specialized input from Occupational Health. 

Failing to attend a Management Referral appointment

If a staff member fails to attend any Management Referral appointment, then the manager and their human resource business partner will be notified, and a further appointment offered.

Once a report has been received by the manager

It should be discussed with the individual and any reasonable adjustments recommended should be agreed upon.  If other managers / HR contacts need to be involved this should only be done with the individual’s consent. 

If there are any questions about the report, please contact the Occupational Health Adviser initiating the report in the first instance or if unavailable the Occupational Health manager. 

If seeking advice via email the email subject line must not contain any confidential information about the individual, and not forwarded on to any other person. 

Please note that the Occupational Health Adviser can clarify the report and advice given verbally but will not answer any new or additional questions without first consulting with the individual.  A record of this discussion will be documented in the individuals OH record.

Follow up appointments

If required, follow up appointments will be scheduled at time of review and documented on the report for your manager to be aware of your next appointment. If you require to reschedule your appointment please contact the Occupational Health Administrator on 2750 or



Occupational Health Adviser: Janey Watt

Environmental, Health and Safety Services,
University Observatories Complex, Buchanan Gardens,
St Andrews
KY16 9LZ
Scotland, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1334 462750 OR +44 (0)1334 462752