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Occupational health referrals / management referrals

Refer an employee to occupational health for advice about managing their health & work

What are occupational health management referrals?

When you need advice about medical capability, managing an employee’s return to work after ill health, or any other medical advice regarding employment matters, you can refer the employee to occupational health for a consultation.


They will be seen by a clinical specialist in health and work, who will provide a report outlining advice about how to manage that case and answer any questions you have asked.

The business case

Having an employee off sick costs your business money and time, plus it can affect the productivity and morale of their wider team. Getting them back to work effectively as soon as possible reduces this burden, and a referral to occupational health can help you do this.

GP ‘fit notes’ can often be vague, signing people off sick for weeks at a time, when in reality they could still be at work even though this may not be in their substantive role.

Occupational Health specialists are able to look at the employee’s health in relation to their job role and assess whether adjustments could be made to allow them to stay at work, or recommend redeployment if there is an alternative role available. Unlike GPs, who tend to focus solely on the individual, OH practitioners are mindful of the challenges employers face when employees are ill and can give impartial advice with both the employer and employee in mind.

Work, on the whole, is good for people, and having weeks away can make it difficult for employees to return. Of course, in some cases, there will be a legitimate reason for an employee to remain off work, and OH can help you by liaising with employees and their doctors to ascertain a realistic return to work date, or support you through ill health retirement if there is no chance of return.

The advice given in OH reports is just that – advice, and the decision about whether to follow the advice or not is ultimately down to you and how your business will be affected. You’re never expected to put your business in jeopardy to accommodate one employee, but an Employment Tribunal would expect to see evidence that you have done all that you can to explore all available options, before dismissing on the grounds of medical capability.

Delivery method

  • Face to face consultation on-site* - minimum charge applicable – best for group bookings

  • Face to face consultation at AHM clinic* - Canterbury, West London, East London

  • Telephone/Video consultation - if suitable or if a face to face consultation cannot be arranged


Service levels

We aim to offer a date for a consultation within 10 working days at AHM clinics but can often find appointments the same week.

On-site consultations are usually carried out as part of a day visit, during which we see multiple people.  "One off" on-site consultations can be arranged, although minimum charges are likely to apply. These can usually be accommodated within 2 – 4 weeks.

We aim to return reports within 2 working days, and achieve this in 88% of cases, however employees can request to see the report before their employer and in this instance, there may be a delay whilst we obtain their consent to release. We'll keep you informed through the process so you know what to expect.

All reports come with 4 weeks remote support for the referring manager following receipt of report. This does not include follow up consultations, but is helpful if the manager has questions about the report, needs clarification, or advice about next steps.

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