Been off work with depression - do I have to speak to occupational health?

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I have been off work since January this year suffering from depression. My GP has signed me off unfit for work and has been seeing me on a regular basis and updating by sick line as we have gone along. We have been trying various medications to get me back on the straight and narrow. 

My salary has been reduced to half pay as per my contract but my employer has been writing to me wanting to arrange an appointment for me to speak to an occupational health nurse via telephone. 

Do I have to agree to this?

I don't see how someone who is a stranger can assess me over the telephone and make any sort of diagnosis when my GP is still writing me a line and has a much better understanding. 

I'm not sure if it's a requirement that I have to agree to or if I'll be fired if I refuse. 

Can anyone advise?


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4 Replies

  • Posted

    No don't do anything yet. Get professional legal advice first or call labor relations board for legal advice. They will tell you what to do and not to do as I don't or ever heard of a rn assessing you over a Dr. Keep your health private, until your told wisely the steps to take. To protect your job and also remain respectful to your employer. 😊
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  • Posted

    Paul, also I've dealt with labor board on many occasions re: my job/work . They handle everything and every issue. I make sure I know my rights, liabilities etc so you can't be fired etc. Plus I have several friends in this field who I get advice from. You don't want to lose your job. Or be terminated. I don't know if your in the states or UK. I'm sure there's a big difference. Plus if it turns into a disability a mental issue you may be entitled to certain rights. If you know a lawyer call him. Good luck. Your health comes first.
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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply!

      I am in the UK and have googled my labour relations office and will give them a call on Monday. 

      I just don't feel comfortable having to speak to occupational on the phone -- essentially a stranger and have them pass judgement when my own GP has been working with me since January and knows the case inside out. She obviously feels I am not ready for work hence writing me the sick lines for my employer. 

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    • Posted

      Paul your absolutely correct. Protect yourself. Call them and do what they tell you. You do have rights, and yes its a go between a nurse, really what does she know? No no you call Monday and you'll be guided on the correct legal path. Document everything going forward for yourself. It will work out for you. You won't have to worry if your hiding something or not doing the correct thing. This way you'll have peace of mind. Good luck and feel better. But depression and anxiety go hand in hand. And you just can't say hey depression go away. It has its own mind.
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