Line Manager FAQs

01 How do I set up health management policies?

Start with your Health and Safety policy. Any health concerns or needs should be identified during that process. Decide what your business needs:

  • Attendance and performance management
  • First Aid
  • Fitness and health standards
  • Health surveillance
  • Health & wellbeing
  • Mental health and resilience
  • Reasonable adjustments and adaptations
  • Workability
  • Worklife balance.

02 What are the health issues behind attendance and performance management?

Attendance management helps you to ensure that your employees are at work when fit to do so, and working effectively and efficiently. People are usually absent from work for the following reasons:

  • Injury (work related or recreational)
  • Sick (physical or mental ill-health)
  • Disability or long term condition, for which adjustments and / or adaptations are not in place or not effective
  • Family or caring responsibilities
  • Perception: They feel unable to come to work e.g. relationship problems at home or at work motivation social or cultural conditioning difficulty meeting the requirements of the job
  • They are on authorised leave such as holiday, maternity leave or a training course.

On average people are absent from work for 6.6 days a year (CIPD Absence Survey 2014). Useful information can be found here.

03 What are my first aid responsibilities?

Guidance on how to ensure that emergency situations are managed quickly and safely can be found here.

04 When can I refer an employee to occupational health?

  • Prior to the employee starting work, to identify reasonable adjustments and adaptations. You must comply with the Equality Act 2010.
  • If your employee is exposed to a hazard at work that can affect their health, and for which early intervention can prevent the onset of a disease.
  • If you are concerned about an employee’s health, behaviour, performance or attendance.
  • If an employee tells you that they no longer feel able to work due to ill health, or your performance management indicates that.

05 What is health surveillance?

Health surveillance is the monitoring of the health of workers exposed to a known hazard at work.  Usually, this is a symptom questionnaire completed by the individual or a health surveillance officer, reviewed by a competent person (usually an Occupational Health Nurse), followed by hearing tests, lung function tests, skin checks and/or blood tests. Health surveillance should be carried out annually unless otherwise stipulated in the regulations.

06 What does occupational health do?

  • Clinical and functional assessment of the employee
  • Signpost to appropriate NHS or private services
  • Advise employers on fitness and prognosis (timescale) for return to work
  • Advise on or explain capabilities, limitations and restrictions – where possible in work terms
  • Refer into therapeutic services, e.g. physiotherapy, counselling, where these are directly accessible to employees, e.g. local NHS self-referral services, provided by employer
  • We DO NOT provide GP services – diagnosis, treatment
  • We DO NOT discipline or manage employees.

NB If you have a question not listed on here, please send it via the contact page.

07 What is the Government’s Health and Work Service (HWS)?

In July 2014, the Government introduced the HWS; a tax exemption for up to £500 per employee per year of employer funded ‘recommended treatment’ to support the return to work of employees who have been off work or who are likely to be off work sick for four or more weeks.

This is a response to a long standing business need for many employers who do not have regular access to, or have a need for, occupational health.  It also provides additional resources for managers to deal with work performance and attendance issues fairly and in line with business need.  This can help employers manage absence from work due to ill health, illness or injury. 

08 How can I encourage my employees to be fit for work or improve their workability?

Encourage employees to complete and act on a workability questionnaire to help them identify changes they can make.

09 My employee is due to run out of sick pay?  What help is available?

If they have a long term condition affecting daily living activities, they may be eligible for financial support:

Grants by condition