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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

When can an injured member of staff return to work


Date: 10-Jun-2016

If a member of staff has been signed off from work for a number of weeks with an injury but wishes to return back to work before, what should you do? 

Generally, before allowing a member of staff to return back to work, the employee would seek a medical opinion on whether it is safe to do so. On their return, the employee should present you with a fit note to confirm it is safe. 

If the employee is not fully fit, this would suggest they should not be considered fit to complete their full duties. Unfortunately, the document will not provide any further details as to what light or alternative duties would be suitable. 

Firstly, identify what duties the employee can do. Then make sure this does not infringe on any health and safety regulations and carry out risk assessments if required. You can further to protect yourself by requesting the employee sign the document to confirm reasonable steps have been taken not to put them at risk. 

If you cannot accommodate the employee safely, then you perhaps may want to suggest reviewing the situation when they are feeling better. 

You are under no obligation to allow the employee to return back to work early.

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