health questionnaire from work

intrusive or not?

21 to 31 of 31 messages
02/02/2009 at 18:50

From my tiny bit of knowledge of these things, I think the idea behind it is to prevent someone having an industrial accident and trying to claim for a previous unrelated injury.  For example, you may have had years of back pain which the company has no knowledge of, then have a fall at work and sue them for thousands for a back injury sustained on their premises.  Does that make sense? 

 That said, it sounds a particularly intrusive form, and you certainly shouldn't have to give weight, GP's details etc.  Presumably the company has an emergency number and if you collapsed at work they wouldn't be ringing your GP anyway. 

 There should also be some sort of assurance that the form is confidential.  As D74 and Coops said, it could be related to some sort of income protection scheme, but that should be made abundantly clear to you and you should be issued with a private/confidential envelope in which to return it. 

Depending on the size/structure of the company, I would ask in writing what the purpose of the form is and then go the ACAS route. 

02/02/2009 at 18:52
What does your contract of employment say?  Is your employment subject to any sort of health clearance? Hubby is an employment lawyer but out at the minute.  I'll report back later but he always starts at the contract. 
02/02/2009 at 20:09
Got a new contract last week, Soup Dragon, I've not had chance to read it properly, just skimmed it, but I've not signed it yet. There seems top be a clause waiving my right to only work 48 hours a week
02/02/2009 at 21:50
Hmmm Kwilter - this new contract, is it that you have just joined the firm or are they trying to introduce a new contract when you already work there?  Don't sign away your 48hour week limit unless you actually want to work more than 48 hours.  If you already have a contract it can't be changed unilaterally.  Is there a Union?
02/02/2009 at 22:02

some employers will argue that even if you don't sign it, by nature of turning up for work you are accepting the terms of the contract.

we are looking at introducing BUPA cover where I work, to complement a death-in-service package we already have and i have been asked to produce details of all staff off sick for more than 90 days (which tends to be those off with depression or those undergoing treatment for cancer).

i'm not sure about signing the waiver on the WTD - it is fairly common in my industry (social care) and i don't see any issue with it myself, but then again i'm not likely to be asked to do such extra hours.

D74
03/02/2009 at 07:41
I THINK (polease take legal advice) that if you don't write to say you wish to discuss / refuse to accept the new terms and work for 2 weeks then you are deemed to have accepted them anyway.  It's what happened when my wife left her last company, she was already about to leave, just awaiting her contract form the new comany and her old company changed the terms,  including notice period.  As she couldn't exactly dispute the notice period on the basis that she was intending to quit in a few weeks then it meant that she had to do another 2 months (4 week up to 3 months notice) by the time she actually handed her notice in.  At the time we checked with CAB and because she'd not said 'no' but worked for (as I say, I think it was) a fortnight then they said it was deemed to be accepted.
03/02/2009 at 08:36

Employers will argue all sorts of things but that doesnt always mean that they are right - and often aren/t.  Silence does not convey agreement to a new contract, especially on such a short time scale. Hubby has a tribunal case on this very point tomorrow on behalf of the employee and expects to win as there is case law to support his arguments. 

There are a number of other issues here.  Firstly, can you be sacked for not disclosing a medical condition?  It has to be fair so the condition would have to make a material difference to your ability to work.

Should you complete the form?  You have to obey reasonable management instructions but giving personal information without knowing what it is required for or even who will see it doesn;t sound very reasonable. Definately get more information.  And the data protection act may apply to who has access to that information

New contract terms have to be agreed by both parties.  If you already have a contract you are entitled to stick to the one you already have.  Complications arise if a Uniion has agreed the  new terms on your behalf. 

Definately get more advice either from a citizens advice or ACAS and if possible get a group together to put in a collective enquiry rather than just yourself.

Good luck and keep us posted.

03/02/2009 at 17:50
I think there's been an article in the press lately about a woman who didn't disclose about depression on her application and then got the sack later for lying when she had a relapse.  Not sure it's entirely relevant in this case as I think it's got more to do with the new contract.  Wouldn't be inclined to sign away the 48 hour limit although I thought the being able to sign it away had been phased out anyway.  I have had medicals when starting at some companies that have gone into all sorts of things including weight, lung function etc, but definitely in confidence with a doctor/nurse.  Not knowing who will read it rings alarm bells for me.
LIVERBIRD    pirate
03/02/2009 at 18:09

I'm too annoyed to say anything sensible about it....

I'm off to join Liberty.........

03/02/2009 at 21:52
I've had to answer questions like that for a security clearance - I think the idea was to see if I could be blackmailed on account of my drinking habits, or something. But when I wrote that I drank 1-3 units per week, I was told to change that to zero!
03/02/2009 at 21:57
Security clearance?? I work for a local bakery employing 120 people not fecking MI5. H&S person (directors partner) is in tomorrow, I'll have a chat with her

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