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Possum
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One of my staff members has severe asthma, and has to attend hospital once a fortnight for a steroid injection which is vital for her. She always fills in her annual health form to say she's fit for work, but as time goes on and the years go by, I'm getting more and more anxious for her health, with all the germs that go with the job!

 

Her asthma is so severe that she's spent time in intensive care on life support.

 

Is there any way, as an employer, that I can bypass her and go to her doctor for advice as to whether she really IS fit for work, I know she loves her job, but I don't want it to compromise her fragile health. Yes, I know that ultimately it has to be her decision, but as an employer I have to think of what's best for everyone else too.

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Can't see her Doctor talking to you about her health because of confidentiality - could you ask your dear colleague if you can go along with her to her next visit - as you are so concerned for her and wish to have a frank discussion between you all?

 

Would there be some way, should she need to leave, that she could still be involved with your group - could she also be an occasional visitor who pops in for a storytime - something she and you could make really special.

 

It's an awful time when you have a valued member of staff who for one reason or another doesn't want to let go, maybe she is waiting for you to suggest you will be able to go on without her after all this time and she wouldn't be leaving you in the lurch, that she must look after herself now and not worry about others so much.

 

Hope it all goes well possum whatever you both decide

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Hi, I had something similar but not so severe, and I spoke to ACAS who were very helpful.

 

Their suggestion was, that if I had serious concerns about a member of staff's health and fitness for work, I would not be doing my duty as an employer (I'm committee) if I didn't act. They suggested I start with an informal meeting and see if we could change her working conditions to ease the situation. Luckily this worked for us and things have improved a great deal.

 

However, they did say that if that didn't work, I was under an obligation to suspend her on full pay, pending a medical investigation to see whether she was fit for work. Of course as a charity this would have been a nightmare, but I would certainly have done it rather than risk her health.

 

Good luck, do ring the ACAS helpline and have a chat, they are so helpful.

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And stress can be a trigger for asthma too, please think very carefully before you make this lady feel that, which such a conversation could very well do. Only she can make decisions about her health in consultation with the health care professionals that look after her.

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we have had something similiar, if you write a letter and she signs it to give permision for you to contact her doctor, her doctor will write you a letter to say if she is fit for work, you do have to have her signed permisiion though

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She always fills in her annual health form to say she's fit for work, but as time goes on and the years go by, I'm getting more and more anxious for her health, with all the germs that go with the job!

 

 

I was just wondering if there was any reason you were getting more worried with time. Obviously it's very worrying at any point, but is there something increasing your worry? Has she become worse over the years? Has she had attacks directly related to the job? Has she ever had any severe attacks whilst working? I'm just wondering whether there is a particular reason that you are considering taking further action now that you hadn't considered previously.

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I was just wondering if there was any reason you were getting more worried with time. Obviously it's very worrying at any point, but is there something increasing your worry? Has she become worse over the years? Has she had attacks directly related to the job? Has she ever had any severe attacks whilst working?

 

 

Yes, she seems to be getting more severe chest infections and she coughs a lot more than she used to. She has much more medication and generally seems less able to run around after the children.

 

ACAS seems a good idea

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Yes, she seems to be getting more severe chest infections and she coughs a lot more than she used to. She has much more medication and generally seems less able to run around after the children.

 

ACAS seems a good idea

 

 

Oh dear, what an awkward situation to be in :o Could be awkward if she really needs the money the job is bringing in as well, you don't want to bring on stress related attacks as someone said. I'd be interested to hear what advice they give you from the ACAS.

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Guest jenpercy
Oh dear, what an awkward situation to be in :o Could be awkward if she really needs the money the job is bringing in as well, you don't want to bring on stress related attacks as someone said. I'd be interested to hear what advice they give you from the ACAS.

 

not the same, but I have recently had issues with mental health and whether a staff member is fit to work with children. I havev been advised that I should get all staff to fill out a medical declaration, which I should get them to renew annually. I don't really see what use this would be. Someone's health could change the week after they fill the form out. this partic staff member has had change of medication at least 4 times in as many months. Sometimes she tells me, sometimes she confides in another staff member that her medication is making her feel unwell, but annual renewal would be useless and I don't konw what to do.

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not the same, but I have recently had issues with mental health and whether a staff member is fit to work with children. I havev been advised that I should get all staff to fill out a medical declaration, which I should get them to renew annually. I don't really see what use this would be. Someone's health could change the week after they fill the form out. this partic staff member has had change of medication at least 4 times in as many months. Sometimes she tells me, sometimes she confides in another staff member that her medication is making her feel unwell, but annual renewal would be useless and I don't konw what to do.

 

 

Isn't there something on the medical declaration saying that if circumstances change in any way the employer needs to be informed straight away? Perhaps you could check this and alert the member of staff to it or if it's not there take some advice about whether you could or should be including a statement like that. Of course it won't help if the staff member chooses not to or forgets to tell you but at least there's a better chance of you finding out and you're covered a little more.

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