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Author: Subject: Altering a letter to my employer
steve m

posted on 31/3/13 at 11:43 AM Reply With Quote
Altering a letter to my employer

Hi all,

I wont go into all the details, but i am currently signed off from work, having had a mild stroke, (i am pretty well fine now!!)
so, when i return to work in a couple of weeks, my supervisor wants a copy of all the Drs/consultants letter/notes
I didnt know they could ask for that

Having spoken to a couple of friends who have been off sick, breast cancer/and another for depression, neither of them, had to supply "all the paperwork" just the drs certificates, which i have, and all tally up dates wise etc

My main reason for not supplying the letters etc, are, one its personal infomation, and on a couple of them i have a couple of "comments" that i do not want work knowing about (nothing too sinister)

So, do i refuse to let them see the paperwork, or do i copy, and delete the bits i feel to sensitive,
or do i copy, and blank out in thick black ink any thing sensitive

well, thats it, but im still not sure what to do!


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posted on 31/3/13 at 11:52 AM Reply With Quote
I have been in situations where I was on long term sick and no one asked for anything other than a Dr's letter explaining why. I would be very reluctant to supply my employer (let alone supervisor) my medical notes. EDIT to say I would flat out refuse to hand another like this over without legal advice.

Are they asking for the company Dr to look at them? As that is another matter and very different to handing over you medical history to a supervisor. Worth checking.

I would get some legal advice really to see where you stand.

[Edited on 31/3/13 by liam.mccaffrey]

[Edited on 31/3/13 by liam.mccaffrey]

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posted on 31/3/13 at 12:07 PM Reply With Quote
As above, get legal advice, if they really do need to see something I'd try asking the Dr to write a letter specifically to them as I'm assuming all they're after is what he has said.

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posted on 31/3/13 at 12:10 PM Reply With Quote
As a GP, we're frequently asked for medical reports on patients who have been off sick for a long time but we have to have the patient's consent and it has to be related to specific questions (from the employer) rather than the employer just saying "I want to see all your medical records". When I've had to do this an am employer our own employees have never refused to have a medical report done (why would they)- but obviously this is a different problem.
The likely reason your employer doesn't want to get a report (so instead wants to see the clinic letters) is that if they ask the GP for a medical report they'll have to pay for it- providing medical reports isn't covered by the NHS.

There's no reason for them to need to see your clinic letters. Either they could write to your GP for a report or send you to an occupational health doctor for review. I very much doubt they have the right to demand to see your confidential medical records just because they employ you.

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posted on 31/3/13 at 12:11 PM Reply With Quote
Im not sure your obliged to give such documents, but, if it keeps the peace, photocopy and blank out the private stuff you dont want them to see.
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posted on 31/3/13 at 12:31 PM Reply With Quote
I would be inclined to ask which paperwork they want to see, and add that surely they are not asking to see the confidential medical notes that would be meaningless to anybody but a qualified medical practitioner. Offer to give the name and address of your doctor should they want a medical report from them.
They may want some sort of confirmation that you are OK to return to work and so on, which is a good thing. The supervisor may just be unsure what they want.....

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posted on 31/3/13 at 12:46 PM Reply With Quote
Just tell them it was personal information, you thought you would never have to refer to again and have shredded them.

If they want a medical report BenB's advice would be the way to go.

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posted on 31/3/13 at 12:51 PM Reply With Quote
Bloody hell Steve! Hope you're ok mate! As already said, pretty sure they can't need that information, should be confidential.
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posted on 31/3/13 at 12:52 PM Reply With Quote
They have to have your consent and you can request to see any info sent to the employer before they actually see it, they are not asking for anything out of the normal, this is common practice within any business. They do have a right to made aware of any medical condition of an employee, which they will be expected to handle in the most confidential manner abiding to all data rtection procedures.

And the ther hand as an employee we should be informing the employer of any medical change which may affect the working conditions.

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posted on 31/3/13 at 02:54 PM Reply With Quote
I wouldn't supply the letters directly as the do contain personal information that may or may not be relevant.
Your supervisor and/or HR and likely not medically qualified to read and interpret this info anyway.

Would you expect them to provide you with their medical history?!?

As a halfway house, talk to your Gp before hand and if acceptable to him/her, ask that company paid doctor discuss your details with your Gp

That way only directly relevant information is disclosed to only competent people.
The cost of a medical legal report if its what they want is small compared to a months pay for them
Don't edit a letter, it's in forgery territory
Blacking out bits nearly looks worse

Best of luck with your recovery.

[Edited on 31-3-13 by on_eighty_runner]

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posted on 31/3/13 at 04:09 PM Reply With Quote
The have a right to know anything that affects you while you are at work but giving them your all of your notes is excessive and not relevant.
Your manager may not know this or may just be being nosey Have a look here for some pointers. If you decide to copy letters, redact(use a black marker) the bits that you don't want them to see and then photocopy them again. Give them the second copy (that you cant read behind the marker pen )

good luck


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posted on 31/3/13 at 04:35 PM Reply With Quote
Steve, can't help with the question but pleased to hear you're recovering well. I hope you make a full and speedy recovery.

I'm hoping to head up to Newlands for Breakfast once I've got the new, improved Velocity on the road and I've got my London Marathon out the way in 3 weeks.

I'd be more than happy to give you a lift up if you fancy a run out.

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posted on 31/3/13 at 04:57 PM Reply With Quote
When I got knocked off me bike and suffered a few muscle type injuries and a dizzy head (My crash helmet was split up the back) my company HR insisted I go see the company doctor with all the relevent paperwork.. I sort some advise from the doc and he said it was up to me, but, just take your medication for the head injury..

The company doc took one look at the tablets and told me to go home a not come back till I was fully recovered!

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posted on 31/3/13 at 05:09 PM Reply With Quote
Sorry I am on holiday and cannot give you chapter and verse but look at this it tells you what you need to know - note the distinction between your treating doctor (your own GP) and a Dr who your employer gets to write a report for occupational health reasons - hope this helps

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steve m

posted on 31/3/13 at 06:16 PM Reply With Quote
Thanks Guys,

All of the above is pretty well, what we expected, and my Supervisor, has only been in the job, a couple of months, as the previous Sup, is off long term sick with stress problems, says it all really, !!

I have another Consultant app next week and again late april, and will ask for a letter or what ever for me to return to work, and feel that will satisfy the company's requirment

I feel pretty well ok now, and as of friday 29 march i am now allowed to drive, as banned for 4 weeks,


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austin man

posted on 31/3/13 at 06:24 PM Reply With Quote
I would actually think that now they have no right to ask for this information as you have now been deemed fit for work by the hospital / doctor. During you period of sickness they have the right to request medical information relating to the condition that is preventing you from work. They may also ask you to see one of their doctors / occupational therapists. The later is to them in making any decisions going forward ie how much longer will you be off work what will your ability be on your return. Also as to whether they are looking to releas you from your role, the supervisor should not be the person requesting this information if anything it is the HR / personell manager who asks for this not a colleague as that is effectively what the supervisor is.

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posted on 1/4/13 at 11:13 PM Reply With Quote
Go see Ben. He sounds like he knows what it's all about. People freak out when I tell them my audiology reports cost $30. Everything is always about money, though they never actually say: "I'm a cheap git, and don't want to pay for anything".
I hope you feel better. It's a scary situation and can happen to any one of us.

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