I fractured my ankle several months ago and have been absent from work during this time. I’ve had monthly HR welfare meetings / calls during this time.

In the last call, an Occupational Therapy assessment was mentioned and whether I’d agree to have a call.

My hospital had an occupational therapist who basically got me home with a bed downstairs etc.

However I’m wondering what this assessment via HR will involve.

The HR lady did mention it would determine when I would be able to come back to work.

But without access to my medical records I’m not sure how that’s possible.

My main problem at the moment is coping with pain and physiotherapy exercises, which I need to do to get my mobility back.

I can’t help but think that an OT assessment is designed to force me into something.

  • Talk to your union (if you have one) or Citizen's Advice/a lawyer if you don't. Sep 22, 2021 at 8:55
  • Your employer can make a lawful request for your medical records in order for their occupation therapists to perform a proper assessment. Sep 22, 2021 at 13:11
  • Also, any refusal to work with your employer to facilitate you return to work, could very well count against you. So I'd certainly speak with Citizen's Advice. Sep 22, 2021 at 13:16
  • I just noticed that you're a software developer who can't work because you've fractured your ankle several months ago. Though it appears you can work from home. No surprise your employer wants a professional medical opinion on how they can assist you in returning to work. Sep 22, 2021 at 13:19

2 Answers 2


I can think of two good reasons why your employer may want you to talk to their occupational therapist.

  1. To determine what you will and won't be able to do when you return to work.
  2. To determine whether or not they need to make any adjustments to your workplace while you recover from your injury.

I can’t help but think that an OT assessment is designed to force me into something.

In the UK, your employer is permitted to ignore the medical opinions of your doctor. They could very well use the opinions of other medical practitioners in order to prove your fitness for work.

In addition, your refusal to work with your employer in order to facilitate a return to work could count against you in an employment tribunal.

Comments stating that only your doctor can declare you fit-for-work are wrong. That is not true in the UK.

From https://www.davidsonmorris.com/fit-note-guidance-for-employers

You may suspect an employee is fit for work, contrary to the advice given in the fit note. ...

In situations like this you may choose to further investigate the basis (or absence) of the fit note by gathering your own medical evidence about your employee’s fitness for work from other doctors and healthcare professionals.

You are also within your rights to give this other evidence precedence over the advice in the fit note. However, if the employee decides to formally challenge your decision, you may need to demonstrate to an employment tribunal why the alternative source of evidence was more acceptable to you than the fit note.

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