Employment and Migration Blog

The Doctor will See You – Asking an Employee for Medical Information and/or a Medical Examination

Posted by Anna Ford on 25 Jun 2015

Can I require an employee to provide medical information and/or attend a medical examination?

This question comes across my desk from time to time so I thought it was worth clarifying.

It depends on the particular circumstances, so it is always worth seeking advice. If in doubt, as a general rule the position is…

As an employer, you have an obligation to make sure that your employees are fit and well to perform the requirements of their position. If this is in doubt or unclear, for example if an employee has recently had a long term illness or injury, an employer seeking confirmation from a medical report (or medical clearance – which may include attending a medical examination by a suitable medical practicitioner of the employer’s choosing) is likely to be considered reasonable.

A request such as this could, in appropriate circumstances, be made as a “direction” to provide information or attend a medical examination and could therefore constitute a ‘reasonable and lawful direction.’ In this case, failure by the employee to comply could be viewed as a legitimate basis for disciplinary action, including but not limited to termination.

If this is an issue you are currently faced with, please do not hesitate to contact Coleman Grieg’s Employment Law team for further clarification of your rights as an employer: