Injury Benefit for NHS Employees who are not able to work due to work related stress
Where full sick pay has run out the employee can apply for Temporary Injury Benefits, which if granted pays 85% of their usual salary (I think for up to a year). The Occupational Health staff should inform employees of this (ethical obligation) and certainly so should the Trust HR department.
The attached booklet describes the benefit. From what I understand the application forms should be obtained from the NHS Pensions Agency (contact details on page 10 of the attached booklet) and sent to their Trust (probably to the director of Human Resources) . The Trust will invariably reject the claim, but the applicant should then appeal to the NHS Pensions Agency who will assess it more objectively.
More information can be obtained on the following website:
It is imperative to apply ASAP as the date of the first application – usually to the Trust, is the date from which the benefit will be paid, even if the application is not complete.
There is also a Permanent Injury Benefit which is a pension for life for employees whose health has been permanently damaged. The rules regarding this have been changed recently as described in the attached BMA weblink.
Other Occupational Health Aspects
It appears that a referral by management to OH may be experienced as an opportunity for the Trust to obtain information from the employee that can be later used against them.
Employees referred to OH are obliged to co-operate as part of their conditions of employment. However, they can expect the same confidentiality rules as apply in any other Dr- Patient interaction. Only reports for which the employee has full knowledge and consent should be sent to the Trust management in writing or verbally.
Employees can take a support person to the consultation, either a colleague, Union Rep, family member etc (I think lawyers are not encouraged). The employee is allowed to be informed beforehand in writing of the questions that the Occupational Physician (OP) will be asked to address in a report. The employee has a right to see the report and request changes before it is sent (under medical ethics and the Access to Medical Reports Act). They also have a right to see and have copies of their confidential OH medical records, as well as to know of the contents of any telephone or face to face meeting with the OH staff which is held about them and to obtain copies of any records produced from these communications.