I have recived a hospital letter regarding an employee stating that he has an appointment in May – no problems. However, it then goes on to explain that he will required to attend the hospital on a regular basis and during those stay he will be at the hospital for several days during a period of a week. These appointments are due to start in February.

I spoke to the gentleman’s line manager and asked him to approach the employee to find out some info along the lines of:
Is it a serious illness/operation?
Do we need to be made aware?
Are there any implications on him being able to carry out his job role? etc.

The manager spoke to him this morning and the employee was very aggressive – stating that the issue was private and he would not discuss it. The manager explained that we didn’t need allot of detail but that we were concerned. He still refused to give any info. The manager suggested he called me and spoke to me confidentially instead again the employee refused. He then stated that if we wouldn’t let him have the time off then fine he wouldn’t go!

I would appreciate some advice on what rights we have, as an employer, to know/ ask what the appointments are for. The employee does work in a safety critical environment (driving machinery) and my main concern is that any treatment or medication could be a health & safety risk.

I would also like an indication of how much time “a regular basis” will equate to?

Mainly, I am concern about this employee’s wellbeing and I know we have a duty of care.

Any guidance would be greatly recived!

Lucy Hibbert

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