We have a member of staff who was injured in an accident and has required considerable time off since it became apparent that one of her knees would have to be operated on.

Her doctor’s initial advice was that she can come back to work but part time at first in order to help her cope with pain/fatigue. She is still on crutches.

That would be fine. However, employee has raised the matter of the stairs. We are in a listed building. The entrance is at street level, but all the offices bar two meeting rooms are upstairs (on three floors), the printer is downstairs and the ladies’ loo is in the basement.

The employee says, and her rehabilitation therapist supports, that although she is doing well she cannot be expected to walk down 2 flights of stairs every time she needs the loo, or up/downstairs to talk to a colleague, or to pick up printing. The doctor has also taken back his initial advice which he said was given on the basis that she’d have access to a lift.

I have asked whether it would be possible to have the employee work in a meeting room, and been given a firm ‘no’. She has asked whether she could work from home, and again, been told ‘no’. It appears clear that at least for the moment, she cannot work from her usual place in the office.

What do I do now? Do we have to keep paying her (we have a ‘full pay for 6 months for acute illness/injury’ policy) since we cannot work things out to let her come back?


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