A friend of mine runs a small company. One of his employees is about to have an operation. The employee has been advised he will need 10 days for the stitches to heal and then to allow for a further 6 – 10 weeks following his operation for the surgery to heal.

The doctor has advised the employee that he will need to have his work station, environment and job assessed to ensure that he is not exposed to any duties or requests which could impact on his surgical recovery.

The employee is question is entitled to 3 days as sick leave, with any further required time off being taken as the statutory £50.00 a week sick pay. The employee cannot afford to take the time off, and thus intends to return to work after 3 days.

The employee is a salesman and sits at a PC all day. He has a headset to assist with making/receiving telephone calls, and uses his PC to type up his notes and answer emails. He picks up the occaisional box or products/stationary, however this is not part of his job description.

My friend wants to ensure that the employee does not jeopardise his recovery whilst carrying out his daily tasks in the 6-10 weeks following his operation. What are the legal (and best practice) requirements that my friend should be following as the employer in this scenario? How should the assessment be carried out and what information is required? The company is small and does not have any dedicated HR practitioners, and certainly no-one qualified in carrying out H&S assessments.

Any help or guidance you can give would be much appreciated.

Kind regards
Rebecca Birt

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