Do Occupational Health And Your GP Disagree About When You Should Return To Work?

What happens if your company's Occupational Health department says that you are fit to return to work after sickness but your own GP says you should stay off work for a while longer? Is your employer allowed to stop your sick pay if you stay off?

No. Case law outlined below explains the legal situation.

Scottish Courage Ltd vs Guthrie EAT/0788/03

Ian Guthrie was off sick after an accident at work. There was a contractual sick pay policy that said sickness absence would be paid if it was genuine. The company's occupational health adviser (OHA) disagreed with Guthrie's GP over the date he would be fit to return and Scottish Courage refused to pay him beyond the date given by OHA. The EAT held they were wrong to do so. There had been no suggestion that his illness was not genuine and the employer had an obligation to pay for any genuine sickness absence. Guthrie had a reasonable expectation based on past practice that he would be paid.

[From RMT's Law at work 2008]