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Introduction to this document

Suspension on medical grounds letter

Some jobs are covered by special health and safety regulations under which employees may be suspended from work on medical grounds. Use our letter to suspend an employee in this scenario but be aware of the circumstances which may give rise to a medical suspension and the fact you may be obliged to pay a medical suspension payment.

Employees covered

Essentially, the regulations apply to employees who work with ionising radiation, lead or some other potentially hazardous substance. Employees have to be suspended from work if continued exposure to these substances might damage their health.

A medical suspension

In the case of ionising radiation, an Employment Medical Advisor at the Employment Medical Advisory Service, or another appointed doctor, may decide, as a result of routine or special medical surveillance, that a particular employee is not fit to continue this work (health surveillance need not include a medical examination). In the case of exposure to lead or other hazardous substances, a medical examination by an Employment Medical Advisor, or another appointed doctor, may show that an employee’s health (or that of her unborn child if the employee is pregnant) would be endangered if exposure to the particular substance continued. The doctor would then inform you and you must suspend the employee from working in that particular role. The employee cannot recommence that employment until the doctor declares it is safe for them to do so. Your employee can apply to the Health and Safety Executive to review the medical decision to suspend them if they’re not happy. We have included an acceptance slip in our letter for the employee to sign. This isn’t strictly required legally so you could take it out, but they are less likely to complain if they have signed the acceptance.

Medical suspension pay

Employees suspended on medical grounds are entitled to receive their normal pay for up to 26 weeks. However, this does not apply where the employee has unreasonably refused to do suitable alternative work that you have offered. Note this work doesn’t have to be the same as they were employed to do under their contract of employment. Our Suspension on Medical Grounds Letter covers both scenarios.

Not covered

Note that the medical suspension payment provisions don’t cover anyone who has not been continuously employed for at least a month before the day on which the suspension begins.