The purpose and importance of management referrals

The purpose and importance of management referrals

The purpose and importance of management referrals

Management referrals are a key way for employers and senior management to take care of their employees’ health and wellbeing, to help employees who may be struggling with their health or work-related factors. By referring employees to occupational health, employers can receive essential information on how to provide the necessary support and accommodations for employees to return to work and perform at their best.

When do you need them?

Management referrals are commonly used in various situations. For example, when an employee is returning from an extended sick leave, their manager may refer them to occupational health to assess their readiness and identify any necessary accommodations. Other reasons might include addressing performance issues, behavioural changes, conflicting interests within the workplace, or identifying underlying health issues causing prolonged sickness absence.

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The benefits of management referrals

Utilising management referrals can yield numerous benefits for both employees and businesses. By identifying and addressing health issues early on, employers can prevent long-term sickness absence and performance issues. Occupational health referrals allow you to monitor employee performance and help ensure a happy and healthy working environment. Improved attendance records and early intervention contribute to a safer, more productive workforce.

Referrals can also be an asset in identifying where changes can be made in the workplace, improving the health and safety of employees while ensuring legal compliance. By providing assessments, referrals to additional medical support, and practical advice on risk management, occupational health professionals can assist managers in identifying key areas of concern such as musculoskeletal disorders or stress, and provide effective solutions. Investing in this type of expertise is essential, as it has been shown that healthier workplaces lead to improved productivity and reduced absenteeism rates. Furthermore, occupational health professionals can play a vital role in implementing tailored programs for employee wellbeing which are designed to both improve individual health outcomes and promote wider team engagement with key policies.

Important considerations

You must be aware of legal and ethical considerations and any relevant regulations when making management referrals. It is crucial to obtain employee consent and ensure total transparency throughout the referral process, including access to any relevant records at all stages. Additionally, all information shared should be factual, with as little personal opinions and subjective input as possible. Data protection and confidentiality must be upheld, and employees should have the right to access any and all information related to their referral upon request.

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How to make good referrals

To make the most of a referral, managers should provide as much detailed and specific information in the referral as possible. Here are some essential questions to answer within the referral:

  • Why is the employee being referred?
  • What is the employee’s sickness absence history and any relevant medical diagnosis?
  • Are there any performance issues, behavioural changes, or factors affecting work ability?
  • Are there any conflicting interests within the workplace?
  • What are the risk assessments, job descriptions, and any existing adjustments or modifications?

Management referrals are an essential tool for employers to ensure the best health and wellbeing of their employees. By utilising occupational health expertise, businesses can proactively address health-related challenges and provide appropriate support for their staff. By following best practices and guidelines, businesses can effectively manage referrals, minimise sickness absence, and encourage the best health and wellbeing possible. Early intervention and open communication with occupational health professionals and employees are necessary for the success of management referrals.

Fusion also offers a manager’s support line where you can call in with a question about making referrals, talking to your employees, or any other occupational health related questions.

If you have any questions or need any advice on management referrals, contact us today!