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Topic: Sickness absence

record of home visit with sick employee
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Record of home visit with sick employee

Record of home visit with sick employee

Where you’ve arranged to visit a long-term sick employee at home to discuss their current state of health and any potential adjustments to support their return to work, make sure you keep a meeting record.  

Purpose of home visit

Under the terms of our Sickness Absence Policy, you can request a home visit with an employee who’s on long-term sickness absence, although they’re not obliged to agree to this type of request, and you can’t force them to do so. The key purpose of this type of visit is to see if there’s anything you can do to assist the employee in returning to work. Our Letter Requesting Home Visit with Sick Employee will enable you to arrange the meeting. At the home visit itself, you can discuss the employee’s current absence record, ask them for an update on the state of their health (and any medical procedures or consultations that are still awaited) and then explore how best you may be able to help them to return to work in some capacity, including discussing any adjustments that may be required either on a permanent or temporary basis, e.g. altered working hours, amended job duties, a phased return to work, workplace adaptations, etc. It’s also a useful opportunity to update them about what’s been happening in the workplace in their absence.

Do’s and don’ts

When making home visits, do keep the duration of the visit short and allow frequent breaks if needed, do keep the tone of the visit friendly and informal and be empathetic and do consider allowing a family member to be present, particularly if the employee is absent with a mental illness. Don’t turn up heavy-handed with a team of managers or HR staff, don’t do or say anything to suggest you don’t believe the employee is sick or not yet fit enough to be able to return to work, don’t cross-examine them about their illness, don’t try to pressurise them into committing to a return-to-work date and don’t discuss the possibility of dismissal on incapability grounds.

Record of home visit

Once you’ve conducted the meeting (take handwritten notes), you can use our Record of Home Visit with Sick Employee to keep a formal written record of it. As well as including details of the attending manager (and any other attendees) and the date, time, duration and location of the meeting, it allows you to record the length of and reason for the current period of sickness absence. It then goes on to cover the content of the meeting itself and there are boxes so that you can set out the employee’s update on the current state of their health and on any medical procedures, consultations, etc. that are still awaited, along with their anticipated return-to-work date, if they provide this. Our record then sets out the potential adjustments you’ve discussed to aid their return to work and your agreed plan of actions to be taken by both parties. Finally, there’s a box to record what updates you provided to them about workplace developments and a box to set out details of any support mechanisms that you notified to them, such as a counselling helpline or an employee assistance programme.

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