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What is management referral?

As a manager or HR personnel it is necessary to know when you should send your employees off for a management referral, this article talks about the benefits and requirements of the procedure.

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What is management referral?

A management referral (also known as a case management referral) or sickness absence referral, is when an employee needs to have an occupational health consultation with an Occupational Health Physician or Nurse. This will stem from the employer having concerns about the employee’s ability or safety to carry out their job role.

The employer may want specific questions answered in order to understand the employees needs in the workplace such as “Does the employee fall under the disability act” or “is the employee currently capable of carrying out any alternative type of work, if so what?”. The management referral will be completed face to face or remotely depending on your preference.

At the moment in time due to COVID19 this would be completed remotely via telephone or zoom.


Prior to proceeding with the consultation, we would need the employees consent, this will require the employee to complete a consent form that will be issued by Healthscreen UK. The consent form allows Healthscreen to provide the Occupational Health Physician with the employee’s details and to prove that the employee is happy to proceed with the referral. The employee’s consent is required due to the nature of the confidentially and privacy of the employee’s health and physical condition.

The employee also has every right to refuse the referral, refusals may occur if the employee is unhappy with the nature of the referral, if they do not understand the process or it could be something completely different.

Employees rights




Management referral reports

As an occupational health provider, we feel it is important to stress the fact that the opinion the nurse or physician comes to is completely unbiased and we can only assess the situation on the factual elements and information we have been given. The employee can either consent to see the report before the employer or at the same time as the employer. If the employee consents to see the report first the employer must wait 5 days after the referral has been conducted to receive the report.

This gives the employee the opportunity to change any wording in the report they are unhappy with. Please note that although wording can be changed the clinician will not change their clinical opinion on the overall fitness, restrictions and recommendations. The employee can only change wording where there may have been a miscommunication between them and the clinician e.g. “The employee spoke to their line manager” compared to “The employee spoke to their HR manager”.

Withdrawal of consent

The employee can also withdraw their consent at any point, even after the appointment and the report has been written. This can occur if the employee feels pressured into the referral or if they’re unhappy with the contents of the report and does not want the referring manager to see. If this was to happen this would then be something HR would have to address with the employee.

Employer’s requirement

We would also need a management referral form completed by the employer. This will have the company details on along with some background information on the case. The more information you can provide us with on the case the more prepared the clinician will be going into the appointment.  This form is also where you would have the opportunity to ask the specific questions as mentioned previously.

Why would an employee need a management referral?

An employee may require a management referral for several reasons, these could be work life or personal life reasons. These could be such as:

  • An injury (in or outside the workplace)
  • Concerns regarding prescribed medication
  • Mental health concerns
  • Workplace safety breaches
  • Long term sickness
  • Short term sickness
  • Medical Conditions
  • Following a medical condition diagnosis
  • Concerns regarding fitness to work
  • Disability
  • Return to work
  • Post operation

There could be many other reasons a management referral is required. If you are unsure whether this is a service you require please contact us for assistance on 01455 243700 or email us at admin@healthscreenuk.co.uk.

Stay posted for our next blog “who needs a management referral” that will be live next week!



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