The Equality Act 2010 brought changes to management practices, replacing the Disability Discrimination Act (1995). Employers can now only ask questions about an employee’s health if they directly relate to their work role or duties.

Questions to occupational health should focus on capability, such as “Can the employee work full days?” Avoid asking employees about the content of their assessment beyond what’s in the report.

While employers can’t demand to know about specific illnesses or conditions, even if they cause absence, they can request a ‘fit note’ from a GP, although these provide limited detail.

You may need to make “reasonable adjustments” to support an employee with a potential disability. We advise on possible adjustments, but the reasonableness of an adjustment is ultimately a legal decision.

Arranging an occupational health appointment helps manage risks while complying with the Equality Act, facilitating a successful return to work.