Occupational health referrals

A Manager or Head of Department with concerns about a member of staff may wish to consult Occupational Health (OH) and/or their link HR Officer for advice prior to making a formal referral.

The reasons for the referral should be fully discussed with the individual concerned before the form is sent to OH and a copy sent to Human Resources.

All members of staff can make direct contact with OH regarding any health concern or sickness absence. However, appointments will only be made upon receipt of a referral.

Referral process

To make an occupational health referral, please complete the form below and send it to ohquery@essex.ac.uk

Occupational Health plans to introduce an online referral process. This will improve the turnaround times of appointments, reports and support mechanisms available.

Reasonable adjustments

Reasonable adjustments are made for staff with disabilities or health conditions. An employer must make reasonable adjustments to make sure workers with disabilities, or physical or mental health conditions, aren’t substantially disadvantaged when doing their jobs.

A reasonable adjustment could be a change or adaptation to the physical or working environment that has the effect of removing or minimising the impact of the individual’s impairment in the workplace, so that they are able to undertake their role. Occupational Health will advise the referring manager which staff are likely to fall under the Equality Act and what funding or support they require to assist them. If following a referral it is deemed that there are reasonable adjustments required that fall under the Equalities Act, then we will fund the purchase of this equipment.

The Equality Act

The Equality Act 2010 protects individuals with a disability or impairment. A disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long term effect on the ability to carry out normal day to day activities.


Impairments can be physical or mental. It is not possible to give an exhaustive list of conditions that may qualify as impairments for the purposes of the Act but examples could include:

  • Diagnosed chronic pain;
  • Mobility related impairments caused by accident or illness;
  • Sensory impairments, such as those affecting sight or hearing;
  • Impairments with fluctuating or recurring effects such as rheumatoid arthritis, myalgic encephalitis (ME)/chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia, depression and epilepsy;
  • Progressive, such as motor neurone disease, muscular dystrophy, forms of dementia and lupus (SLE);
  • Diabetes;
  • Organ specific, including respiratory conditions, such as asthma and cardiovascular diseases, including thrombosis, stroke and heart disease;
  • Developmental, such as autistic spectrum conditions (ASC), dyslexia and dyspraxia;
  • Learning difficulties;
  • Mental health conditions and mental illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, eating disorders, bipolar affective disorders, obsessive compulsive disorders as well as personality disorders and some self-harming behaviour;
  • Injury to the body or brain.

Whether a person is disabled for the purposes of the Act is generally determined by reference to the effect that the impairment has on that person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. A person, who was considered to be disabled or is in remission, continues to be considered disabled even when the effects of the disability have subsided.

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Contact us
Occupational Health team
Telephone: 01206 872399