Following two referral appointments to our company Occupational Health Physician (in accordance with agreed policies in place), we received a written recommendation, on both occasions, that employee was fit to return to work on lighter duties for a phased period of time and that this employee’s local GP was in agreement with the Occupational Health person's opinion.
The employee was informed on both occasions of the recommendations but maintains that, in his opinion, he remains unfit to return to work and intends to be guided only by his local GP, who subsequently issued him with a further cert for a further extended period of time after the 2nd appointment date.
What is the company’s legal entitlements in such a situation?
Is it appropriate for an employer to make a decision to discipline and/or withdraw entitlement to sick pay solely based on the opinion of its Occupational Health physician's recommendations due to their expertise in this area?
Or would it be best practice to seek a third party opinion before any action is taken?