Welfare and Medical Capability Meetings
When dealing long-term absence or persistent short-term absences, care must be taken to avoid being found liable for unlawful discrimination.
If you have concerns about an employee’s ability to undertake their role effectively, our seasoned HR Consultants can take care of all formal meetings for you and help you to do the right thing by your people and your business.
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How we help
Manage medical capability as quickly and painlessly as possible
The business impact of ill health can be significant. Whether this is manifesting as frequent short-term absences, long-term sickness or a drop in performance, medical capability issues can be nuanced, complex and take many months to resolve.
Whether the outcome is a safe return to work or dismissal on medical grounds, our hands-on HR support can help you move forward quickly and compliantly.
- Follow the correct procedure with support from a named HR Consultant who is familiar with the process and knows what questions to ask
- Have us consultant conduct welfare meetings, medical capability hearings and appeals with the employee on your behalf
- Understand prognosis and likely time periods with help arranging the medical consent and reports
- Minimise the risk of an Employment Tribunal claim with measured advice on reasonable adjustments
- Make reasonable, informed decisions with a summary report of facts and recommendations
Peace of mind in high-pressure situations
In addition to the amount of time and attention welfare and medical capability issues demand, these matters can invite high emotions and legal risk, making them a daunting prospect for even the most competent managers. As well as not being emotionally invested, reducing the likelihood of enflaming the situation, our skilled HR specialists have an expert understanding of best practice, minimising the scope for litigation later down the line.
Even issues that seem, on the face of it, only very loosely connected to an employee’s medical condition have cost employers thousands at Tribunal. It therefore makes sense to enlist specialist support to not only save time and stress but ensure any decisions taken are proportionate, in pursuit of a legitimate aim and supported by solid documentary evidence.
"The advice we receive from the advisers at Ellis Whittham is comprehensive and easy to understand. We have a designated contact and the response time for all our HR issues and queries is excellent."
The Learning For Life Partnership
Common queries about our welfare and medical capability support, answered the HR specialists that deliver it.
Can you help us to reach a decision on medical capability?
Any decision in regard to an employee’s fitness for work can only be made by the organisation. However, we can help you to look at the requirements of the role against the person’s limitations and consider whether adjustments can be made to their hours or duties to enable them to return. All the information you need to make an informed decision will be presented in one report produced by your HR Consultant.
What’s the difference between a welfare meeting and medical capability hearing?
A welfare meeting is the initial conversations with the employee, held either during a period of absence or following the absence period. The aim of the meetings is to understanding what issues they are facing, how this impacts them, and what support is required to enable them to undertake their role effectively. It will also consider if further medical evidence is necessary and whether or not any adjustments should be considered. A medical capability hearing is a formal meeting to review the employee’s absence record and all medical evidence received and make an assessment as to the likelihood of an employee returning to work within a reasonable timeframe or sustaining an acceptable attendance level.
Explore Our HR Consultancy Services
We do more than just welfare and medical capability...
Looking to make changes within your organisation? If it will have a fundamental impact on the employment relationship, you have a duty to inform and consult with your employees first.
Whether you’re embarking on large-scale redundancies, considering making changes to employees’ terms and conditions or going through a transfer of ownership, our skilled HR specialists can conduct productive consultations with those affected to help you make informed, commercial decisions.
Want to ensure your organisation is compliant with HR best practice and latest employment law developments? Keen to understand your strengths and weaknesses, protect your organisation, and improve the efficiency of your HR system? Then you need a HR audit.
Policies, procedures, practices. Get a systematic health check of how you’re performing from a people management perspective and take your HR function to the next level with support from Ellis Whittam.
Investigations, Hearings and Appeals
There are many components to a fair disciplinary or grievance process. If you’re not comfortable conducting investigations, hearings and appeals yourself, or are simply strapped for time, our seasoned HR specialists can offer on-site support to take the pressure off.
We can conduct the meetings for you or, if you prefer, attend them with you to provide expert guidance and reassurance. This is invaluable when experienced, independent HR support is needed.
Mediation and Facilitation
Resolving a workplace dispute or repairing a working relationship that has gone sour isn’t always easy. At Ellis Whittam, we can provide mediation or facilitation services to help two or more individuals or groups reach a solution that is acceptable to everyone.
We can help those involved understand each other’s perspectives, clarify potential options, and develop an appropriate action plan for the parties to follow – allowing you to move forward positively.
Got big plans for your organisation over the next 12 months to three years? Then you might need to rethink and right-size your organisation to make sure your structure and skillset aligns with your aims.
If you’re not sure where to start with a task of this scale, our skilled HR Consultants can support you through the reorganisation process and ensure your workforce is set up for future success.
95% Client satisfaction rate - 97% Client retention rate
Experts in Employment Law & HR
Why choose us?
At Ellis Whittam, we’re known for our bespoke service and the quality of our support. Not only is our expertise unmatched, but we take the time to know you so that we can function as a true extension of your team.
- Your own small team of dedicated experts
- Commercial, pragmatic advice tailored to you
- Bespoke contracts, policies and handbooks
- Trusted by over 35,000 organisations
- Recognised as a leading firm by the Legal 500
Who you'll be working with
Principal Employment Law Adviser
HR Consultancy Manager
“I’ve taken Ellis Whittam into every organisation that I’ve worked with. I’ve introduced them to many teams and many colleagues and referred them with absolute pleasure because I genuinely trust in the service that we get.”
Debbie Jamieson, People Director
“We get a great deal of comfort and satisfaction knowing that we have support as and when we need it, in a decisive and responsive way.”
Richard Berry, Group HR Director
Bluestone National Park Resort
“What we recognised in Ellis Whittam is the background that they have. They are able to supply knowledge and experience in a number of disciplines, which enables us to develop our business in a way that’s safe, to do it on time and with a quality to it.”
Debbie Rainbow, Director of Human Resources and Health & Safety
“As the company started to get larger, we knew we had to protect our employees and our contractors both onsite and in the offices. Ellis Whittam is exactly what we needed to move the company forward.”
Joanne Beaver, Operations Director
“We have found Ellis Whittam to be responsive and aligned with our business in terms of our processes and expectations. Their pragmatic approach has proven to be a great fit – nobody wants to be fighting their adviser on basic employment decisions.”
Jonathan Green, COO
“Ellis Whittam supports our 280 staff members with Employment Law and Health & Safety and has provided quality management training too.”
Lisa Best, Head of Service Delivery
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