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

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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

Popular FAQs

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...

Consultation Support

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.


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HR Audits

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.


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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.


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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.


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Organisational Design

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.


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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