Information for employers

A healthy workforce promotes increased productivity and organisational performance. Employers in the public, private and charitable sectors may seek advice on how to enable those with health conditions and disabilities to be sustained in work, and to comply with disability related legislation. Employers will also know they have a Statutory duty to keep employees healthy and safe whilst in work, and to manage risks in the workplace that are likely to give rise to work-related ill health. Although occupational health services vary in the type of service, where and how this is delivered, the core elements are advising on the effect of health on an employee’s work, and protecting health in work.

Why occupational health is needed

Protecting the health of employees includes new starter and periodic fitness for work assessments for safety critical roles, immunisation programmes where infection risks are present, and health surveillance for risks identified on an employer’s risk assessments (such as Hand Arm Vibration).

Statutory Health Surveillance. The law requires medical surveillance of specific hazards such as asbestos, lead, and ionising radiation, by a competent occupational physician appointed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), called an ‘appointed doctor’.

Supporting employees with health conditions and/or disability includes pre-placement assessments to advise on any need for adjustments on starting a new role, providing clinical and workplace assessments on referral by the employer, and recommending suitable workplace adjustments where appropriate, to support compliance with employment and equality legislation.

Ill health retirement is a specific health assessment for eligibility for early payment of pension benefits on the grounds of permanent ill health, as determined by the regulations for the employer’s scheme.

Interventions to restore health to support rehabilitation, which may include physiotherapy and psychotherapy services.

Promoting the health of employees includes advising on job design, workplace stress management, musculoskeletal health, and assessments of the health of night shift workers. Advice on promoting healthy lifestyles might include specific campaigns, and guidance on health policy development.

Training and education could include workshops for managers on supporting mental and physical health at work, and managing workplace stress as well as specific risk management training.

Other services could include contributing to policies on sickness absence, health and safety and infection control.

Why use a SEQOHS accredited provider?

SEQOHS accreditation provides assurance that the accredited occupational health provider:

  • Understands the occupational health needs of the organisation they are delivering services for
  • Has had the value of its outputs independently assessed and validated
  • Has staff who are professionally qualified and trained for the work they undertake.
  • Are qualified to act as a ‘competent person’, as defined by the HSE, to advise on protecting the health of employees and supporting those with disabilities in work.
  • Treat the employees of the clients they see professionally and with respect.

How can I check if an occupational health service provider is SEQOHS accredited?

You can check on our list of SEQOHS accredited OH services

How do I find specific occupational health services provided in my area?

On the home page, you can search for the type of service that you are looking for, and where and how these services are delivered, in your area (noting that providers may deliver UK wide or in more discrete geographical areas. Some service may be delivered UK wide using remote consultations.

For more information on the law relating to health and safety and the range of risks to health in the workplace, please go to the Health and Safety Executive website.


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The Faculty of Occupational Medicine (FOM) is the professional and educational body for occupational medicine in the UK and seeks to ensure the highest standards of practice.