Should staff who are absent from work with suspected COVID-19 virus be referred to Occupational Health?

If the absence is only related to suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and they are self-isolating, they do not need to be referred to Occupational Health. If there are other reasons for a referral, such as attendance management or mental health, referrals should be made as usual.

Should employees still attend face to face Occupational Health appointments?

From Thursday 19 March 2020 all Occupational Health appointments will be conducted by telephone until further notice. Managers must ensure employees are aware of the change to a telephone appointment and ensure that the referral has included a contact telephone number. If you need to provide further information, the contact details for client
services are as follows:

What about other Occupational Health services such as physiotherapy and counselling?


Face to face counselling via Health Assured is still proceeding as normal. This will change if counselling is not an option in the event of employees' self-isolation or travel lockdown. If both the counsellor and the  employee are well enough to continue their sessions, then sessions can continue either as structured telephone or online video counselling. This needs to be agreed by both parties.

Online video counselling is delivered using a secure Zoom platform. The contact number for the Employee Assistance Programme service is 0800 0305182.


Unfortunately, from 23 March physiotherapy services are no longer available.

Wellbeing support

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is at the forefront of many people’s minds, as the outbreak continues to dominate global news and media. During times of uncertainty, it is understandable to feel an increased level of concern and become anxious. If you feel you need some support to help positively manage your mental wellbeing, the Employee Assistance Programme is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

The service is also available to partners and dependents living in the same household. Dependents must be aged 16-24 in full time education.

It is also important to look after your wellbeing if you need to self-isolate. We know that staying at home for a prolonged period of time can be difficult, frustrating and lonely for some people and that you may feel low.

It’s important to remember to take care of your mind as well as your body and to get support if and when you need it.

Remember, you have access to support services, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year by calling 0800 0305182.