Many employees choose to share their cancer diagnosis with their employer or manager. Knowing this can allow you to make reasonable adjustments. But you have no legal right to know the diagnosis or the clinical details of an employee’s condition. Employees have a right of confidentiality under the Human Rights Act 1998.
With the employee’s permission, you could ask an occupational health provider for advice about how the person’s health may affect their ability to do their job. This conversation may cover:
- the likely length of time off
- the likely effect of their health issues on their return to work
- the likely length of time any health issues may affect the individual’s ability to do their job
- whether there are any adjustments needed in the workplace to help overcome any disadvantage the individual may have because of their health issues
- the likely length of time any adjustments are needed for
- the potential impact of health issues on their performance or attendance
- the potential impact of health issues on health and safety
- whether the individual could do other roles in your organisation.
If you need occupational health advice about an employee’s condition (with their permission), you should make sure your questions are relevant to how your organisation is run.