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Old 14 Sep 21, 01:38 PM  
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Dollymixture
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Voluntary work and mask wearing

My husband wants to do some voluntary work as a van driver redistributing food to hostels and the homeless. He applied and was interviewed and offered a start date.
Now the issue is they are insisting that he must wear a mask unless exempt.
He is exempt due to autism and sensory issues.
They have asked for medical proof of this sitting he is exempt.

Contacted GP who said no one needs to show proof of being exempt anymore as itís not law now and to download something off gov website to show company.

Company said no, not enough, need proof and have requested he gives them written permission to access to his medical records directly!

GP said even if he does that, they will not be giving him an access to medical details.

So my question is - can the company actually insist on medical proof of exemption even with the change of rules regarding mask wearing? And how do we get it if the Gp insists they wonít do it as it is not necessary anymore.
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Old 14 Sep 21, 01:49 PM  
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tspill
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I would imagine that the company can ask as a condition of employment.

They wouldn't want or seek access to medical records. More than likely they would expect a GP's letter. I cant imagine that would be a problem for a GP. It isn't down to the GP to decide what a company wants. Sounds like the GP is digging their heels in to make their point at your OH's expense.
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Old 14 Sep 21, 02:08 PM  
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Dollymixture
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I should make it clear that itís the receptionists that are saying this - but itís impossible to speak to GP without a receptionist allowing it. So really hit a brick wall!

Originally Posted by tspill View Post
I would imagine that the company can ask as a condition of employment.

They wouldn't want or seek access to medical records. More than likely they would expect a GP's letter. I cant imagine that would be a problem for a GP. It isn't down to the GP to decide what a company wants. Sounds like the GP is digging their heels in to make their point at your OH's expense.
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Old 14 Sep 21, 02:14 PM  
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tspill
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Originally Posted by Dollymixture View Post
I should make it clear that itís the receptionists that are saying this - but itís impossible to speak to GP without a receptionist allowing it. So really hit a brick wall!
Is there a practice manager you can write to.
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Old 14 Sep 21, 02:44 PM  
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123
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Originally Posted by tspill View Post
Is there a practice manager you can write to.
Doesn't really require writing to the practice manager, in this case the receptionist is correct. There is no law in England now requiring mask wearing in the situation described, so the doctor is not required to provide any exemption details.

I suppose you could pay for a private consult to get the outcome the OP wants.

I guess I have two thoughts

1) If the company is being difficult here and asking for more than is legally required I would go volunteer elsewhere

2) Given its a volunteer delivery driver I'm presuming it involves some interaction with the more vulnerabel in society, I would suggest that these would be more comfortable with someone in a mask, so maybe this isn't the right volunteering opportunity for someone not able to wear one
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Old 14 Sep 21, 03:04 PM  
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I would imagine that this request will be treated as a private request and the GP would/could charge for this letter.

As masks are no longer a legal requirement there is no need for any exemption letter from a GP- if this is a rule/request of the company it will be treated as no different than a company asking for any other medical exemption letter or medical test/exam or report from a GP for a job, which is chargeable.
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Old 14 Sep 21, 03:13 PM  
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tspill
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Originally Posted by 123 View Post
Doesn't really require writing to the practice manager, in this case the receptionist is correct. There is no law in England now requiring mask wearing in the situation described, so the doctor is not required to provide any exemption details.

I suppose you could pay for a private consult to get the outcome the OP wants.

I guess I have two thoughts

1) If the company is being difficult here and asking for more than is legally required I would go volunteer elsewhere

2) Given its a volunteer delivery driver I'm presuming it involves some interaction with the more vulnerabel in society, I would suggest that these would be more comfortable with someone in a mask, so maybe this isn't the right volunteering opportunity for someone not able to wear one
But companies often ask for things that aren't under law. It is nothing to do with the legal position on masks - it is a condition of employment for the job.

This requirement seems totally sensible and reasonable to me. It is also totally reasonable for a GP to help here when asked. They provide letters for all sorts of things. It is part of their service (though they may be a charge). To refuse is totally unacceptable. It is not a receptionist's job to refuse unless they are under specific instructions from the GP.

Edited at 03:14 PM.
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Old 14 Sep 21, 08:41 PM  
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Button17
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Originally Posted by tspill View Post
I would imagine that the company can ask as a condition of employment.

They wouldn't want or seek access to medical records. More than likely they would expect a GP's letter. I cant imagine that would be a problem for a GP. It isn't down to the GP to decide what a company wants. Sounds like the GP is digging their heels in to make their point at your OH's expense.
We don't do exemption letters for masks in GP Surgeries. We have enough else to do. Guidance from PHE.

Edited at 08:49 PM.
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Old 15 Sep 21, 07:29 AM  
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Originally Posted by Button17 View Post
We don't do exemption letters for masks in GP Surgeries. We have enough else to do. Guidance from PHE.
So true, it's exhausting coming up with Byzantine rules and processes designed to make it impossible for the public to actually get an appointment.

You must all be worn out coming up with those processes and implementing them every day
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Old 15 Sep 21, 08:58 AM  
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Originally Posted by 123 View Post
So true, it's exhausting coming up with Byzantine rules and processes designed to make it impossible for the public to actually get an appointment.

You must all be worn out coming up with those processes and implementing them every day
Please feel free to come and spend a day in my life. It has been relentless since the begging of the pandemic. Me and my colleagues are exhausted but not due to your reasons.

And it all started again next week. I'll be working 6 days a week again, my children will see me one day a week, I will rarely see my husband as he is also a key worker.

But thank you for you thoughless comments and I hope you didn't stand and clap for your NHS.
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