FOI request detail

Policies and handbooks pertaining to Occupational Health

Request ID: FOI-0549-1920
Date published: 14 June 2019

You asked

Under the Freedom of information Act, I am making the following requests: 1. Are you able to provide me with the all the policies and handbooks pertaining to Occupational Health? 2. More specifically, can you direct me to the specific policy where patient consent and confidentiality are not required prior to the formation of a medical diagnosis/advice? 3. As per the previous question, can you outline the circumstances, supported by the specific policy, when management are able to waive patient confidentiality and access a diagnosis/advice pertaining to an employee without patient consent? 4. Can you outline the circumstances, supported by the specific policy, when an Occupational Health practitioner is able to override the diagnosis and treatment outlined by another medical professional directly involved with that patient without any consultation with said medical professsional or the patient? 5. Can you outline the circumstances, supported by the specific policy, when management are authorised to present medical information about an employee to Occupational Health without confirmation of the patients consent? 6. Can you outline the circumstances, supported by the specific policy, when any OH report is requested by management without the patient consent and without the said patient having any visibility of that report?

We answered

TfL Ref: 0548-1920 and 0549-1920

Thank you for your two requests received by Transport for London (TfL) on 23 May 2019 asking for information about our HR policies / Occupational Health policies.

Your requests have been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy. I can confirm we do hold the information you require.

Unfortunately, to provide the information you have requested would exceed the ‘appropriate limit’ of £450 set by the Freedom of Information (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004.

Under section 12 of the FOI Act, we are not obliged to comply with a request if we estimate that the cost of determining whether we hold the information, locating and retrieving it and extracting it from other information would exceed the appropriate limit. This is calculated at £25 per hour for every hour spent on the activities described.

Under Regulation 5(2) of the Data Protection and Freedom of Information (Appropriate Limits and Fees) Regulations 2004, we are permitted to aggregate requests where they relate to any extent to the same or similar information and this aggregation applies to any requests that are received within a sixty working day period.

We have estimated that it would significantly exceed the cost limit to provide a response to both your current requests. This is because the second point in part 3 of request (FOI ref 0548-1920) about the number of employees with disabilities in the different business areas would require us to interrogate the personal records and data for around 10000 employees who have been involved to some extent in the Transformation process to ascertain which employees had identified that they had a disability and have asked to have this information placed on their personnel records.  To answer this part alone would significantly exceed the cost limit. This task is made even more challenging and time consuming as many employees will have now moved into other roles or left the organisation and to retrieve and compile the information you have requested would require very specific and time consuming analysis.

To help bring the cost of responding to your request within the £450 limit, you may wish to consider narrowing its scope so that we can more easily locate, retrieve and extract the information you are seeking. If you want to refine your request or make a Freedom of Information Act request in future, please bear in mind that the Freedom of Information Act allows you to request recorded information held by us. You should identify the information that you want as clearly and concisely as you can, specifying the types of document that you are looking for. You might also consider limiting your request to a particular period of time, geographical area or specific departments of the organisation. We believe from looking at your requests that we would be able to answer the other parts of your request reference 0548-1920 and for case reference 0549-1920, we would also be able to provide a specific policy if you identified clearly which one(s) you are particularly interested in.

Please be aware that, under the FOI Act, we do not have to answer a request if it would require the creation of new information or the provision of a judgement, explanation, advice or opinion that was not already recorded at the time of the request. On this basis, questions 3-6 inclusive of your request reference 0549-1920 and question 1 of your request reference 0548-1920 are not requests for recorded information and therefore do not fall under FOI.

Please note that we will not be taking further action until we receive your revised request.

In the meantime, if you have any queries or would like to discuss your request, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal as well as information on copyright and what to do if you would like to re-use any of the information we have disclosed.

Yours sincerely

Sara Thomas

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

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