Does an employer have the right to approach an employee's GP for information about his or her state of health?

An employer must not approach an employee's GP for a medical report without first obtaining the employee's written consent. When doing this, the employer is obliged to inform the employee of his or her rights under the Access to Medical Reports Act 1988. The employee has the right to see a copy of the report once it is prepared but before it is relayed to the employer, to ask the doctor to remove information the employee considers damaging or irrelevant or to refuse to allow the doctor to release the report to the employer. These rights do not generally extend to reports prepared by an independent doctor paid for by the employer.