Can occupational health doctor overrule a GP?
If the occupational health doctor wishes to challenge the GP's opinion that the patient is unfit to work on the basis of the nature of the work to be done, then that is his opinion.
If the company wishes to stop the patient's pay if that patient refuses to continue working, it is putting itself in a vulnerable position in employment law and the patient could challenge this in the courts.
The company is taking a calculated risk if it plans on going ahead with its insistence that the patient returns to work immediately. An entrenched position on the part of the employer could well end up in the law courts.
In this case, an additional factor was that lives could have been put at risk as a result of the patient not being fully fit (he was a machine-hand).
The employer's position in this regard would be difficult to defend.