In many cases when an employee is absent from work and provides a medical certificate, employers can still often be suspicious about the genuineness of the absence.
When can an employer challenge or not accept the validity of a medical certificate provided by an employee to explain an absence from work?
These are the top 10 reminders all employers should know about sick leave:
- Up to 10 days per year of sick leave and personal/carer leave can be taken where either the employee is unfit for work because of their own illness or injury, or to provide care or support for a member of the employee’s immediately family or household, because of some illness, injury or unexpected emergency.
- An employee must give notice to the employer “as soon as practicable” (which may be after the time the leave has started), advising them of the period or expected period of leave.
- The employee (if requested by an employer) must also provide evidence that would satisfy a reasonable person as to the need or occasion for the leave.
- Awards/EBA’s can impose more detailed requirements for such leave. For example, a doctor’s certificate may be required for absences of more than one day.
- An employee is not entitled to take leave unless the notice requirements are complied with. In that case, the employer would not necessarily have to pay the employee.
- An employer can’t withhold payment of sick leave if they don’t believe the medical certificate.
- If an employee provides an employer with a medical certificate to substantiate their absence, the employer will need compelling evidence to challenge it.
- Generally, it will only be where unusual or exceptional circumstances exist that an employer can reject the validity of a certificate. For example, there was clear objective evidence that the employee attended a social event at the time of the alleged illness.
- Employers cannot randomly or routinely require employees to undergo medical examinations on occupational health and safety grounds, even if they have been absent due to illness.
- If you have any questions about sick leave, take proper legal advice or consult with Fair Work at https://www.fairwork.gov.au/leave/sick-and-carers-leave
Contact Jessika Reghenzani Employment Lawyer for more information on 40461111.