A common area of confusion among employers is medical certificates. Many employers have the misconception that proof of an employee’s illness must always come in the form of medical certificate by a registered medical practitioner. However, this is not always the case and sometimes employers may accept certificates issued by a pharmacist.
Under s 107(3) of the Fair Work Act 2009 an employee must, when requested by an employer, provide the employer evidence that would satisfy a reasonable person that leave has been taken for the appropriate reason. According to the Explanatory Memorandum of the Fair Work Bill 2009, the main types of evidence are medical certificate or statutory declaration.
It might not be reasonable for employers to request medical certificates on every occasion that an employee is ill. For example, an absence over a one to two day period would usually be considered a relatively short period of time. Therefore, requesting evidence other than a medical certificate may be reasonable.
Consequently, this means a certificate issued by a pharmacist could be reasonable in such circumstances.
However, in regard to longer absences or repeated absences on certain days, such as before/after weekends or public holidays, it may be reasonable for an employer to request a medical certificate.
Employment Law – Tips for Employers
Our Matthews Folbigg Workplace Solutions employment law team recommends employers:
- ensure your company’s personal leave policy is specific in terms of evidentiary requirements where there is an absence from work
- prepare new employment law policies as required
- train staff on employment law policy changes
- ensure compliance with applicable employment laws including awards and enterprise agreements
- raise any employment law questions with an employment lawyer
Please call the leading employment lawyers in Parramatta, the Matthews Folbigg Workplace Solutions employment law team on 9635 7966 to speak with one of our employment lawyers.