Sourcing a medical certificate for work is important for all parties concerned in an employee-employer professional relationship.
By stipulating the nature of your illness, workers can ensure that they are covered in case questions are asked and they can continue to be paid for the amount of sick leave they are entitled to.
There are ramifications for employees who fail to provide the correct documentation should they exceed a limit and not be present for an extensive period.
Each and every workplace though is different and will be dependent upon the hierarchy and management who must decide the authenticity and legitimacy of the leave.
The important aspect that should be noted is that the employee understands their rights and their obligations in this matter.
No employer wants to see their valued and experienced asset unavailable, and as long as they carry out their due diligence through honest and effective communication, then there can be no qualms.
Here we will detail some of the most common questions that employees will ask about medical certificates, illustrating how to utilize best practice on their behalf.
Who Can Write a Medical Certificate?
A certified medical professional is the only individual who can write and sign a medical certificate for work. This can be inclusive of a general practitioner (GP), a dentist, surgeon, chiropractor, physician, dermatologist or therapist. So long as the doctorate pertains to a mental or physical impairment, then they have the power to issue these documents to employers.
What Are The Time Constraints On These Documents?
Ideally a medical certificate for work will be provided to the employer upon return to the office or the work space. However, it can also be acceptable to obtain a document in the following days and weeks in the instance that the certificate includes the unavailable dates to make that time period official. There are no hard and fast rules in this instance, unless they are stipulated within the constraints of a contract.
Can a Doctor Refuse To Provide a Certificate?
Yes. There is no obligation on the part of a doctor or medical professional to issue a medical certificate for work purely because it was requested. If the professional believes that a document is being requested on dubious grounds without a diagnosis or check from the doctor, they are well within their rights to deny it.
What Information Should Be Written On a Certificate?
A medical certificate for work should be a limited document that details some specific details only:
- Name of the medical professional
- Address of the professional’s office or location
- Date that the diagnosis was issued
- How long the patient will be or is absent for work
- The seriousness of the medical issue
- Address of the employer
- Date that the certificate was issued
Further details can be provided to offer complete transparency, but that is at the discretion of the employee.
Do You Have To Outline What The Illness/Injury Is?
No. There is no imperative upon the part of the employee to detail the exact nature of the illness or injury for the sake of privacy. However, there are ramifications that can result for a medical certificate for work that is incomplete without detailing why the individual was unable to attend work. That could be grounds for denying sick leave entitlements as the company does not have the information to pay those fees.
The single most important aspect of sourcing a medical certificate for work is to provide the employer with the information and the nature of the illness/injury as soon as possible and to keep them up to speed. By issuing full and frank dialogue between the two parties, the sick or injured party is eliminating the potential to be questioned or investigated. The more the employer knows and the sooner they know it, the greater the capacity for the employee to be covered.