Inadequate medical certificates: are you sick of the pandemic?

By | September 3, 2013

As an employer you may have been presented with medical certificates containing nothing more than ‘This patient was seen by me on date and in my opinion is/has been unfit for work from date until further notice’.

These medical certificates provide you with little or no information regarding the diagnosis or prognosis of the illness (particularly in situations where the workplace is alleged to have contributed to the absence). Together with your inability to make further enquiries because of patient privacy, this makes managing your employee’s absence difficult and frustrating.

The Medical Council of New Zealand is reviewing medical certificate standards. Amongst the proposals are that more information (such as a diagnosis) is provided, there’s more guidance on what duties your employee is fit for, as well as some advice on disclosure.

If implemented, the proposed will provide you with more information surrounding your employee’s absence. You’ll have more information to not only see through ‘sickies’ but to also manage your employee’s return to work.

DISCLAIMER: This article is true and accurate to the best of our and the author(s)’ knowledge. It should not be a substitute for legal advice. No liability is assumed by us or the author(s) or publisher for losses suffered by any person or organisation relying directly or indirectly on this article. Views expressed are the views of the author(s) individually and do not necessarily reflect the view of this firm. This article may not be reproduced without prior approval from us and the editor.

Copyright, NZ LAW Limited. Editor: Adrienne Olsen. E-mail: Ph: 029 286 3650.