Do you have an employee that is frequently away sick on a Friday or a Monday? What can you do if you suspect an employee’s absence for sickness is not genuine? This is a question I am frequently asked by my employer clients.

If you have reasonable grounds to suspect one of your employees is not really sick, despite them informing you they are away from work because they are sick; you can request a medical certificate. You are able to do this even if they have not been away for three (3) consecutive days.

You do not have to explain why you are asking for the medical certificate, but you do need to inform the employee as early as possible of the request; and pay their reasonable expenses to obtain the certificate. Expenses usually include the Doctor’s fees but could also include a taxi to get to and from the Doctor, if the employee is too ill to drive, and has no one else to take him or her.

If the employee does not provide the proof required, and does not provide a reasonable excuse, you are not obliged to pay for the sick leave until it is provided.

If your employee has been away sick for three consecutive days or more, you can ask for proof of sickness at his or her expense.

Be sure of your facts before making any accusations. It is wise to check payroll records closely before accusing your employee of misleading behaviour.

If you have any employment queries that you would like assistance with, please contact us.

This article is intended as a point of reference and should not be relied on as a substitute for professional advice. Specialist advice should always be sought in relation to any particular circumstances and no liability will be accepted for any losses incurred by those relying solely on this article.

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