Doctors backdating medical certificates

If an employee is sick or injured for: Jennifer works on Monday, then takes a day's sick leave on Tuesday, then has a one day scheduled break on the Wednesday (and is still sick) and another day’s sick leave on Thursday.

Her employer can ask for proof at Jennifer’s expense as she has been sick for three days in a row.

The Commissioner urged a case by case approach to considering whether any kind of medical certificate would reasonably support an absence, rather than a blanket rejection of all backdated certificates.

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A Work Safe New Zealand doctor who has concerns that an employee's health may have been affected by work (eg exposure to chemicals) may ask to examine the employee or provide a sample for testing or analysis.

The Agreement contained a clause in an Appendix that made provision for an ‘Absent Management Plan’.

Those employees subject to this Plan were required to provide medical certificates.

However the Agreement specifically provided that The Employer took the approach that ‘backdated medical certificates’ were those certificates which certified that an employee was sick before the employee was examined by a doctor.

This was interpreted by Commissioner Cambridge to mean a ‘retrospective medical certificate’.

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