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What do you do if you suspect your employee's medical certificate is fraudulent?

by , 17 July 2013
As an employer you're entitled to receive a medical certificate as proof that your employee is too sick to be at work before you give paid sick leave. But what happens when your employee gives you a medical certificate you suspect is fraudulent? Read on to find out what to do.

It's not uncommon for employers to request a medical certificate from their employees only to be given a bogus medical certificate.

If your employer pulls this stunt, you must take appropriate steps to deal with the matter in a legal manner.

How to act if your believe your employees' medical certificate is bogus

If your employees' medical certificate provides inadequate information, or if you think it contains dishonest or fraudulent information, you may not have to pay the employee for the alleged sick leave, says the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.

In these circumstances, even though you've received a medical certificate, but have a reason to believe your employee has obtained it in a fraudulent manner, or if you suspect the employee has abused his or her sick leave, you may institute disciplinary action against your employee.

You can easily check whether a doctor's certificate is forged, by contacting the doctor and requesting him to verify the certificate's authenticity. If you suspect the doctor has issued a certificate when the employee wasn't ill, you can report this doctor to the Health Professions Council of South Africa.

Remember, you can't discipline on the basis of suspicion, you MUST have evidence.

It's advisable that you notify all your employees that you won't accept medical certificates in future unless they meet the following requirements, advises FSPBusiness:

  • The name, address and qualifications of the medical practitioner and the practice number.
  • The employment number of the patient, or another form of clear identification of the patient as your employee.
  • The date and time of the examination.
  • Whether the certificate was issued after the doctor had personally examined the patient.
  • An indication that the doctor is satisfied that the employee was too sick or injured to work for the whole period of absence.

Knowing what to do when your employee gives you a fraudulent medical certificate will help you deal with the matter in a legal manner.

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