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What must you look for on a medical certificate?

by , 05 August 2016
What must you look for on a medical certificate?So Jim has just brought you a sick note that looks very strange to you. How do you tell if he really got this medical certificate from a medical practitioner?

Make sure the medical certificate states that the employee was incapacitated and for how long he'd be absent from work. It doesn't have to state the nature of his illness.

Don't simply rely on a medical certificate handed to you by your employee. You're entitled to verify its authenticity and the information it contains. You can do this by phoning the medical practitioner concerned.

Keep reading to make sure you know what must be on the medical certificate...

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Follow this checklist to make sure you check the medical certificate correctly:

 
·         Is it an original medical certificate or a copy? Insist on an original certificate.
·         Has the medical certificate been signed by the medical practitioner? He must personally sign or initial the original and print his name next to it in capital letters.
·         Is the medical practitioner properly qualified to issue a medical certificate (see above)?
·         Does it have the doctor's name, address and qualifications?
·         Does it state the patient's (employee's) name?
·         Does it include the employee number (if applicable – especially where you sent your employee to the doctor)?
·         Does it state the date and time the patient was examined?
·         Do the dates on the certificate correspond with the actual dates the employee was absent?
·         Did the employee return to work on the date specified on the medical certificate?
·         Is the certificate based on the doctor's personal observations or just according to the patient's say-so (which could still be based on suitable medical grounds)?
·         Does it describe the illness in simple words, with the patient's informed consent? If the patient doesn't agree, then the doctor must simply say it's his opinion the patient isn't fit for work (bear in mind that some ailments can be embarrassing).
·         Is the patient completely or only partially unable to do his duties?
·         Has the medical certificate been altered in any way?
 
 
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Make sure the certificate states that the employee was incapacitated and for how long he'd be absent from work. It doesn't have to state the nature of his illness.
 
Don't simply rely on a medical certificate handed to you by your employee. You're entitled to verify its authenticity and the information it contains. You can do this by phoning the medical practitioner concerned.
 
P.S. Do you have a policy for unpaid leave when it comes to pregnancy? This could be a basis for unfair discrimination… Don't let this happen to you, let Lizle Louw explain a recent case!



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