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Do you have to give Josh sick pay if he produces a letter from the clinic?

by , 24 April 2014
Josh, one of your employees doesn't come to work for more than two days in a row because he's sick. When he eventually comes in, he produces a letter from the clinic and claims he's entitled to sick pay. But, did you know a clinic note is different from a doctor's note? Read on to find out more about this so you can prevent sick leave abuse.


'Every year, SA companies flush R19 billion down the drain in sick pay!'

Discover all the steps you must take today to ensure your company only pays what it really has to…


Sick pay and clinic letters – here's what the law says

Human Resources and Industrial Relations Consultant and expert at the Labour & HR Club, Wouter Van Heerden says you don't have to grant sick pay when your employee produces a letter from the clinic.

This is because 'a clinic letter normally only states the employee was there, [and] it doesn't necessarily indicate that the employee was ill and unable to work,' explains Van Heerden.

So in actual fact, the employee isn't entitled to take sick leave for this absence at all.

This means Josh will have to either submit annual or unpaid leave for the days he was absent.


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Keep these points in mind when it comes to sick pay and medical certificates

You must ask your employee to produce a valid medical certificate if he's been absent from work for more than two days in a row or more than twice in eight weeks.

If you request a medical certificate and your employee can't produce one, you don't have to pay sick leave.

What's more… Experts at FSP Business say 'you're entitled to receive a medical certificate that meets certain basic criteria as proof that your employee is too sick to be at work and before you give paid sick leave.'

If you want all the items that must be on your employee's medical certificate, check out The Complete Guide to Managing Sick Leave to ensure you're not duped.

There you have it. Your employee can't claim sick leave and sick pay if he produces a letter from the clinic if it doesn't say he was too ill to work. Knowing this little fact will help ensure you manage sick leave effectively in your workplace.

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