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Think your employee has a fake medical certificate? Here's how to tell...

by , 17 April 2014
Last year, police arrested a woman from Tembisa who had been selling fake medical certificates. Police estimated that at least 1,172 sick notes had been issued from the books they confiscated. To make sure you're not duped by a fake sick leave note, do the following three things to inspect your employee's medical certificate...

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Look for these three things to check if your employee gives you a fake medical certificate

#1: Check that the medical certificate is an original and has a valid date

In this article, Business Publisher Rachel Paterson, explains that you need to look always check the certificate is an original medical certificate and not a copy.

She says it's easy to Tipex in a new date on an old medical certificate and change the reason for your absenteeism.  So always 'insist on the original at all costs.'

#2: Check for the medical practitioner's initials

Paterson adds that you need to ensure the certificate's been personally signed and initialled by the medical practitioner.

'If you're uncertain if the doctor who signed the sick note is legitimate or not, run a quick Google search to see if he's properly qualified to issue a medical certificate.'

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There's one more thing you need to do to inspect your employee's medical certificate if you suspect it's a fake

#3: Verify the medical practice's address and registration number

The editor of HR Pulse, Lia Marus says there have been cases where one practice number has been used by multiple doctors to issue fake medical certificates.

She says if you have a number of employees with medical certificates issued from doctors with the same practice number and you suspect foul play, investigate this thoroughly.

You must get in touch with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) or the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa to look up the health-care professional or the practice.

And 'if you find that the practice number isn't registered with the HPCSA or the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa, you're entitled to reject the certificate.'

And don't forget, you can also discipline your employee and not give him sick pay.

There you have it. Do these three things to inspect your employee's medical certificate if you suspect it's a fake. (If you want more tips on how to inspect your employee's medical certificate, get The Complete Guide to Managing Sick Leave here.)



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