To get a medical certificate for employees – what are the requirements, when can an employer ask for one, and what you should generally be aware of?
A medical certificate is a written statement issued from a medical practitioner or doctor. Classified as a legal document, the certificate verifies the results of a patient’s medical examination. It can serve as a “sick note” or evidence of a health condition – particularly one that affects a patient’s ability to attend their place of employment.
Basic information that is generally outlined on a medical certificate includes:
- Name and address of the medical practitioner issuing the certificate
- Name of the patient
- Date that the medical examination took place
- The degree of incapacity affecting the patient
- Date that the medical practitioner deems likely for the patient to return to work
- Be purposefully addressed to the party requiring a medical certificate, i.e. an employer, insurer or magistrate
- Date that the certificate was written and signed by the practitioner
Due to privacy laws and doctor patient confidentiality, the details of the patient’s illness or diagnosis is generally not included in the medical certificate unless deemed necessary, and never without the patient’s consent.
What are the requirements needed to get a medical certificate?
Based on the information provided by the Australian Fair Work Ombudsman, employers are able to request a medical certificate as proof to verify sick leave requests for as little as one day away from work. When requesting one from your local doctor or medical practitioner, it’s imperative that you are honest and truthful when giving details surrounding your medical ailment.
Doctors and medical practitioners are bound by legal obligations to only issue medical certificates when the information provided by patients is wholly truthful, and not misleading in any way, shape or form. They may also form their diagnosis based on their own observations. It is extremely rare for a doctor to “backdate” a medical certificate, and will generally only assess the patient based on the symptoms presented on the day of your consultation.
Where can I get a medical certificate?
If you’re unable to see your local GP or medical practitioner, online telehealth services such as 13 Doctor may be able to assist in providing a medical certificate online. We have consultations available seven days per week, between the hours of 7:00am to 11:00pm.