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Holly’s workplace policies state that sick leave is recorded and deducted in half days; if Holly came to work at lunch time on the Wednesday (and only took a half day’s sick leave) as she was feeling much better, she would have been sick for less than three days, therefore her employer would have to cover the cost of any medical certificate they asked for.

If an employee has extra sick leave benefits in their employment agreement, these might have specific proof requirements, eg an agreement of an extra five days’ sick leave per year and for these five extra days the employee will provide proof that they are sick at their own cost.

Pharmacists can only issue certificates for conditions that are within their scope of practice; such as minor ailments.

If your illness or injury is outside a pharmacist’s ability to assess, they will refer you to a doctor or other relevant healthcare professional.

If Holly’s employer had asked for the certificate when she phoned in sick on Tuesday, her employer would have had to cover the cost.

An employer cannot force an employee to have a medical examination.

However, if an employer has good reason to believe that an employee is impaired (unwell or harmed) for any reason (whether from exposure to workplace hazards or other causes) then an employer may suspend an employee, subject to the usual legal requirements.

Absence from Work Certificates can be issued for short periods of leave and cannot be backdated.

You may be asked for a form of identification (ID).


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