We have had many queries over the last few months with regard to fraudulent sick certificates, unreadable and unintelligible and even unsigned sick certificates. We are also faced with numerous queries for sick leave with regard to sick certificates from non-medical practitioners and even nurses and sangomas.
Any employee who is away from work for more than 2 consecutive days or on more than 2 occasions during an 8-week period who does not produce a medical certificate will not be paid. The medical certificate must be issued and signed by a medical practitioner. Unless that person is a qualified medical practitioner or any other person who is certified to diagnose and treat patients and who is registered with that Professional Council established by an act of Parliament, then that medical certificate is not applicable.
The medical certificates must contain the name, address and qualifications of the medical practitioner and that medical practitioner’s practice number. Moreover the date and time of the examination and a proper identification of the patient must be properly enumerated in that certificate. The exact number of sick days recommended must be contained in a sick certificate which should be properly dated itself.
The certificate should state whether the employee was unable to work for the duration of the employee’s absence on account of sickness or injury. It must be remembered that a sick certificate is merely a recommendation and the employer does not have to accept same. All queries arising out of the certificate would have to be satisfied before an employer is absolutely obliged to pay the days off sick.
Due to the numerous problems arising out of sick certificates and the application for sick leave payment, we are planning a Seminar in early course with medical practitioners who will be able to advise on what is absolutely necessary from the Doctor. We will communicate such times, dates and places of a Seminar in early course.
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