19th Dec 2010, 18:43
My employer has brought in a rule telling us we now need to present a sick note for any sickness (no matter how long) over the holidays.
My question is, would the UK 7-day self-certification rule overrule this?
Does the employer have the legal right to enforce this?
Thanks for your help!
19th Dec 2010, 19:12
Yes, assuming you are employed under UK t & c's.
19th Dec 2010, 19:18
Yes, it's under UK t&c's.
Maybe silly me for putting 2 questions there, so which are you answering?
19th Dec 2010, 20:19
If you are off sick, your employer is entitled to demand a doctor's certificate, regardless of the duration of absence. Apart from anything else, they would be failing in a duty of care if they allowed you back to work if you were still ill. If the employer has reason to believe that the absence is not down to sickness - possibly because of the time of year, alignment with majot sporting occasions etc, they may decide that self certification is not appropriate and ask for formal medical evidence of any claimed illness. Sadly, in a number of areas of industry, the habit of 'pulling a sickie' when individuals are not enamoured with rostered duties and possibly have no annual leave remaining, has been common place. Some companies are better than others at managing this behaviour. It is worth remembering that such behaviour is actually misconduct and can lead to the employee being sacked.
19th Dec 2010, 20:39
At my local surgery it can take almost a week to obtain a doctor's appointment. If person went sick for two days but couldn't get an appointment until some days after they had recovered, how can the doctor be expected to sign a sick note?
19th Dec 2010, 21:09
That was my concern exactly.
It's hard enough getting an appointment to see a GP, but then once one gets there the doctor might not see any symptoms and simply refuse to write a note.
Actually a doctor refused to give one of my colleagues a note since she was only sick for 3 days, he said it would be covered by a self-certification.
20th Dec 2010, 01:56
The 7 day self-certification rule applies by law to Statutory Sick Pay (currently £79.15 per week). Company sick pay on top of that is subject to whatever rules are in your contract, so a company can require evidence from a doctor from day 1 if that's what the contract says.
As far as I know, your doctor isn't obliged to provide a certificate free of charge in order to meet your contractual requirements, but doctors will generally provide them if required for a fee, and most employers who insist on them generally have provisions for reimbursement.