Do we now stop asking for medical certificates?

A recent statement issued by the Ministry for the Family, Children’s Rights and Social Solidarity said that those who are unable to go to work for a maximum of three days or less are no longer required to have medical certificate from a doctor. The aim of this measure is to reduce running around by the public. However this does not mean that you need to stop asking for the medical certificate. It may be a good time to have a look at what is stated in your employees’ contract of employment or sickness absence policy or Collective Agreement so if questioned by your employees you stick to what you have in such documentation and make it clear that the latest change by government does not impact on how the company deals with sickness absence. Managing sickness is always a headache yet it is important to deal with matters formally when the absence levels present an unacceptable level of disruption to the business.

And whilst we are at it – question how long you need to keep the medical certificates for and remember that you need to have a reason which is compliant with data protection law (hence the reason “just in case” is not a valid argument!). Furthermore these days certificates are being given out without a reason being put on them but if your doctor is still writing the reason maybe it would be a good idea to regularise your position. Remember data in relation to health is sensitive data which is now being referred to as a ‘special category’ of data.