doctor’s certificate

Facts All Employees Should Know About The Doctor’s Certificate


In a commercial environment where time is money, companies need to ensure that they are receiving the most professional conduct from their employees.


Yet sickness and illness happens to be an occurrence that is just part and parcel of life, and it is managing these details that can be tricky in certain instances.


Enter the doctor’s certificate into the equation, a formal document that can stipulate the nature of the ailment as it explains an employee’s absence from an organisation for a set period of time.


Set aside from maternity leave or other categories that are offered to employees under the terms of their contract, there are some important rules and guidelines under Australian workplace law in this regard.


Each and every paid employee is entitled to a certain percentage of paid sick leave, but there are conditions attached to those points.


Here we will outline in further detail what workers should understand about these certificates from medical practitioners.


By being equipped with the facts, you will be better placed to avoid missing out on paid sick leave or worse when it comes to the validity of your position at work if problems persist.

The Date Matters, But Not The Immediate Concern

A doctor’s certificate does not need to be issued on the exact day that an employee does not show up for work. Should the worker happen to be absent for a period of 5 days between Monday to Friday, then that document can be handed in on the following Monday when they return to work. There are even circumstances whereby a certificate can be issued following this period. The only important stipulation that must be adhered to is that the dates correlate from the certificate to the time spent away from the office. If that is consistent, then the employee is legally covered.

Privacy Can Be Upheld, But Stipulations Apply

Doctor’s certificate does not have to outline the specific natures of an illness. An employee is entitled to their privacy if they deem that the nature of the ailment is personal to them and they do not wish to communicate those details to their employer. However, should these details remain private without being disclosed to the employer, then there can be conflicts and complications over any potential paid sick leave that is administered. Without providing any specific details, a company is entitled to withhold that pay if that information is not communicated.

Standard Details Listed

A doctor’s certificate needs to have a number of details listed on the document to ensure that it adheres to Australian workplace law. Whilst the nature of the ailment is only an option for the employee to decide whether or not they want to disclose, there are other basic points that must be listed on this document. From the date of the leave to the name of the patient, the name and location of the medical practitioner, the name and address that the certificate is addressed to, the seriousness of the ailment and a description as to why they were missing work to a written signature from the doctor themselves – this should all be included.

Certificate Cannot Be Demanded On Request

Although an employee is away from work and seeking a doctor’s certificate, this is a document that cannot be handed over just because the patient demands one. If a medical professional does not believe the ailment constitutes missing work or they have further doubts and questions, then this can be withheld.


Should you be seeking paid sick leave or simply want to know more about your rights in the context of Australian workplace law, then it is important you follow these guidelines when it comes to a doctor’s certificate.