In some situations, employees may be required to have a medical examination or be suspended from the workplace.

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.

An employer may request proof that an employee is sick once they have been sick for three or more consecutive days. In some circumstances, an employer can request proof of illness or injury within three consecutive calendar days, but the employer must agree to pay for the doctor’s fees.

Proof of sickness or injury

An employer may ask an employee for proof of sickness or injury. Usually proof is a medical certificate from a doctor saying that the employee is sick or injured (or their spouse, partner or dependant) and isn’t able to work. An employer can’t tell an employee which doctor or practice they have to go to.

If an employee is sick or injured, or cannot attend work because their spouse, partner or dependant is sick or injured, for:

·         less than three days, and an employer asks for proof of sickness or injury, they must ask as soon as possible and pay the employee back for the cost of getting the proof, eg a visit to the doctor.

·         three or more days in a row, even if these three days are not all days the employee would have otherwise worked on (otherwise working day) and the employer asks for proof, then the employee needs to meet the cost.

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Penny Varley

Payroll Administrator