Sick Certificate Rejected

buttons73

New Member
Messages
3
hello, can anyone advise me on the below: I unfortunately had to recently take 3 weeks certified sick leave due to a family trauma which lead me to stress, panic attacks and other such illnesses. My company as rejected my doctors medical certificate as they do not recognise the type of illness provided.
Does the company have a right to do so? I did not want to disclose any other details on the certificate for private and sensitive reasons. HR (non medical) just deemed my doctors cert unacceptable. I would have even been happy to be assessed by the company doctor but was not given this opportunity.
 

Clamball

Frequent Poster
Messages
87
What is your employer going to do about your absence for the past 3 weeks?

Can HR give you a list of acceptable and unacceptable illness?

Did HR tell you this in writing?
 

gimp

Frequent Poster
Messages
98
What do u mean rejected it? Have you got this in writing
You cannot return to work unless your doctor certifies u fit to do so.
Your employer cannot accept you back to work unless u produce a cert from your doctor u are fit to return to work
Your employer does not have the medical qualifications to recognize or not any type of illness. They might disagree but they cannot second guess your medical advice.
 

buttons73

New Member
Messages
3
I received a letter from HR stating due to the reason given on my cert this is not accepted by the company and my sick leave has been rejected.
They have not paid me for the 3 weeks I was off sick.
 

Clamball

Frequent Poster
Messages
87
Does your company have a grievance procedure? And hopefully a company handbook?

Write back to HR, saying
.you wish to be paid for your 3 weeks
.you have followed all company procedures
.your doctor certified you as medically unfit for work & you have no issue discussing your medical illness with the company doctor, and you give permission to the company doctor to contact your doctor for further details.

Be sure to follow all the steps in the company’s grievance procedure. Hopefully you can sort this out this way, because your company is being silly if they think they are medically qualified to determine if your illnesses meant you were or were not medically fit for work. This is for doctors to determine given all the nuances of your health which your company do not need to know the specifics of. The company doctor will let your company know if he agrees or disagrees with your doctor but he is duty bound not to share your medical details with your company either.

Best of luck. It sounds as if your company have been badly burned in the past and you are now falling victim of this.
 

Leo

Moderator
Messages
10,266
Depending on how the cert was worded, leave like this often falls under force majeure rather than sick leave.

There is no entitlement under law to sick leave, so as others have said, it will come down to your companies policies. They are entitled to choose to pay sick leave for some forms of illness, and not others. You can apply for Illness Benefit for the time you were not paid.
 

Leper

Frequent Poster
Messages
878
You are entitled to privacy and if you so wish you do not have to disclose the illness. However, your employer pays your wages and even so is not entitled to know the actual illness, but the company doctor would need to be informed. Therefore, you need to approach your doctor and have him/her write a Doctor-to-Doctor note. Your management must accept the company doctor's recommendation even not being advised of your illness.

In all my years as trade union rep issues regarding sick leave were the most common areas of dispute between management and staff. Strange how many management feel they have medical qualifications!
 

elcato

Moderator
Messages
3,174
Strange how many management feel they have medical qualifications!
In fairness employees seem to be well qualified when it comes to being sick also. Amazing how many are sick for two days only rather than having to get a cert for 3 days or more.
 

Leper

Frequent Poster
Messages
878
In fairness employees seem to be well qualified when it comes to being sick also. Amazing how many are sick for two days only rather than having to get a cert for 3 days or more.
The Original Poster acquired a sick certificate signed by a medical doctor for 3 weeks sick leave. The sick certificate and sick leave was refused by management. Which again brings up my question:- What medical qualifications did management have to refuse the sick leave and sick certificate? The Original Poster appears to have management over a barrel (and rightly). Like I said earlier, when I worked as an unpaid union rep. this would have been easily resolved after I'd have asked the question aforementioned. (The Question in written form is better again; strange how much management want to avoid paper in such cases).

An employee who is sick for 2 days instead of 3 is doing the company a favour and saving himself/herself €60.00 fee in the process. No big deal!
 

Leo

Moderator
Messages
10,266
What medical qualifications did management have to refuse the sick leave and sick certificate?
They don't need to be medically qualified. They have no obligation whatsoever to pay sick leave, Illness Benefit exists for that very reason. Where companies do pay sick leave, they are entitled to restrict payment on whatever grounds they choose.

Many will insist the employee completes the IB1 form to register for illness benefit after the first week. Obviously they should have these procedures well documented and need to apply the rules fairly to all, but there's no suggestion here that they haven't.

saving himself/herself €60.00 fee in the process.
€60 cost for a full day's pay for no work? Bargain!
 

Feemar5

Frequent Poster
Messages
296
Your doctor does not have to disclose your medical condition on the cert. Your employer has no right to this information under data protection and now under GDPR . All they need to know is that a doctor certified you unfit for X number of weeks They can of course ask you to attend the company doctor. Ask HR for the company policy on sick leave and see if it excludes any particular illness - if it does not , ask to be paid and if necessary refer to WRC for clarification.
 

crumdub12

Frequent Poster
Messages
934
If the employer normally covers sick leave, and has no policies regarding what they deem sick leave , and what is exempt, you have a case against them
 

Purple

Frequent Poster
Messages
9,075
If the employer normally covers sick leave, and has no policies regarding what they deem sick leave , and what is exempt, you have a case against them
That.

I don't understand why employers put themselves in a position where they are both exposing themselves to a case being brought against them in the WRC and fostering antagonism in an employee (and that employees colleagues) who needs to be out of work for a period.

If you have an employee who keeps missing days and doesn't seem to care then you are bad at hiring people and should look at your own deficiencies. If you are good at hiring people and have hired the right people then support your employees when they need it and grow a positive and constructive working environment.
Either way penny pinching and treating employees as commodities is not the right thing to do financially or ethically.
 

Peanuts20

Registered User
Messages
104
I suggest you write to HR and get further details from them as to why they refuse the sick cert. In fairness to them, I've seen sick certs where the doctor simply put a person down as "sick" and we had to go back to the employee and seek more details to ensure it was nothing we had done to cause the problem. This may simply be a wording issue. However employers are under no obligation to pay for you when you are off so I suggest you also look at your sickness policy to ensure you have an entitlement and that you followed its instructions
 
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