Employment Dispute Series - Part 4C: Handling Ill or Injured Employees – Independent Medical Reports
So far we’ve looked at the types of injury that may be related to leave and when dismissal due to leave is appropriate. Here we look at when and how an independent medical report is applied.
Independent Medical Reports
In circumstances where an employee produces a medical report that the employer has doubts as to, whether it be because the employer believes that it is certifying a return to work prematurely or alternatively unreasonably certifying the employee to continue to be unfit, employers may wish to require the employee to obtain an independent medical report.
Making such a request of an employee can be a sensible option but commonly the employee will challenge the request on the basis that it is not a lawful and reasonable direction or that it amounts to some form of discrimination or adverse action.
Additionally, employers should satisfy themselves that there is nothing which undermines their common law rights to require an employee, on reasonable terms, to attend a medical assessment such as the content of their contract of employment, enterprise agreements or any relevant health and safety legislation.
Our next blog in the series Employment Disputes: Handling Ill or Injured Employees we tackle the guidelines for accrual of leave whilst absent due to illness or injury. You can read our earlier posts in this series here.
If you have concerns about handling independent medical reports, need help creating new policies and procedures or if you need advice or assistance regarding an Employment Law issue, please contact us and we can provide you with advice tailored to your specific situation.Back