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  1. #91
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    My employer encourages us to use up to 3 days a year of personal (ie. sick) leave for "wellness days". It can be for non-urgent medical appointments (eg. optom or dentist), or just plain "Ferris" days. You do have to organise it in advance, though. In return, they expect that sick leave days are for when you're genuinely sick.
    Last edited by Gentoo; 21-08-2014 at 16:42.

  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by SalsaMama View Post
    I didn't think employers were allowed to ask for details.
    Does anyone know if this is actually the case? I'm just asking because I don't know and I am a manager at a law firm (so it sounds like something I should know!! eek). Our directors always ask people exactly why they are sick, and sometimes ask me to ask them. I've never been comfortable about asking people. I've always thought it's bad form and if the person needs to have the day off for a very personal reason, they shouldn't be put in the position of having to tell me exactly what's going on. I'd like to know if it is actually something you're not allowed to do so I can tell my bosses.

    I don't usually ask people for a doctors certificate, we're all adults here, I trust that most people do the right thing most of the time. The only exception is if someone is taking multiple days, especially Fridays or Mondays and it's starting to feel like they might be doing the wrong thing by the office. Then I'll ask them to please provide a doctors certificate. I know that doctors will often just give them out without much reasoning, but I guess I think of it more as something that might deter someone from continuously chucking a sickie if they know they have to waste their day at the doctor. Everyone else knows my policy is: PLEASE don't come to work if you are not fit for work and if you have something the doctor can't do anything about, like a cold or a migraine, just stay in bed!

    As for the original question, absolutely I have taken "mental health days". I can't imagine there's anyone in our office that hasn't at some stage!

  3. #93
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    I'm 99.9% sure that they are not allowed to ask the details of your condition.

  4. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by meredithgrey View Post
    Its sick leave. It's none of their business as to why I'm sick. It was one day off that wasn't before/after days off.

    I would think most workplaces are "flexible" enough that 1 single day of sick leave wouldn't require a med cert.

    If it was multiple days off or before/after days off then yes I would have had to provide a med cert.
    The thing is what if you're not really sick? Or if you're only a little teeny tiny bit off and are just after a bludge day? (Not saying you specifically would do this!)
    - I agree though employers don't need to know the specific reason as long as a board certified doctor says you are unable to work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by summerly View Post
    I took a mental health day today as someone tried to break into our house last night. I would have been useless going into work anyway. I was a complete mess today and might still be tomorrow.
    Sick leave or annual leave? How scary for you! Xx

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    Hmm still trying to find somewhere it will give me the definite information, just because I don't want to tell my bosses (lawyers) that they're wrong if they're not lol

    I can't see anything where it says about them being allowed or not allowed to ask why on the Fair Work site. But on the Australian Workers Union Site it says:
    • You are required to give notice of your requirement to take leave as soon as is reasonably practicable, and, if requested by the employer, to provide evidence of the relevant illness or circumstance that requires you taking the leave. Your employer is not obliged to allow for leave if you can’t supply evidence.
    Which sounds like they do have the right to ask for evidence of the illness... I wonder if that means they have the right to ask the specific details or whether it means a doctors certificate saying you were unfit for work is considered enough...

    Sorry to derail the thread a bit there....just thought it was an interesting question and one I don't really know the answer to!

  7. #97
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    Having been put through cr@p during my pregnancy, a medical certificate is evidence. My drs only ever write "medically unfit for work"

    Eta-I can't imagine the face I would've got if I had to tell my boss "I took Monday off because my ovaries were the size of grapefruits, Tuesday because I had surgery, Wednesday and Thursday because this ivf cycle has been really hard and Friday because another man knocked me up as he talked footy with DH. All while I'm lying spread Eagle with everything blowing in the wind".

    They wouldn't approve annual leave at short notice so I had no choice to call in sick.

    There are others who with in HR that may be able to come back and let you know.
    Last edited by Ngaiz; 21-08-2014 at 18:37.

  8. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillDweller View Post
    Hmm still trying to find somewhere it will give me the definite information, just because I don't want to tell my bosses (lawyers) that they're wrong if they're not lol

    I can't see anything where it says about them being allowed or not allowed to ask why on the Fair Work site. But on the Australian Workers Union Site it says:
    • You are required to give notice of your requirement to take leave as soon as is reasonably practicable, and, if requested by the employer, to provide evidence of the relevant illness or circumstance that requires you taking the leave. Your employer is not obliged to allow for leave if you can’t supply evidence.
    Which sounds like they do have the right to ask for evidence of the illness... I wonder if that means they have the right to ask the specific details or whether it means a doctors certificate saying you were unfit for work is considered enough...

    Sorry to derail the thread a bit there....just thought it was an interesting question and one I don't really know the answer to!
    As far as I am aware the medical certificate is sufficient. There are so many personal reasons why someone could be medically unfit for work, its an invasion of privacy to ask to provide specifics AFAIK.

    I'd be interested to know the implications of a workplace refusing to accept a medical certificate - my DH had swine flu a few months back. He took 1 day off, went to the dr, was so so sick so the dr gave him a medical certificate for that day plus 2 more. DH's work demanded he come in the next day or else despite having a medical certificate and working in an extremely physical and dangerous workplace...

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  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ngaiz View Post
    Having been put through cr@p during my pregnancy, a medical certificate is evidence. My drs only ever write "medically unfit for work"

    Eta-I can't imagine the face I would've got if I had to tell my boss "I took Monday off because my ovaries were the size of grapefruits, Tuesday because I had surgery, Wednesday and Thursday because this ivf cycle has been really hard and Friday because another man knocked me up as he talked footy with DH. All while I'm lying spread Eagle with everything blowing in the wind".

    They wouldn't approve annual leave at short notice so I had no choice to call in sick.

    There are others who with in HR that may be able to come back and let you know.
    That's exactly the type of thing I was thinking about when I said I don't think I should ask specific details about why someone is taking leave. I know some people here are TTC and going through IVF and I think it would be a huge invasion of their privacy to demand to know why they had time off.

    I just found this:


    A medical certificate does not have to give exact details about the injury or illness – asking for this information might breach the employee's privacy.The employee can also supply a statutory declaration instead if it's impractical for them to provide a medical certificate. The NES requires documentary evidence 'that would satisfy a reasonable person'.

    So that seems to answer the question in a definite way. It could be a breach of their privacy. Glad I stumbled upon this. Now I can say with confidence next time one of the bosses asks what's wrong with someone "I didn't ask, that would be a breach of their privacy". They are usually good here and don't hassle people for taking time off, but they do always send messages saying things like "What's actually wrong with you??" which I think is out of line.
    @peanutmonkey that is absolutely terrible about your DH. Some places just have no idea. A lady at our work had the same thing a few months ago and was off work for 5 weeks. My work asked numerous times how she was going and were very concerned for her, they even kept paying her when she didn't have enough personal or holiday leave accrued.

  10. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by VicPark View Post
    Sick leave or annual leave? How scary for you! Xx
    Forgive my ignorance but why is this an issue? What difference does it make?

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