Working professionals will be unfit and unavailable from time to time.

That is simply a byproduct of life, and that moment will lead employees to seek out an Instant Consult sick certificate for work upon their return.

For those who are curious about the steps and procedures that employees should adhere to in this instance, it is important to take stock of the expectations placed on people when they cannot be present for their job.

Here we will outline some of the key considerations that workers must make note of.


Issuing The Document Can Be Time Flexible

In the majority of cases for those seeking a sick certificate for work, the employee does not necessarily have to return to the office or work site with the document in hand on that very date. What must be evident is that the form outlines specifically what dates the individual was sick or injured and for what time period. Most organisations in Australia will be satisfied with a form that has that information, as it is important for the company accountant and workplace manager to have that data on hand to comply with regulatory practices.

sick certificate


Privacy Is Protected, But Questions Can Be Asked

A sick certificate for work does not have to go into specific detail about the nature of the injury of the illness for the sake of personal privacy. It can be as detailed or vague as necessary, with the name and dates being the essential information that must be issued.

However, for those employees who are away for an extended period or those that offer a certificate that is overtly ambiguous, questions can legitimately be raised. A lack of transparency will lead to questions being raised by management, a scenario that all workers want to avoid.


Each Form Must Meet State-Based Criteria

Each sick certificate for work must be issued in accordance with the medical council within each state of Australia. That code of conduct will have some unique stipulations, but there will be universal benchmarks that outline what has to be included. This will include the name of the practitioner and the patient, the date of the diagnosis, the amount of time absent from work, the address of the practitioner and an official signature.


Certificates Cannot Be Demanded of a Doctor

There should never be an instance whereby a doctor is pressured to issue a sick certificate for work if there is no grounds to provide one. A form can only be handed over if the patient has been diagnosed and a discussion has taken place where the individual has requested a certificate for their employer. A doctor handing over a form without diagnosing the issue will be a violation of the code of conduct.


Online Certificates Are Dubious

In 2015 there would be an online distributor who managed to offer a sick certificate for work, but this would come accompanied with a $20 fee. To make it easier for employees to bypass the doctor’s office and to head to a website, they could access a digital document that saw older workers and university students seek out this service.

However, doubts would be raised under the Fair Work Act as the absentee entitlements had to constitute satisfactory evidence from a reputable source. Debate has continued to circulate in this domain, but the common consensus is that an online document could be passable in case of a short-term cold or flu, but a longer absence will open the employee up to questions. The more questions that are raised, the greater the likelihood that an online certificate would not suffice.

Given the general flexibility around most industries for obtaining a document, it is strongly advised that employees seek their form through an official doctor in person.