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Tuesday, July 20

Sick leave proposal a very simple change

Minister of Labour Kate Wilkinson says the suggestion that every employee will be asked to provide a medical certificate whenever they are sick is ridiculous.

The Government is proposing to amend the current law so employers do not need to have proof when they suspect an employee of pulling a ‘sickie'.

"Employers aren't going to waste their time and money asking every employee for a medical certificate when they take a day off sick. It's simply ridiculous to believe that would be the case," says Ms Wilkinson.

"Ultimately, the employer must make arrangements to pay for the doctor's visit. No one is going to go to those lengths for the sake of it.

"In reality employers will use this option to question those they suspect of routinely abusing the sick leave provision.

"This could be someone who calls in sick on the busy days or has a pattern of taking Mondays or Fridays off work.

"To argue that this would lead to increased healthcare costs or an overwhelming workload on doctors is laughable.

"Simple commonsense tells you it will be used sparingly and good workers aren't going to see any difference to the current regime."