Do I have to accept a medical certificate issued by a Chemist?

For employers the answer is "it depends." It depends on what is contained within your organisation’s Employment Agreement(s).

The Employment Agreement (‘EA’) will need to set out your company’s policy position with regards to Sick Leave and notice periods’ related sick leave.

Employers will need to set out the what, when and how of sick leave for employees. That is:

  1. What notice is required to be given.
  2. When is this notice required to be given.
  3. How is this notice required to be given.

By clearly setting out in the EA what you as an employer will accept and not accept you then have the capability to reject a medical certificate issued by a chemist. However, when this information is not specified within an employee’s EA, employers have little solid ground on which to reject such documents. Doing so may well leave you and the organisation open to challenge within the Fair Work Commission by the employee, if a decision is made to reject a medical certificate without absolute clarity within the EA and/or the organisation's policies and procedures.

To learn more we recommend employers consult the Fair Work Commission website.