Categories:Employment

Managing ill and injured workers: best practice


An employee has been absent on a number of occasions. The medical certificates state that the employee is suffering from a “medical condition”. The workplace relies on that employee to function as a member of a team and his/her absences are impacting on the work being done and their colleagues. The employee does not provide any further information about his/her medical condition. Can you require the employee to submit to a medical examination and what happens if the employee refuses?

Often, the first step is for an employer to ask, and if necessary, direct the employee to undergo a medical examination. Where the employee refuses, the employer needs to decide whether that direction will stand up and what the consequences of that direction are (that is, can the employer dismiss the employee?).

Typically, the employee will challenge the employer’s right to give that direction by alleging that such a direction is not a lawful or reasonable direction or that it amounts to disability discrimination or adverse action because it constitutes a “detriment” in employment and the detriment is due to the disability…

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