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WA Coles Sick and Annual Leave Entitlements for Pre-arranged Sick Leave

Discussion in 'Employment Law Forum' started by colesworkerfren, 20 June 2015.

  1. colesworkerfren

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    Hi. I was wondering if anyone who understands the law and the sick leave entitlements in Coles can help answer my question?

    I have a pre-arranged appointment with specialists and surgeons who only conduct consultations on certain days of the week. Unfortunately, these days do not coincide with my days off.

    Am I able to obtain paid sick leave with a medical certificate? As it is a consultation, can this be considered as sick leave or annual leave?

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Ivy

    Ivy Well-Known Member

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    Hi there,

    Are you employed casually or as a permanent staff member (full time or part time)?
    A pre-arranged appointment is generally only covered by sick leave if you can't work due to injury or illness.
    If you are on a permanent contract, you can talk to your employer about whether you can claim your leave under personal (sick leave) or another type of leave such as flex time or annual leave.

    Have a look at this blog post for more information: Sick Leave and Carers Leave - Personal Leave in Australia - Legal Blog - LawAnswers.com.au
     
  3. colesworkerfren

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    Hi Ivy

    I've been employed in Coles as a permanent staff for the past 6 yrs. I have accrued much sick leave as I have not used them.
    I'm suffering from medical illnesses. It affects me personally and cannot be ignored. The illnesses takes an indirect effect that can affect my work.
    For example, I found out that I have osteoporosis after sustaining a fall on the wet ground at Coles and broke my lower spine. Therefore, I was instructed by my GP to obtain medical treatment in relation to the osteoporosis. I have avoided carrying extreme heavy stuff to prevent any further injuries. This resulted in the store manager changing my roster due to my inability to carry heavy loads. I have booked an appointment to see a specialist who deals with osteoporosis however, the specialist can only see me on certain days and unfortunately, they are not on my days off.
    The other case is that I have developed nasal polyps that caused me to lose my ability to smell and causes asthma and coughing. The asthma and coughing affects my work ability. I have taken time to see an ENT surgeon who also only consults one day a week. The store manager insist that medical certificates by the ENT surgeon and the specialist is not enough to obtain a sick leave.

    My work union has advised me to go on sick leave however, the store manager wants me to either take annual leave or swap days with another colleague. At the moment, I'm confused and rather emotional as I am truly sick. The illness do affect me significantly and take an indirect effect on my ability to work. However, it is not like flu or headache. If you can advise anymore, it will be greatly appreciated.
     
  4. Ivy

    Ivy Well-Known Member

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    Hi there,

    Did you have a read of the blog post I linked you to?

    From the information you have given me, it sounds as though you quite legitimately shouldn't be working (or have very limited capacity). Therefore you should be able to claim your pre-booked appointments under sick leave.

    Have you thought about going to your GP and getting a medical certificate from them that covers the days that you will be seeing the specialists? Your manager shouldn't argue against a medical certificate from a GP*. In fact to deny you sick leave when your doctor pronounces you unfit to work is a breach of employment law.

    Also, the fact that you have been at work doesn't disprove medical evidence that you are unfit for work.

    Let me know if you have any further questions.

    *Note that a medical certificate from your specialist should be enough to claim sick leave as well. And you don't need to provide evidence that you're unfit for work before you take the leave. So if you don't want to see your GP, you should be able to get your medical certificate straight from the specialist. However you may want to call the specialists ahead of time to see whether they issue medical certificates for clients that verify that they were unfit for work.
     
  5. colesworkerfren

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    Dear Ivy.

    I missed seeing the line for the blog and thanks for it.
    Thanks for the advice. It certainly makes logical sense.
     
  6. colesworkerfren

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    I have an update on my situation. I have contacted the union. There was a clause in the employment law that stated that I was allowed to use my accrued sick leave to see a doctor or specialist. The union contacted my store manager who had to compensate back the sick leaves. However, as usual, no apologies were given.

    Nonetheless, I was still happy that I was able to use my sick leave for my illnesses.
     

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