LawAnswers.com.au - Australia's #1 Legal Community

LawAnswers.com.au is a community of 10,000+ Australians, just like you, helping each other.
Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
Join us, it only takes a minute:

NSW Sick Leave - Can Employer Force Me to Sign Consent Form?

Discussion in 'Employment Law Forum' started by June70, 27 May 2016.

  1. June70

    June70 Member

    Joined:
    27 May 2016
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi.

    I am currently taking an extended sick leave (5-6 weeks) for a medical condition. I have provided my employer with a medical certificate. I have also emailed them (I.e. HR, not my supervisor) a detailed explanation of my situation at the commencement of my leave.

    They are now requesting me to sign a consent form so they can speak to my doctor about details of my condition, prognosis, return to work, etc. I informed them that as this was not compulsory, I would prefer to exercise my right not to have further details discussed with my doctor. I also told them I could happily provide documentation from the doctor verifying that 1. My condition warrants the necessary time off; 2. My return to work date and 3. Full medical clearance to return to work full time without need for workplace adjustments, etc.

    This seemed to satisfy them via email discussion. However, I have now received a formal letter in the post from them, requesting that I fill in the consent form and return it so they can speak to the doctor about the details of my condition. Further, they have said that if I do not comply, they will consider arranging their own independent medical assessment for me.

    Can they force me to do this under Employment Law? I have good reasons for not wanting detailed info regarding this to go on my file. I have already explained to them why I am off and my doctor can verify that the condition warrants this period of leave.

    Any help would be appreciated!
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 May 2014
    Messages:
    2,170
    Likes Received:
    257
    Due to the amount of sick leave you are taking (5-6 weeks), the employer can have legitimate OH&S concerns (ie is something at work causing or exacerbating a medical condition) and can request some additional information.

    It seems they want more than what you said you'll provide and they are probably entitled to a bit more in case their work is making you sick/unwell. As you have concerns over privacy issues (I would as well) maybe you can ask the employer for the kind of information they want and you arrange for the doctor to provide it. This keeps the information under your control.

    Not sure about them arranging their own medical for you, but think they can.
     
  3. June70

    June70 Member

    Joined:
    27 May 2016
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks. I have already outlined in quite some detail the nature and cause of my condition and it is crystal clear that it has nothing to do with my work. Yes I will ask them to specify what information they want. Interestingly though they also asked to discuss my health condition with them. I also do not feel comfortable doing this.
     
  4. bork1234

    bork1234 Member

    Joined:
    27 May 2016
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    No, you have provided proof of medical injury or sickness. They have absolutely no valid reason to request further details, and you are under no obligation to provide this information. You are never obligated to sign a consent form. The reason they want the consent form is because this information is confidential, and they should not be asking for it. Asking to speak to your doctor is incredibly unethical, and legal issues aside, entirely disgusting behaviour.

    WHS concerns should be covered by your medical clearance, like any other situation. Even if you are injured at work, the doctor simply signs a form detailing when you are fit to return to work. There is no need for further details of your medical condition.

    Refer to Long periods of sick leave - Sick and carer’s leave - Fair Work Ombudsman for more info...

    "If the employee is on unpaid sick leave, they can’t be fired if:
    • they have been away for 3 months or less and
    • they provide evidence of their illness or injury."
     

Share This Page

Loading...