An illness or injury can strike at any time and they are almost never foreseen or predicted ahead of time.

Even during the flu season or following a long weekend of partying and high endurance activities, we rarely stop to consider how this could affect us in terms of our working commitments.

When it comes to obtaining a medical certificate for work from a reliable after hours GP, there are some fundamental rules and practices that professionals should recognize.

This is part and parcel of being an employee and to receive your sick leave benefits that you are entitled to under a full-time contract, there are some pointers that you must be aware of.


Criteria Needed For Document to be Valid

A medical certificate for work cannot be considered a valid document unless it includes a series of points that pass the basic criteria. This will involve:

  • Name of the patient
  • Name of the doctor
  • Address of the clinic or hospital
  • Date the examination took place
  • The nature of the incapacity
  • An expected return date
  • Date and signature from medical practitioner
  • Name and address of the employer

Unless this information is explicitly listed on the form, then it cannot pass as an appropriate document and the worker’s entitlements come into question.


Timing Is Important (Mostly)

Depending on your own contract, there are no real hard and fast rules for the timing of sending in a medical certificate for work when you return. More times than not there will be urgency on the part of the employee to ensure that they do not miss a payment cycle, a situation that can leave a professional shortchanged if they delay this process. The longer a document is not handed in, the more questions arise and the greater the chance that entitlements are missed entirely.


Employees Cannot Demand Forms From Doctors

Under no circumstance can an employee book an appointment with a doctor and request a medical certificate for work without being assessed. Demands and doctors are two terms that do not go hand-in-hand as it is their professional duty to see what ailments are evident and what potential medicines or treatments are needed. There have been occasions where a doctor will refuse to issue one if they believe that there is not sufficient evidence that an absence from work is warranted. Likewise, a medical practitioner will not issue a document retroactively simply because it has been asked.


Online Medical Forms Are Dubious

There are some professionals out there who will attempt to shortcut the system altogether and search for a medical certificate for work via an online source. These practitioners are highly dubious because there is no means to assess the patient in person, leading to curious documents that have been printed off at home. Companies are well within their rights to through those forms out and demand an authentically written note.


Communication The Common Denominator

Transparency is a two-way street when it comes to the employee-employer relationship. Securing a medical certificate for work requires more diligence and focus with the employer than it does for the medical professional when it comes to the status of the professional position. Extra time can be negotiated and a leave of absence can be worked around so long as a manager has all of the details and can make arrangements ahead of time. It is when employees leave an illness or injury to themselves where problems arise and trust is eroded.



Those are the fundamentals when it comes to employees seeking a medical certificate for work. The more shortcuts, delays and lack of transparency is exercised, the greater the problems for both parties. If you value your job and respect management, adhere to the correct protocols.