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HRM CA | 14 Jan 2014, 12:01 AM Agree 0
Following Ontario top doctor’s criticism of employers requiring medical notes, some organizations defend the requirement.
  • Mary | 14 Jan 2014, 09:56 AM Agree 0
    Why the stringent rule about staying home if they are sick? Can't they accommodate sick employees within the workplace? Alternately, making them come in if sick is not a logical rule, either - each must be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Nancy Fisher | 14 Jan 2014, 10:03 AM Agree 0
    It should be noted that many employers only require doctor's notes for very short absences where there is a history of excessive absenteeism unsupported by medical evidence. And those doctor's notes are often unhelpful (doctors should be cautioned that they can be compelled to testify if litigation by the patient against the employer ensues and so should pay better attention to what they're writing). Absenteeism is a societal problem and hence the OMA should work with employers to deal with it. While Scott Wooder does admit that he has no HR expertise, I'd be curious to find out what he thinks that employers and the OMA should do rather than just scolding employers for what we're doing.
  • Carol | 14 Jan 2014, 10:13 AM Agree 0
    I suspect the stats you quote for Federal, Provincial, and private absenteeism rates are comparing apples to oranges. Federal and Provincial benefits generally have sick days built in to their benefit packages and in my experience simply become an entitlement (extra vacation days). Private sector companies generally do not have provisions for sick days; if you are not going to be paid to stay at home, you generally show up to work. This could be the reason why the absenteeism rates are higher in these areas.
  • kb | 14 Jan 2014, 10:14 AM Agree 0
    No one is suggesting in any of the comments I've read, that sick employees should come to work. That would not be in anyone's interest. What is needed is a recognition of the importance of balance. This means we don't go crazy and ask employees with good attendance records to bring a note if they miss a day. (Though we will want a note if they are absent for a lengthier period to ensure they are getting the care they need, and to eventually confirm they are well enough to return.) And we do expect some reasonable medical substantiation of illness in the case of those whose record of absence suggests the possibility of abuse. Asking staff not suspected of abuse but who have a high degree of absenteeism is also reasonable to ensure they are getting the care they need. There is no need to be discriminatory about this. The rule could be that if you miss more than x days in a period of time, or if you exhibit a pattern of Monday and Friday illness, you may be asked to provide a note for any further absence until such a time as the record is lowered to within the average for the workplace.
  • Art | 23 Jan 2014, 09:30 AM Agree 0
    I want to compare apples to apples; What formula is being used here fore absenteeism rate?
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