Employers must have more trust or face rising costs – says Nova Scotia doctor

Employers must have more trust or face rising costs – says Nova Scotia doctor

Employers must have more trust or face rising costs – says Nova Scotia doctor Some HR professionals face a never ending battle with certain employees who insist on taking sick day after sick day but one Novia Scotia doctor is showing no sympathy and has decided to charge employers $30 for a worker’s sick note.

"If an employee said they are sick, their employer should probably trust that they are telling the truth if they have a good relationship with them," said Ether Cooper-Rosen, of Woodlawn Medical Clinic. "The patient doesn’t want to pay for the note and the employer generally doesn’t want to pay for the note."

The Nova Scotia physician revealed that she gets three to five requests for a doctor’s note each week, notes which are not covered by Medical Services Insurance.

On average, Canadian workers miss 7.4 days per year due to sickness (Nova Scotians miss slightly more at 8.5), so if the scheme takes off, employers who are particularly strict on tracking absenteeism will be hit with rising costs.

 Cooper-Rosen also spoke out to defend her decision and said; “We are taking the position that it’s an unnecessary medical visit taking up our time, exposing patients in the waiting room to illnesses, and it shouldn't be part of the system.”

Kevin Chapman, of director of health policy and promotion with Doctors Nova Scotia, backed Cooper-Rosen and said: “We don’t want patients to have to go to a doctor’s office to satisfy what is essentially an administrative requirement, because it ties up access.”

If you’re always chasing sickly staff members for that elusive doctor’s note, it might be time to reevaluate your absenteeism approach or face a hefty bill.

What do you think? Is it unfair to expect employers to foot the cost for simply doing their job?
  • DM 2014-10-29 2:12:47 PM
    Why would the employer pay for the note? it's the employee who has to pay for the note to justify that they were away from work for a legitimate reason, otherwise they suffer being absent without authourization from their scheduled work day.
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  • JL 2014-10-29 2:25:14 PM
    I don't know how they would be able to enforce this since it is legal for employers to request medical documentation at the employees expense. Usually medical is only requested for excessive or "trend" absenteeism, so perhaps Doctors should push back on more patients and only provide them with a note based on their actual diagnosis of illness, and not "pencil whip" them for any reason at all solely based on whatever the patient says.
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  • Joanne 2014-10-29 2:27:18 PM
    This topic raising it's ugly head again...... DM is absolutely correct it is not the employer's cost for medical notes unless they ask for one. We have in our CA that a medical note must be produced after 3 days absence which we do not pay. If we ask for a note prior to the 3 days we do pay for the note. Except, when there is a problem with the employees attendance then the employee has to submit the note or face disciplinary action. If doctors would take some responsibility and not supply medical notes for patients that come in for a note for a day off unless the doctor examines them and gives the medical note for medical reasons only, not so the employee can have a "vacation" day.
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