Return to work: Doctor’s release
- On 21 December 2014
- Posted by Chantal Mariotti
Sick Time. The number of employees who take sick leaves steadily increases during this time of year. While missing employees can affect your business operations, it’s important to ensure your employees are staying home and recovering rather than coming to work and getting the rest of your staff sick. While employees may believe they are no longer contagious, have them provide you with a doctor’s note for reassurance.
Avoid liability by requiring employees to provide you with a doctor’s release to come back to work after an injury or illness. If you have an employee who has been out sick for three consecutive days, it is always an HR Best Practice to ask that employee for a doctor’s release, prior to allowing them to return to work. By following this best practice, you will avoid having the ill employee come back to work early — before he or she has fully recovered — and by the same token, you will protect all of your staff in the office or workplace. The employee might still be ill, or even contagious. Employers should protect all of their employees, and protect themselves against any potential liability caused by allowing ill employees to continue working.
Employee may still be contagious from their illness and may contaminate other employees. Working in an office or in close proximity to one another increases the risk of viruses and the spreading of bacteria. Protect the health and safety of your employees by asking ill employees to stay at home until they’re no longer contagious. A doctor’s note can provide sound evidence that the employee is no longer ill and is able to return back to work.
Do not allow employees to come back to work without a doctor’s note. If you do not currently have such a policy in your Employee Handbook, contact your employees and let them know what protocol is required in order for them to come back to work. Regulate this, however, as employees may delay getting a doctor’s note in order to extend their sick leave. Remember, many laws have changed in 2015, so when updating your Employee Handbook, make sure to include a “Return to Work” policy.
Make sure your employees are aware of your policy. Make sure this policy is written and updated in your employee handbook. Inform your employees about this policy and make sure they’re aware of what is permitted. Having forms and requiring specific information can decrease the likelihood of your employee taking advantage of sick leaves. Requesting the doctor’s release and signature can protect you in the event of a lawsuit. Update your employee handbook to include this policy so every employee has the information they need if questions pertaining to this policy arise. Communication is key!
Call us at (818) 845-5584 or email us at email@example.com to further discuss the process of requesting doctor’s notes from your employees.