The Australian Medical Association has defended workers who are accused of taking sick leave before quitting their job.
And furthermore, it suggests employers are part of the problem.
Many employers complain that workers who plan to quit fake illnesses to get medical certificates so they can use up their accrued sick leave.
A ‘well-known trick’
A My Business website reader described it as a “well-known trick” and, as a result, an employee can be away from work for weeks:
“It is another way they know they can cause the business owner some pain.
“This is something else that needs to be addressed.
“Again the employees know to use the medical system to facilitate their bullying.”
AMA defends workers accused of abusing sick leave
AMA chair Doctor Richard Kidd rejected the claims.
He says most patients have legitimate reasons for missing work, and suggested employers could be part of the problem.
“As a GP, I’ve found a number of people who are in very difficult situations at their place of employment.
“Where they are being harassed, bullied, victimised, alienated and they may well be deemed to be difficult employees by the employer.
“The first thing to be aware of is that there is often two sides to a story, and very often the people actually need to use that sick leave because the situation in untenable where they are and they actually can’t work.”
While Doctor Kidd accepts that some patients might lie about their illness, he believes most tell the truth.
“We tend to believe our patients if they say they are being harassed, bullied and really starting to suffer from anxiety, panic attacks, they can’t sleep, waking up at 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning with their minds just worrying about what’s going to happen the next day at work.”
“DO YOU KNOW YOUR RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS WHEN IT COMES TO SICK LEAVE?”
Employers are not medical professionals
Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan from IR Claims warns employers they are not medical professionals.
“Employers must leave medical diagnosing to people with medical qualifications,” he said.
“If a doctor says someone is legitimately unwell, then they are unwell.
“Sick leave should be factored into any business plan.
“If you can’t afford to allow for sick days, then you probably can’t afford to be in business.
“If an employee is about to leave, and wants to rort the system, there is probably a reason why they don’t want to be at work.
“And that could come down to the way they are treated in the workplace.”
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