Certificates issued by Pharmacists for absences from work
Under the current system of Fair Work Act 2009, employees can be required by their employer to provide certificates for absence from work to verify certain absences from work due to illness or injury (personal leave), or absences due to the illness or injury to a member of the employee’s immediate family or household (carer’s leave).
The Fair Work Act 2009, which came into effect from 1 July 2009, allows for pharmacists to issue certificates as proof of legitimate absence from work.
Pharmacists are able to issue certificates for personal leave (sick leave) as the Act provides a more flexible definition as it simply states ‘evidence that would satisfy a reasonable person’ as all that is required as evidence from an employee when making claim for personal or carer’s leave.
The Fair Work Act 2009 applies to all “federal system” employees.
A “federal system” employee is one that:
The Guild strongly recommends that pharmacists limit the provision of certificates for absence from work
One exception under the Fair Work Act 2009 is in the circumstances of parental leave, where the medical certificate must be issued by a registered medical practitioner.
The following materials have been issued to support pharmacists in implementing this service.
This document is intended to assist pharmacists in meeting their legal and professional obligations when issuing certificates in the context of the Fair Work Act 2009. The document aims to assist pharmacists in issuing certificates for absence from work that are compliant with all relevant laws, and to minimise the risk of professional negligence. It provides recommendations on record keeping, privacy, referral to medical practitioners and other important aspects of providing this service. It also includes a sample template for a record of consultation, and examples of personal leave and carer’s leave certificates.
This document provides pharmacists with a framework within which they can issue certificates for absence from work. The Guide uses a graded approach to assist pharmacists assess the need for a certificate for a range of minor conditions within their scope of practice.
Pharmacists are entitled to charge a fee for their consultation and the provision of the certificate for absence from work. Each pharmacy should set its own fees based on the approximate time the process normally takes. The aim of this pricing model (cost calculator) is to estimate a fee structure for consulting and issuing a Certificate that reflects your pharmacy’s individual cost structure. The essential components of a fee are as follows: actual labour cost of all staff engaged in the service; occupancy costs; other overheads; and return on funds employed.
For more information, please contact the Guild on (02) 6270 1888.