Employer’s have often expressed difficulties with the information provided in medical certificates for sickness and in particular for partial fitness for duties.  New draft guidelines released by the Medical Council may (if adopted) assist with overcoming these issues.  The new guidelines will provide more information on certificates to allow employers to be better informed about the condition of an employee if relevant to the work they do.  The information about what an employee can and cannot do by way of duties will also be better expressed and clearer.  Employers will also be able to get guidance from the doctor on fitness for work tasks (with patient permission) and doctors will understand that it is ok to give that information and the need to get patient permission.

The changes all look reasonable and sensible and balance the patient’s rights and employer’s rights with the doctor’s responsibilities to both.

The full draft guidelines can be accessed through this link. http://www.mcnz.org.nz/assets/News-and-Publications/Consultations/MCNZ-Consultation-on-Medical-certification.pdf