What medical evidence can an employer insist on from employees who are absent due to swine flu when government advice is that people with swine flu symptoms should not attend their GP?
To avoid the risk of encouraging absenteeism, employers should continue to insist on a medical certificate from absent employees in accordance with their organisation's normal policy. Most policies allow for employees to self-certify absences of up to seven days. Where an employee who is absent for more than seven days advises that he or she has swine flu, and current government guidance is that people with swine flu symptoms should not attend their GP, the employer will need to make an exception to its normal requirement for medical evidence. Nevertheless, the employer should take all reasonable steps to verify the sickness absence. This could include requiring the employee to make regular telephone contact, and requiring the employee to explain what attempts he or she has made to contact a GP and what medical advice he or she has sought and followed. The employee should be asked to provide evidence where possible.