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Employers beware: $20 sick certificates!

IMG_0913It is disappointing seeing Chemist Warehouse promote $20 medical certificates. If they are successful and increase the number issued, the cost of business owners, especially small business owners will be considerable.

I spoke to the pharmacist where I took the photo and they said they take a professional approach. Hmm…

I think it sucks that pharmacists can write absence from work certificates.

All we can do as employers is factor in the cost of sick leave when we budget for the labour costs for our business.

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  1. David@anglevalenews

    Mark, we are constantly being harangued over health care costs “being out of control”. This is one way to reduce the costs.

    It is ridiculous that an employee be required to provide a certificate for a single day’s absence. Not to mention, it is almost impossible to get a Dr appointment on short notice.

    A common cold will last about 3 days if you don’t see a doctor. A visit to the doctor will see the cold gone in 72 hours.

    It worries me that far too many employers, especially in small business, see the employee/employer relationship as a war. It is like they are still in the days of the master/servant act.

    The NZ system is preferable. A certificate is required for 3 or more days. The employer can request a certificate for a lesser absence, but must carry the cost. Furthermore, although sick leave does not become available until the seventh month of employment, and is only 5 days per year, it can be accumulated to a maximum of 20 days.


    As the manager of a major security company for 10 years I did not see any evidence of sick leave being rorted. yes, there was the odd case of bottle fatigue on a Monday, but a quiet chat rather than a sledge hammer could help sort that.


  2. Steve

    The problem with this is the Pharmacists conflict of interest, they are advertising $20 medical certificates, if they assess a client as not deserving a certificate they don’t get payed so the incentive is to write the certificate.
    While Doctors seem to have no qualms in giving certificates for anything if they go to a Doctor the Doctor books a consultation fee weather a certificate is issued or not, plus their qualified to make that judgement.


  3. Mark Fletcher

    Steve I’m with you. David I don’t disagree with you but your comments are not as related to this post.


  4. Paul

    David is there something I’m missing ? I think you need to see the Doctor ! 😉

    “A common cold will last about 3 days if you don’t see a doctor. A visit to the doctor will see the cold gone in 72 hours.”


  5. Shayne

    David’s point is it’s pointless going to the doctor for a common cold as it makes no difference yet an employee with a cold can still be required to produce a doctors certificate


  6. Joe

    Just noticed this post – Is this still around? – BS in my opinion.


  7. Mark Fletcher

    Joe it is. I saw this sign a couple of days ago. In Perth I have seen a billboard from a pharmacy on a main road plan ty of workers would pass on the way to work – almost encouraging them to call in sick.


  8. Brydie

    What a terrific option for people. It is so hard to get in to the doctors these days, especially flu season and our local doc does not bulk bill so $75 out the door to get a doctors certificate, no meds required, just for a cold, is BS in my opinion.
    As a small business employer I trust my staff and would prefer them to stay at home when sick rather than contaminate everyone else and increasing sick leave tenfold within the company.
    In my opinion if you don’t trust your staff clearly you have hired the wrong people or you are a terrible boss they can not be truthful with. The fact you are now also questioning a licensed pharmacists ability to see if someone is ill or not, also at the risk of their license, shows perhaps you do have deep set trust issues. Would be fun to work for you Mr Fletcher!


  9. Allan Wickham

    Brydie, your last sentence is something written without knowledge. I know people that work for Mark (my son included)and a fairer boss you will not meet. Marks post is all about how easy it is for an employee to get a sick certificate, not about Marks employment rules.


  10. Mark Fletcher

    Brydie thanks for your judgement. My businesses have a history of long term employees, paid above award. Maybe you missed this: https://www.newsagencyblog.com.au/2017/03/15/why-i-am-not-embracing-the-reduced-sunday-penalty-rates-in-my-retail-business/


  11. Michelle

    Funny Chemist warehouse Casula just sold me a load of allergy meds at a cost of $50 but when i asked for a leave certificate for today as i can hardly breathe and i work in retail they said allergy problems are not serious enough to give me a certificate and i should try a doctor i told them i had already rung my doctor and they are all booked out for today she said then find another doctor one What !!! with no idea of my medical history after two strokes i dont think so


  12. Joe

    Wow Michelle! Didn’t know Chemist warehouse has employed medical practitioners!! Must be an expensive business model 🙂


  13. Bob

    You lot sound like absolute deadbeat bosses. No wonder the newsagency industry is going down.

    I would rather people stay home when they’re sick than come into work coughing and sneezing and spreading their flu to everyone else because they couldn’t get to a doctor on time.

    Also as a customer, if I see an employee exhibiting signs of illness, I’ll never come back to the store again, and will warn everyone I know to stay away.

    PS. Thanks for wasting the valuable taxpayer-subsidied time of GPs over a silly cold.


  14. Paul S

    Geez there musn’t be an aweful lot of stores you don’t go back to !


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