Doctors of BC say sick notes place burden on healthcare system

Doctors of BC say sick notes place burden on healthcare system
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Doctors of BC is asking employers to stop requesting employees to get sick notes if they are off work sick.

As of Jan. 1, employees are entitled to five paid days of sick leave per year, and Dr. Ramneek Dosanjh, president of Doctors of BC says employers shouldn’t ask for sick notes.

“Sick notes place an unnecessary burden on the health care system particularly during the Omicron surge,” said Dosanjh in a release. “With critical staffing shortages, let’s ensure that physicians and their teams spend their time with patients who need medical care and attention, not writing sick notes.”

The group has been advocating for a policy to end the use of sick notes since 2014, but says employers can help ease the burden on the healthcare system by not asking for a sick note.

However, the new sick day policy implemented by the B.C. government allows for employers to ask for “reasonably sufficient proof.”

Examples of reasonably sufficient proof provided by the government include a receipt from a drugstore or pharmacy, a medical “bracelet” from a hospital, or a note from a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional.

Though the government goes on to say what is reasonable depends on several factors including the length of the absence, if there is an established pattern of absences, if proof is available, or if there is a cost to obtain the proof.

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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