FW Ombudsman: employers have no right to attend employee medical visits

boss-not-welcome-medical-appointment

Only recently this issue was addressed by this blog— Bosses are intruding on workcover doctors visits.
At this stage, unions were becoming concerned with employers demanding they attend medical appointments with injured employees and participating in discussions with employers concerning employees conditions. The answer is now final. These employers invasion of injured employees privacy has now been published.

This emerging practice has now been addressed by The Fair Work Ombusman.


Taken from the following article from OHS reps Safety Net Journal Issue 247 – SafetyNet 247 Thu 11 Oct 2012

FW Ombudsman: employers have no right to attend employee medical visits

Last week the ACTU, the VTHC and affiliates raised the growing problem of some employers insisting that they attend medical appointments with their employees. The Fair Work Ombudsman has responded by saying that employers have no reason to do so, unless invited by the employee. The Ombudsman says it ‘does not condone or support this behaviour’.

‘While an employer may request evidence that would substantiate the reason for an employee’s entitlement to personal/carer leave, a medical certificate or statutory declaration is generally considered an acceptable form of evidence. The Fair Work Ombudsman does not consider that it is reasonable for an employer to seek to attend a medical appointment with the employee for this purpose and views this as a breach of the employee’s privacy.’ Further, in terms of ‘evidence’ the Ombudsman’s site states: ‘The employee only needs to provide evidence that they were not fit to work because they were sick or injured. The cause and nature of their absence is not necessary, except in unusual or exceptional circumstances.’

http://www.fairwork.gov.au/media-centre/media-releases/2012/09/pages/20120927-statement-on-employee-medical-conferences.aspx

boss-not-allowed-to-attend-injured-worker-medical-apptThe Fair Work Ombudsman is concerned about recent reports surrounding employers attempting to attend medical appointments with employees.

The Fair Work Ombudsman does not condone or support this behaviour and sees no reason why an employer should seek to attend a private and confidential appointment with an employee, unless specifically requested to do so by the employee.

The laws around sick leave and personal leave are quite simple. While an employer may request evidence that would substantiate the reason for an employee’s entitlement to personal/carer leave, a medical certificate or statutory declaration is generally considered an acceptable form of evidence.

 



This post has been seen 698 times.

12 Responses to “FW Ombudsman: employers have no right to attend employee medical visits”

  1. This is symptomatic of just how hostile some employers are towards injured or ill workers.  Time is money and that is all that matters!  And we wonder why there has been a sharp rise in psychological injuries in recent years.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. The only two real reasons employers want to attend medical appointments:

    • Intimidate the medical practitioner and employee
    • Gather information to be latter used to terminate the employee on medical grounds

     

    http://www.workplaceinfo.com.au/termination/unfair-dismissal/dismissal-on-medical-grounds-unfair

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. Great post trinny. It’s good to see these cruel, inhuman, bullying invasions into the deeply private health concerns of workers are being exposed more broadly. It never ceases to shock me the lengths to which some insurers will go to protect their profits. If my boss had tried to come to my medical appointments with me I’d have felt humiliated, exposed in my most private places, dominated, like a child really. I probably would have become really ill again, as I tend to do for long periods around IME “assessments”. When did being injured at work turn us into people with no rights. When did injured workers lose the right to privacy and dignity in their personal health concerns.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Unfortunately  as soon as we submitted a work cover claim we became targets and victims and in work cover eyes no longer human. Employers and insurers are able to hide and shield themselves behind work cover legislation which will always be geared in favour of the entity with the most disposable Dollars.

      But I feel,  No , I know we are making waves and together we are chipping away at the fortress they hide behind, just look at the attacks on this website. Together we have them very, very worried.

       

       

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. Thank you so much for posting this invaluable update, Trinny – a gem!

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. At a Loss, thank you for the links – very interesting legal cases which we will publish as soon as possible (tomorrow). Really shows to what length employers (and associated insurers) will go 🙁

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    workcovervictim October 14, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. WorkcoverVictim (@WCVictimsdiary) - October 13, 2012

    FW Ombudsman: employers have no right to attend employee medical visits http://t.co/TDzXVS6k

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. @BigPowie - October 13, 2012

    RT @WCVictimsdiary: FW Ombudsman: employers have no right to attend employee medical visits http://t.co/TDzXVS6k

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. @pacman6009 - October 13, 2012

    A gross invasion of privacy, interfering in the Doctor Patient relationship! http://t.co/HKTXzP9y

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0