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Commission cracks down on ‘sickies’

The great Aussie ‘sickie’ is becoming more risky, following a recent Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) ruling which confirmed an employer does not have to treat a medical certificate as binding upon them.

The ruling follows a case involving a baggage handler who went surfing whilst on sick leave. The AIRC emphasised that employers could terminate an employee for engaging in activities that indicated they were fit to be at work, even if a medical certificate was produced.

According to McCullough Robertson Special Counsel, Cameron Dean, an employer is not required to accept a medical certificate as truth. If they are suspicious of the employees activities they have the right to make further enquiries.

However Dean added that employers must have factual evidence to back up their suspicions and may risks unfair dismissal claims if they choose to terminate the employees contract.

A report by the University of Western Australia revealed that around 270,000 Australians are absent from work on any given day.

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Jessica Stanic

Jessica Stanic

Jessica has a background in both marketing and journalism and is dedicated to making the website the leading online resource for small to medium businesses with ambitions to grow.

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