Q&A Workers Compensation

November 28, 2017 News

Your Doctor, Your Choice and Medical Certificates

Q. Which Doctor should I see if I have been injured at work?

  • You have the legal right to select and see the Doctor of your choice as the treating Doctor for your injury;
  • Your employer may ask you to see their choice of Doctor (e.g., some employers use a network of Doctors called ‘InjuryNET Doctors);
  • It is totally up to you whether or not you agree to see their Doctor instead of your own;
  • The employer has no right to enforce their wishes on members in this regard.
  • The union’s advice is to stick with your own choice of Doctor to treat you. After all, most people go to the same Doctor over a period of time for their health matters and have grown to know and trust their Doctor. Your regular Doctor also knows your previous medical history which helps them to diagnose your condition and treat your condition appropriately.

Q. Should I allow management to come into medical appointments with me?

  • You have the right to decide whether or not you are comfortable with this and want it to happen. You have the legal right to say ‘NO’ to this if your employer suggests it.
  • Once again, the employer has no right to enforce their wishes on members in this regard.
  • The union’s advice on this is to say ‘no’. Medical consultations are confidential between you and your treating Doctor. You want to feel free to speak openly and candidly to your Doctor without having someone from work in the room.
  • If your employer wishes to communicate with your Doctor about getting you back to work on alternative (light) duties, with your permission, they can do this without the need to be in your private medical consultation.

Q. If I bring a Medical Certificate in to work which puts me off work for a period of time and my boss doesn’t like it, do I have to go back to the Doctor to get it changed so that I can return to work immediately on ‘light duties’?

  • NO, your Medical Certificate is a valid and binding legal document. MANAGERS ARE NOT MEDICAL DOCTORS. They should not question your Doctor’s opinion or Certificates.
  • The union’s advice is to stand your ground and hand in the Medical Certificate that your Doctor has already given you. If you are pressured to get it changed, advise the union office immediately.

If you suffer an injury at work, you must do the following:

  • Tell your line manager immediately;
  • Fill in an incident report even if the injury is minor;
  • See the Doctor of your choice and obtain a workers’ compensation Medical Certificate;
  • Obtain a workers’ compensation claim form, compete it and hand it in with your Medical Certificate and any medical bills for injury.
  • Finally, members are encouraged to stand up for their workers’ compensation rights. If members encounter any problems such as feeling harassed or intimidated please ring or email the union office immediately.