In its response to the Ministry of Labour’s Changing Workplace Review, Ontario announced it will prohibit employers from demanding doctors’ notes for the first 10 personal emergency leave days they take each year.

Read: Ontario’s response to workplace review includes paid personal leave

Supporters of this policy argue that requiring sick notes for a few days off disrupts employees’ recuperation at home, eats up doctors’ time that could be used to treat more serious ailments, and exposes those in the waiting room to germs. Where physicians charge for sick notes, the policy would also save money for patients.

“When you’re sick with the flu or a bad cold, you should be at home getting rest, and the last place you want to be is in a doctor’s office,” Health Minister Eric Hoskins said in a statement.

Detractors, on the other hand, argue sick notes help employers crack down on absenteeism. While most employees can be trusted, any abuse of the system not only means losing productivity from the slacking employees but overburdening their colleagues, they note, and that may contribute to more employee turnover.

Read: Change to doctor’s notes signals new philosophy towards absence

What do you think? Are doctors’ notes an undue burden on employees and the medical system? Or is the change an excessive intrusion on employers’ rights? Have your say in our weekly poll.

Last week’s poll asked whether employers should pull back from focusing on wellness. Twenty-two per cent said no, wellness programs are becoming increasingly important as health-care concerns rise. Another 22 per cent said yes, the return on investment from wellness programs has been underwhelming. But most (57 per cent) of respondents said employers should continue with wellness initiatives but should implement more targeted and proven approaches. 

 

Copyright © 2017 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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