I was not at work on a Monday due to illness and my employer is now requesting a medical certificate from me. Can they do that?
Section 23 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (No 75 of 1997) deals with proof of incapacity on account of illness or injury.
In terms of this section, an employer is not required to pay an employee for days on which the employee is absent if the employee has been absent from work:
- For more than two consecutive days; or
- On more than two occasions during an eight-week period;
- And has not, on request by the employer, produced a medical certificate stating that the employee was unable to work for the duration of his or her absence on account of sickness or injury.
The employer is, however, entitled to stipulate in the employment contract or in an employment policy that an employee must submit a medical certificate if, for example, the employee is absent on a Monday or a Friday due to illness, even if it is for one day only.
It would not be inconsistent with legislation as long as the employer still remunerates the employee for that day, even though he or she has not submitted a medical certificate.
Please note that if the employee does not provide a medical certificate as requested, the employer may well take action against the employee because a company rule has not been complied with.
Please feel free to contact the Call Centre on 0861 25 24 23 should you have any enquiries about proof of incapacity. You can also direct an e-mail with your enquiry to