Your employer can demand various forms of certificates as documentation for your absence. You may contact your shop steward if you need advice.
Your employer must pay for the certificate that he or she asks to have issued. In practice, the procedure is often that you pay your doctor and are later reimbursed for the expense by your employer.
If you are ill for more than three days, but less than 14 days, your employer may ask you for a solemn declaration as documentation for your illness, where you simply sign a document stating that you are absent due to illness.
Under the Salaried Employees Act, your employer may demand a duration declaration if your absence due to illness lasts for more than 14 days. A duration declaration is a statement in which a doctor makes an assessment of the duration of your illness.
The declaration may be issued by your own medical practitioner or by a specialist chosen by you if your employer demands that the declaration should be issued by a specialist doctor. Often, the employer will ask to receive the declaration within a certain time-limit. It is important that you observe such time-limit. If the doctor has a waiting list, you should contact more specialists to get an appointment as quickly as possible. Remember that it is important that you can prove that you have tried to get an appointment within the time-limit.
If, after the expiry of the duration declaration, you have still not recovered, your employer must ask you for a new declaration as you are not automatically considered to have recovered after the expiry of the declaration.
Fitness for work certificate
Your employer may also demand a fitness for work certificate. He or she may demand a fitness for work certificate at any time during your illness, irrespective of whether your illness is short-term, repeated or long-term.
The purpose of a fitness for work certificate is to keep you in your job. The certificate is used in the situations where, after a dialogue with you, the employer is uncertain about the measures that the company should take in order for you to return to work on a full-time or part-time basis and either with your usual duties or with alternative duties.
Your employer has no right to be informed about your diagnosis, but may receive information about functional limitations in relation to your work.
The first part of the certificate is filled in jointly by you and your employer. This may take place during a personal interview. We recommend that you are accompanied by your shop steward at the meeting. If you are unable to appear at the workplace, the meeting may be held on neutral ground or by telephone. If you feel completely unable to participate in the meeting with your employer, you should always consult your doctor to get an assessment of whether you are too ill to participate.
The other part of the certificate is subsequently filled in by your doctor. Based on the first part of the certificate (which you bring along) and an interview with you, the doctor must consider the possibilities of you resuming work full-time or part-time on the agreed terms. Your doctor has the option of suggesting adaptation of the work and assessing the duration of your illness. After the visit to your doctor, you must send the completed certificate to your employer. If your doctor does not agree with the agreements you have made with your employer, the doctor's opinion is decisive.
Medical statement of incapacity
With the arrival of the fitness for work certificate, the "old certificate of health" is no longer in use. However, your employer may demand a written sick note, a so-called medical statement of incapacity, which your doctor issues.
A medical statement of incapacity is relevant if, for instance, you are ill on the first day of holiday, during a notice period, in a dismissal situation, or if you have been too ill to participate in a fitness for work meeting with your employer.