web analytics

Got your doctor’s note?

Written By: - Date published: 10:57 am, August 24th, 2010 - 21 comments
Categories: health, workers' rights - Tags:

It was only at the protest on the weekend that I learned about the Nats’ plan to make us get sick notes if we take a day off work for ourselves or to look after a sick family member.

Basically, the Nats think you and I are a bunch of liars and cheats who take sickies all the time. They think that forcing us to get sick notes will scare us off and we’ll go to work instead.

What an insult to working Kiwis.

More than that, you’ve got to think about the practical consequences. How many workers who are sick will balk at the cost of going to the GP for a note and go to work instead, risking their health and that of their workmates?

And what an enormous waste of resources. Already, our GPs and clinics are over-stressed and the government is cutting funding in this part of the health sector so that Tony Ryall can produce impressive stats in the ‘glamour’ area of elective surgery. Imagine if every Kiwi worker has to turn up to the doctor two or three times extra a year. What’s that, 6 million extra visits? Ludicrous.

Apparently, the doctors are dead set against this stupid waste of resources. And they should be. I’m not going to pretend that people don’t take sickies from time to time but let’s say that 10% of sick days really are people pulling sickies, and that this law would put off half of them… would it really be worth taking up the doctor’s time for 19 other sick notes?

This is just bad, wasteful policy from a government that has no understanding of efficient use of scarce resources and thinks that workers are all scumbags who need a good kicking.

21 comments on “Got your doctor’s note? ”

  1. Chuck 1

    …from a government that has no understanding of efficient use of scarce resources and thinks that workers are all scumbags who need a good kicking.

    But not before they pay tax or make employers rich. Very important that. Always get mule to do work first, before beating it to death.

  2. g-sus 2

    they also seem to expect that appointments will be free that day…. I mean whats the point when the reality is that yr doc will say ‘sure I can fit you in next Tuesday’…

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      Every time I’ve been sick and needed to see a doctor, I’ve managed to get an appointment on the same day without any problems. Maybe I’m just lucky, though. I also don’t live in Auckland.

    • Deborah Kean 2.2

      Absolutely true, g-sus! It’s always the case with my local…

  3. Bill 3

    It’s got nothing to do with the Nats thinking workers throw sickies.

    It’s about the scum employers (as opposed to the good ones) getting off on paying a wage for time not spent at work. They don’t believe you will be frightened into going to work. They don’t care either way. The point is a simple one.

    No sick note will equal time off without pay…or a pull down on holidays owing.

    And if borderline income forces you into work and workmates get sick, then hey.

    The reality is that sick leave provision in NZ is pathetically inadequate anyway. Apparently no worker gets sick in the first 6 months of employment. If they do, tough. No pay.

    And women with children…and it’s women who are more inclined to look after sick family members…gets no more sick leave provision than anyone else.

    I admit to getting a bit sickened by the response to this whole ‘fire at will’ crap. eg.

    1. Why aren’t the inadequacies of current sick leave provisions being high lighted and a better deal being demanded as opposed to rather pathetic whimperings of how the changes are not very fair as though what we’ve got is worth a shit.

    2. Why isn’t a robust demand for a living wage…not a minimum wage…being pushed for as a response to the idea that annual leave could be traded in for cash? Alternatively…or additionally…why are all wage claims not demanding a %age increase that equates to a week of leave that is not negotiable and that sits separate from all other wage demands?

    • Bright Red 3.1

      was isn’t Bill writing a guest post, rather than complaining that nobody writes what he would write?

      • Bill 3.1.1

        And just where the fuck was it exactly that I complained that Marty ( or anyone else) wasn’t writing what I would write?

        Are you suggesting that not being in agreement with every aspect or assertion of a post, and submitting alternative thoughts or perspectives in the comments is the same as complaining that ‘no-body’ is writing what I would write?

        Evidently, you’re a pathetic whining little ‘lock-step loving’ little git. And don’t go fucking complaining that I haven’t written what you’d have written on that front. Okay?

  4. Alex 4

    I’m a GP. We cannot cope with the number of people we need to see who are unwell. What sort of ridiculousness is it to insist people see a doctor for a medical certificate if they are not unwell, or need one day off?

    Who will pay for the people that cannot get appointments and end up in hiospital because our waiting rooms are full of the well seeking a note?

    It’s insulting and infantalising and bloody stupid. What’s so wrong about BELIEVING adults?

    • The Voice of Reason 4.1

      I think it’s because they don’t see us as adults, just malfunctioning labour units.

  5. Lats 5

    It’ll result in some enterprising GP’s setting up shop selling medical certificates. Front up at the local clinic, pay your $15, the receptionist will give you a pre-signed cert, and off you go. In and out in about 5 minutes without seeing a doctor. At least, that’s what I’d do. Easy money.

  6. The Voice of Reason 6

    “How many workers who are sick will balk at the cost of going to the GP for a note and go to work instead, risking their health and that of their workmates?”

    My recollection is that Wilkinson said the boss would have to pay, not the worker. I presume that was a mistake and not what she intended. As presented, this proposal only changes the current arrangement slightly, by removing the requirement that the boss had to have ‘reasonable grounds’ to suspect cheating. If they had reasonable grounds, they could, under the current law, require a doctors note.

    It’s also worth noting that the boss has to pay reasonable expenses involved in getting the sick note. Usually that will be the taxi fare, because if you are too sick to work, you’re too sick to drive. I can’t see too many bosses stumping up for both the doc and the cabbie, so this is clearly a poorly thought out faux change, which has not been asked for by any sane boss.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      “because if you are too sick to work, you’re too sick to drive”
      Urm, not really. It is very easy to be too sick to work but still be able to drive. Particularly if you are concerned about infecting everyone else in the office.

      • The Voice of Reason 6.1.1

        I was making a suggestion for what you should say when the boss tells you he wants a doctor’s note. “hey boss, I’m happy to do it, but it’s going to cost you $40 for the doc and $40 for the cab. Do you still want me to go?”

  7. Alex 7

    Under the holidays Act if an employer wants a certificate after 1 day because, basically they suspect malingering, they have to pay for the consultation. You are not required to produce a certificate for 3 consecutive days otherwise.

    Quite a few employers though have a ‘policy’ of needing a note after 1 day. Of course what that usually means is 2 days off, one when sick and the other when you can finally get a non-urgent appointment with your GP to say you were sick last week…


  8. Dave 8

    The saddest thing is the lowest paid occupations like hospitality/tourism and retail are the most affected as they deal with food, so, if they get any sort of contagious sickness (like diarrhoea) its going to cost them bigtime.

    the election can’t come quick enough

  9. Mark 9

    Can anyone post a link to a site that confirms that this IS actually one of Nationals plans? I’m sceptical? Marty G, how exactly did you ‘learn’ about this plan? I’ve looked through bills in the pipeline and have found nothing of this sort.

  10. Cynical_Joker 10

    A enterprising Medical centre should offer “Employer mandated same-day appointments” at $100+ each.
    As the employer would have to pay, that should close down this ridiculous law.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Tokelau Language Week reminds us to stay united and strong
    Staying strong in the face of challenges and being true to our heritage and languages are key to preserving our cultural identity and wellbeing, is the focus of the 2020 Tokelau Language Week. Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, says this year’s theme, ‘Apoapo tau foe, i nā tāfea ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago