No Right Turn has a good post pointing out that John Key’s petty fascism on sick leave is already covered by the law. An employer can demand a worker provide a medical certificate after one day’s sick leave – so long as they have reasonable grounds for suspecting the sick leave is not genuine.
Here’s what the Holidays Act says:
68 Proof of sickness or injury
(1) An employer may require an employee to produce proof of sickness or injury for sick leave taken under section 65 if the sickness or injury that gave rise to the leave is for a period of 3 or more consecutive calendar days, whether or not the days would otherwise be working days for the employee.
(1A) Despite subsection (1), the employer may require proof of sickness or injury within 3 consecutive calendar days if the employerâ€”
(a) has reasonable grounds to suspect that the sick leave being taken by the employee is not genuine because none of the grounds in section 65(1) are met; and
(b) informs the employee, as early as possible after forming the suspicion that the sick leave being taken is not genuine, that the proof is required; and
(c) agrees to meet the employee’s reasonable expenses in obtaining the proof.
So, when Key says the law needs to be changed so poor abused bosses can crack down on ‘the worker who calls in sick every second Monday’, he’s lying. The employer would already have the grounds to demand a medical certificate in that situation.
All this law change will do is remove the requirement for our employers to behave reasonably when we’re sick. The only effect of that, of course, will be to empower unreasonable employers.
Anyone else starting to see a pattern here?
Update: And in the Dom Post today an employment specialist points out the new law could lead to workplace bullying. The Nats facilitating bullying? Who would have thought.