Practice Resources

Medical/sick notes

 Letter asks employers to change their policy on requiring medical notes for missed time.

Impact on health-care system

Requiring employees to provide medical notes for missed time puts an added burden on the health-care system. It means that people who are sick – but wouldn’t see a doctor – spread germs to others in a doctor’s office, walk-in clinic and emergency department waiting rooms.

Other impacts of such a policy by employers is that the time available to see other patients is decreased, and physicians spend more time each day on paperwork.

Letter to employers to change policy

In 2007, Doctors Nova Scotia asked large employers to stop the practice of requiring their employees to sick notes.

The association has developed a template letter that physicians can use to inform employers about the impact of requiring medical notes from employees who miss work due to illness, and to request a change in the company’s policy.

Physicians are encouraged to provide the letter, or a modified version of it, to patients requesting medical notes to give to their employers.

Medical/sick note: Letter to employer (Microsoft Word document)

Medical/sick note: Letter to employer (PDF document)