Medical appointments at the request of your employer: your rights and obligations

Do I need to attend a medical appointment organised by my employer?

Employers will usually ask an employee to undergo a medical examination when:

  1. The employee has had a work injury and is wanting to return to work
  2. The employee wants to return to work on full duties after a period on suitable duties
  3. The employee has been on sick leave for an extended period
  4. The employee has had work restrictions for a long period of time

Employers have a duty of care to protect their employees from foreseeable injury arising from their employment and to maintain a working environment which is safe and without risks to health. This means that they have the obligation to ensure that employees are medically fit to perform the inherent requirements of their job. Generally, it is lawful and reasonable for an employer to request that an employee submit to a medical examination by a company nominated doctor. However there must be a genuine indication of a need for the medical examination.

The following are factors to take into consideration regarding whether there is a genuine need for you to attend a medical examination:

  1. Whether the injury or illness for which you are absent from work is related to the inherent requirements of your position
  2. Whether you have had prolonged and/or unexplained absences from work
  3. Whether you have already provided information to your employer regarding fitness to perform duties
  4. Whether there are inconsistences or absences in medical certificates which have been provided to the employer
  5. The nature of your workplace and the degree of associated risk with performing your work
  6. Whether the employer has legitimate concerns that the illness or injury will impact on others in the workplace

It is important to gather as much information as possible about the nature of the proposed medical examination before deciding whether or not you will attend.

The issue of whether or not it is lawful to direct an employee to undergo a medical examination really needs to be looked at on a case by case basis.

If your ability to work has been impacted by injury or illness, we can help. Contact us through our inquiry form, or on 1800 659 114 to book a free initial consultation today. – Hall Payne Lawyers, serious lawyers for serious injuries