Medical certificates, or better known as MCs in Singapore, can be a contested issue in any workplace.
Employers generally do not like their employees taking MC at work since it disrupts workflows and increases work burden on other employees in the same team.
Nonetheless, it is something that employees are entitled to and companies need to provide paid MC to their staff.
Do you know any other facts about MC in Singapore besides the fact that you do not need to work? Here’s something interesting for you.
MCs (medical certificates) can be back-dated
Normally, MCs are never back-dated because you see a doctor and obtain an MC only when you fall sick.
However, MCs can be back-dated by the doctor if the doctor can justify the reason for the back-dated MC.
Doctors who issue back-dated MCs need to clearly justify that the patient’s absence from work prior to the consultation is consistent with the patient’s clinical presentation to the doctor.
MCs cannot be invalidated
Once an MC is issued, it cannot be invalidated because the MC represents the doctor’s medical opinion on a patient’s health.
Even if patients left the clinic without payment, the doctor has to honour the MC as it was given based on his clinical expertise and not on the pretext of getting payment.
MCs cannot be challenged by employers
When an employee obtained an MC, the company needs to allow the employee to go home and rest. They are not supposed to challenge the MC and force the employee to continue working. However, the company has a right to ask the employee for more information or seek his or her permission to obtain more information from the doctor.
MCs are still paid workdays as long as you work for the company for a period of more than 3 months (or six months for full entitlement)
Some employers stated that MC is only valid after an employee’s probation period is over. However, MC must be paid for as long as the employee has work in an organisation for more than 3 months, even if the probation period is not over. However, to get the full entitlement, you need to have worked for at least six months.
MCs from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) are recognised in some companies
MCs from TCMs are generally not recognised by the law. However, some companies do recognise MCs from TCM practitioners if the employees go to a TCM clinic stated in the employment contract. It is, however, not common and varies from company to company.
MCs is all about not having trust
There are some companies in Singapore that do not require an MC when an employee fall sick. This honour system is really popular among the start-ups companies but less so for the big and established firms.
The reason behind this is simple – a trust system works better in a small company where everyone is accountable for everything, and the boss knows everyone in the company.
With a big company, it is harder to trust the employees since there is no engagement between top management and low-rank employees.
A survey shows that 20% of employees in Singapore fake an illness to get an MC
According to a survey by online portal JobsCentral, out of the 3,300 employees they asked, almost 20% admitted to faking an illness so as to get an MC. More than half of them took two days a year. I don’t know whether to be surprised or go “Meh”.
On average, Singapore workers take 4 MCs per year
According to a poll conducted by STJobs in 2013, the average number of each employee taking MC at work per year is four.
If you have an MC king or queen in your office, you might want to show him or her that. Or maybe they’ve already exhausted their MC entitlements, since it’s already July, no?
Medical appointments aren’t MC if an MC isn’t issued
If you need to go for a medical appointment, you’ll have to take time off or use your annual leave if your doctor didn’t provide you with an MC.
However, employers are encouraged to be flexible and give time off if their employee needs to go for an appointment.
You must inform your employer about your MC within 48 hours
This is pretty self-explanatory, but with the strawberry generation who thinks that their MC will magically fly to their boss’s table because #Internet, here’s something you need to know: you must inform your employer within 48 hours. If not, it’s considered AWOL.
So here you go, facts about taking MC at work in Singapore every worker must know.