A Canadian physician is speaking out about companies who demand sick notes from their employees. Dr. Paul Young from Bedford, Nova Scotia is fighting back against the demand for overly-detailed doctor's notes by employers, which he believes violates the privacy of his patients. Young is calling for a sick-note ban in Canada, according to a report by CBC.
Young claims that several companies and corporations have forced him to fill out lengthy forms for sick leaves as short as two days. He has reportedly had to detail the personal details of his patients' medical issues, including migraines and gastrointestinal problems. Some companies have even demanded that Young send three months of a patient's chart. The amount of patient documentation that companies are demanding from doctors is on the rise, says Young to CBC.
"The employers should not need to know a medical diagnosis," detailed Young during an interview with CBC. "All they need to know is that there's a medical reason for it. I feel like any more information is often just used to hold it against the person."
According to FindLaw Canada, policies regarding sick leave are entirely up to employers. However, sick notes almost become a thing of the past in Ontario. A legislation was passed back in January of 2018 that prevented employers from asking for sick notes from employees who take 10 or fewer days off a year due to illness. However, the legislation was quickly reversed by the Progressive Conservative government who was elected later that year.
Young claims the issue has become so problematic in Nova Scotia that he has called upon the provincial government to ban the requirement of sick notes for all absences under five days. Only time will tell if a ban like this will ever be instated across Canada, but it's certainly clear that something must be done.