How to Write a Medical Leave Certificate?
Medical leave certificates are documents that doctors issue upon the request of a patient. This is used to provide evidence that the employee’s absence is indeed due to illness. The contents of this certificate include the patient’s name, the reason behind his or her absence, and the consulting doctor’s name.
According to the US Dept. of Labor, employees can have up to 12 weeks of medical leave as mandated on the FMLA. To prove that the leave of absence is indeed medical-related, a certificate must be presented by the employee. If you need to issue one, we have instructions below to help you out.
1. Conduct an Assessment on the Patient
Before you can write anything on the medical leave certificate, you should assess the patient to understand their condition. Ask them about the symptoms they observed, their family history, maintenance medications, and more. Gather as many details as possible and write them down on your doctor’s notes.
2. Identify the Purpose of the Certificate
Writing a certificate is always better if you know how the patient is going to use it. This way, you can tailor the content specifically and appropriately. Most sick leave certificates are used to allow the employee to still be compensated despite their absence. However, there are also others who use the certificate for insurance purposes.
3. Explain Thoroughly the Patient’s Condition
After assessing the patient and coming up with a diagnosis, explain it in narrative form on the certificate. Since not everyone is familiar with medical terms, describe the condition using simple words. For example, write fever instead of referring to it as hyperthermia.
4. Specify the Date That the Patient Can Return to Work
To give the manager a heads up on the duration of the leave, specify the date that the employee can return to work. This “fit to work” note is typically written at the bottom part of the certificate. For conditions that require surgery, allow the patient at least a few weeks to recover.
5. Write Your Name and Affix Your Signature
To make the printed certificate official, write your complete name on the bottommost section. Aside from your name, also include a suffix to signify your profession and your license number. And of course, don’t forget to sign over your printed name.
What is the definition of medical leave?
Medical leave refers to a time in which an employee is unable to report to work due to a medical condition. It can either be an illness, injury, or the need to undergo a surgical procedure.
What is FMLA?
FMLA stands for the Family and Medical Leave Act. It is a labor law implemented in 1993 that allows employees to enjoy job-protected leave as long as it’s due to family or medical reasons.
How long can an employee go on leave?
The maximum allowable leave for every employee according to the FMLA is 12 weeks per year.
Who are eligible for medical leave?
Only those employees who have been in the company for at least 12 months are eligible for medical leave. Additionally, the company needs to have a population of 50 or more within a 75-mile radius.
Should the employee be paid in full despite the medical leave?
The company may or may not pay the employee in full for the days in which he or she was on leave.