Fake Medical Certificate to be excused from absence at work

Philippines
May 14, 2012 10:49am CST
At work, we are only given a limited number of leave credits that we can use when we're sick or when we're out for vacation. And, there are requirements to be granted those leave credits. To be granted a vacation leave, one must be able to file for it at least a couple weeks before the desired date. And, its still up for management approval, which mainly depends on business needs. When you're sick, you need to present a medical certificate that states the doctor's diagnosis and advise to take a rest for "x" number of days. This has to be shown to your direct superior the very day you come back to work. I receive a lot of medical certificates almost everyday from my team, with varying illness - there's gastritis, bronchitis, fever, URTI, diarrhea, headache and even dysmenorrhea. I heard from the group that there are doctors who issue medical certificates even if there's no truth to such illness. Or, perhaps these doctors are relatives or friends of the employee and would grant them the favor to help out. Have you heard of such scenario? Isn't it a malpractice for doctors to draft documents that are fake?
4 responses
@allen0187 (7008)
• Philippines
15 May 12
hi jureathome. i've had my share of employees who present forged medical certificates to be excused from work. good thing that i do my due diligence and check on the authenticity of these medical certificates. the first few times that i caught employees doing this, i attributed to my gut feel. something was just not right when i read those medical certificates. we had a case wherein the clinic said outright that no such examination can be found in their records. turned out that the employee in question stole the prescription pad of the doctor. other times, the information listed int he certificate such as the doctor's/clinic's/hospital's name turns out to be fictitious. really can't comment about doctors drafting 'fake' documents and giving out bogus medical findings and prescriptions. we had an incident wherein we were able to contact and talk to the doctor over the phone to verify what he (the doctor) had written in his findings and we weren't so sure if we were talking to an actual doctor. lol! he just sounded so unbelievable over the phone but in the end, we had no recourse but to accept the medical certificate as a valid one. it got real bad so much that we had to ask our employees to get their medical certificate from doctors/clinics/hospitals that are accredited by our healthcare provider. it is sad that we had to let go of employees because of these incidents but in the long run, the company is better without unscrupulous people in its employ.
• Philippines
15 May 12
That really sucks..when you know that there's something fishy behind it, but you can't be too judgmental, either. Oftentimes, we just have to accept the documents provided and move on. Somehow, there's better use of our time than investigate on those petty issues. However, like your case, it has become a rampant issue, then a one time clean up may be necessary to weed out rotten employees who are becoming big liabilities to the department.
@allen0187 (7008)
• Philippines
16 May 12
hi jureathome. yeah, you raised good points. at one end, there are far more important things to do than constantly check on the veracity of the claims of employees who have cases of absenteeism but there will come a point that excessive absenteeism will affect the bottom line of the company so steps should be taken to address it. back in the day, our percentage of excessive absenteeism was so high we had to drop the hammer on offending employees. some were able to mend their ways. unfortunately, others we had to let go. after that we really had a good attendance record for the remainder of the year. we have isolated cases but these were pretty much dealt with immediately.
• Philippines
16 May 12
True. There should be occasional weeding out of rotten staff, otherwise, they will infect the rest.
@yahnee (1250)
• Philippines
17 May 12
During my time with the HR department, we had our own company doctor which is a requirement of law according to the number of employees for a certain company. The company doctor provides the recommendation if the employee is required to go on sick leave including the number of days necessary for the recuperation. If the illness is an emergency, the company doctor checks the medical certificate including the employee to verify the illness. If you don't have a company doctor, the best advise I can give you is look for a private clinic or hospital near the vicinity of the company who will be authorized to check on the employees when they claim to be ill. This will certainly be an additional expense for the company but it will control absenteeism. Employees sometimes go to all extents just to get away with their absences from work even bribing doctors or health workers. However, there is also a positive way of controlling absenteeism. Why not an incentive for a monthly perfect attendance record?
• Philippines
17 May 12
We do have a company doctor, but I think they're even more trigger happy to send people home. And, the ironic thing is, employees would get a medical certificate and fit to work from the company doctor, once they're back to work, when they weren't even seen by them at the time they were sick. So, in that case, we would require a medical certificate from their private doctor, one that was able to make a diagnosis of their illness. We do have incentives for good attendance, at times. In some cases, attendance is also considered a gatekeeper to qualify for bonuses.
@yahnee (1250)
• Philippines
17 May 12
I am indeed surprised at this kind of work scenario because we have been very successful with the perfect attendance incentives. We experienced having almost 80% perfect attendance among employees and the incentives were not even so great. Our workers always try to minimize their absences even if they enjoy 15 VL and 15 SL which is converted to cash at the end of the year. Our success perhaps was also based upon the motivational trainings that we regularly provide. After the trainings, we notice a big difference in attitude, work performance and productivity.
• Philippines
18 May 12
Perhaps, the conversion to cash would have been a good motivation for employees not to waste their leave credits. We don't have that, unfortunately. I remembered when I was still a trainer, I lost a lot of leave credits because we can't just take leaves anytime we want, due to busy training schedules. It's really demotivating, but since we love our job so much, we just ignore that fact.
• Philippines
15 May 12
Yes I have heard several incidents like this before. Especially if the doctor is the relative of the employee. I find this really sad and rather unfair. I don't know how it can be resolved because how would the company know if the doctor is just lying or whatever, because they have their license right? Will the company take the effort to have the patient checked by other doctors just to prove that he or she is lying? This is a sad practice, seriously.
• Philippines
15 May 12
Well, if that's the only task we have for the day, we would call each doctor to verify. However, we can't put all our time wasted on such an activity. Perhaps, we'd single out those whom we suspect are starting the bad habit of forging medical documents and necessary sanctions should be given.
@ardoy0731 (6869)
• Philippines
15 May 12
Here in our company,if you are on sick leave for about three days, then you have to submit medical certificate,but if one to days, just fill up the leave form.While vacation leave should be three days prior to the exact leave day.I heard some about fakes medical certificate especially when they knew the doctor or family friend.This is usually happening to all companies I guess.