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Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

Should your boss be allowed to make you get a doctor’s note to take time off if you’re sick? Seventy per cent of Canadians say not a chance, a new poll suggests.

The survey, which was released on Friday by Ipsos on behalf of the Canadian Medical Association, asked employed Canadians how they feel about a sick-note requirement for colds and minor illnesses, as Ontario looks to make it legal again for companies to require such a note for missing shifts.

About 75 per cent of those who oppose the sick note requirement said they do so because people with a simple illness should stay home to get better rather than spend time and energy waiting at a hospital or clinic.

About the same number of people said it was because having to get a sick note isn’t a good use of doctors’ time, while another 70 per cent said it was because the sick workers shouldn’t infect their co-workers.

As for getting the sick note itself, about half of the respondents said they go to their family doctor, while 30 per cent rely on walk-in clinics. Six per cent said they wouldn’t be able to get one.

Eight in 10 Canadians said they would simply just go to work sick if they were required to get a sick note to get a day off.

In B.C., an employer is able to require a sick note, but the issue remains contentious.

Last year, doctors at a Pemberton clinic said they would start billing employers $50 who ask for notes from their staff.


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