Labour Laws Q/A

Sick Leave Supported by Medical Certificate – Effect

Q. Whether an employer is bound to grant leave to an employee on his application for sick leave supported by a medicalcertificate? Does it make any difference if the medical certificate is from a registered medical practitioner or a Vaidya?

Every case has to be judged on its own merits, such as previous background, service rules and prevalent practice. Since there is no specific law on the subject, the following case may be considered by way of an ‘obiter dicta’. At the same time, it has also been ruled that the management is not bound to accept each and every medical certificate presented. Primarily, it is a question of being satisfied with the medical certificate presented. If an employee/worker produces a medical certificate from a registered Vaidya, the management may ask him to produce a certificate from a Government Doctor. If the employee/worker does not produce medical certificate as asked for, then the employee/worker concerned is at fault.1

When an application for sick leave is accompanied by a certificate from a registered doctor, the said certificate should generally be accepted as from an expert, who is in the best position to say whether the employee concerned is in a fit state of health for joining and discharging his duties normally. When in such a case leave is refused by an employer without sufficient reason for doing so, then his action may be regarded as arbitrary and capricious.2


References:
1. Yashmani Sita Ram Rone v. Godless Wall Ltd., 1954 (I) LLJ 505.
2. Upper India Sugar Mills Ltd. v. Their Employees, 1951 (II) LLJ 128 (IC Luck).

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