Braidwood Times

Exploring the benefits of online medical certificates for employers and employees

Photo by Shutterstock.
Photo by Shutterstock.

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Online medical certificates are increasingly prevalent in corporate settings across Australia, offering efficient solutions for managing employee health-related documentation.

These online medical certificates, obtained through online health services, serve as vital proof of an employee's medical condition or fitness for work.

According to the Australian government's Fair Work Ombudsman, employees have rights to sick or carer's leave, permitting time off for personal illness, caring for a loved one, or managing stress.

The Fair Work Act stipulates that employers can request evidence for such leave, typically in the form of a certificate issued by a registered medical practitioner.

These certificates are crucial for validating absences from work, school, university, or during a carer's leave.

These online medical certificates can be requested for a single day or multi-day leave. Let's delve into the benefits of online medical certificates for employers and employees.

Benefits for employers

Reduced administrative costs

By transitioning from traditional paper-based documentation to digital platforms, employers can streamline processes and minimise the costs involved in managing employee health-related records.

Online medical certificates eliminate the need for printing, storing, and processing physical documents, thus significantly reducing paper and printing and stationery costs.

Additionally, the administrative burden of manually handling and filing paper certificates is alleviated, saving valuable time and resources for administrative staff.

Reduced time spent managing employees' absences

With online medical certificates, the process of managing employee absences becomes more streamlined and efficient.

Employers can quickly verify the authenticity of certificates and make informed decisions regarding staffing levels and workload allocation without the need for extensive manual paperwork.

Streamlined operations and record-keeping

Online medical certificates enable employers to maintain accurate and easily accessible records of employee absences and health-related documentation.

This facilitates compliance with regulatory requirements and provides a comprehensive overview of employee health trends and patterns over time.

Digital platforms for obtaining and managing medical certificates often integrate with existing HR systems, facilitating seamless record-keeping and reducing the need for manual data entry.

Benefits for employees

Greater privacy and convenience

With traditional paper-based certificates, patients often need to visit a physical clinic or GP office, potentially exposing personal health information to others and requiring time-consuming appointments during working hours.

However, online medical certificates provide an alternative solution, allowing patients to request and receive documentation remotely through telehealth platforms or virtual consultations with healthcare providers.

This eliminates the need for in-person visits, reducing the risk of privacy breaches and offering greater convenience for employees who may have busy schedules or mobility constraints, thus helping in effective employee health management.

Immediate access to health services

No need to wait for days on end for an appointment at the GP office, with telehealth services it is now easy to get immediate access to healthcare.

This is especially useful for people who are in rural/remote areas, people with disabilities, and people who are sick after-hours or need a medical certificate on a Monday morning or on a weekend.

Reduced need to travel or wait in clinics

Obtaining traditional medical certificates requires the patients to schedule an appointment, physically travel to the clinic, and wait in line.

Online medical certificates offer a convenient alternative, allowing patients to request and receive documentation remotely through telehealth platforms or virtual consultations.

This eliminates the need for physical travel to clinics, saving time and resources for patients who may have busy schedules or limited mobility.

Moreover, online consultations enable patients to bypass the inconvenience of waiting in crowded clinics, reducing the risk of exposure to infectious illnesses, and providing a more comfortable and private experience.


Online medical certificates provide flexibility for employees who may need to request documentation outside of traditional clinic hours or during weekends and holidays.

This flexibility allows them to access healthcare services on their own terms.

Online medical certificates facilitate timely communication between employees and their employers regarding their health status and expected duration of absence.

Employers can easily verify the authenticity of the certificate and make informed decisions regarding work arrangements or accommodations for the employee.

Overall, online medical certificates play a valuable role in corporate settings by providing efficient, reliable, and legally recognised documentation of employee health status, helping to facilitate smooth operations and maintain a healthy work environment.