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Principles & Policies for Managing Human Resources

5.4  Medical Assessment Of Employees

Policy

The Treasury Board Secretariat may, on the recommendation of the employing authority, or on its own initiative, require that an employee leave the workplace and / or not return until an appropriate medical assessment or report has been obtained from an employee’s medical practitioner or conducted through a mandatory physical and / or psychiatric examination at the request of the employing authority.


Questions And Answers

  1. What types of circumstances could result in an employee being required to leave the workplace and not return until an appropriate medical assessment has been conducted?
  2. What is an appropriate medical assessment?
  3. What types of circumstances would result in an employee being required to undergo a Mandatory Physical / Psychiatric examination?
  4. Who pays the costs of an appropriate medical assessment?
  5. What is the process followed in determining whether or not to proceed with a Mandatory Physical / Psychiatric examination?
  6. Can an employee decline to attend a Mandatory Physical / Psychiatric examination?
  7. What compensation is paid to an employee while obtaining an appropriate medical assessment?
  8. What procedure is followed when an appropriate medical assessment has been obtained?
  9. How is the Personal Health Information Act (PHIA) observed and the personal health information protected?
  10. Is an employee entitled to a copy of the medical report received by the independent medical provider?

Questions And Answers

1.  What types of circumstances could result in an employee being required to leave the workplace and not return until an appropriate medical assessment has been conducted?

Note: The following circumstances may include one or more of the following;

  • Where an employee exhibits behaviours in the workplace that are disruptive to the normal working routine or are uncharacteristic of the employee and of concern to the employing authority, or
  • There is a concern that an employee may harm him/herself or others in the workplace, or
  • An employee appears unfit to perform job functions appropriately, and the problem appears to be health related.

2.  What is an appropriate medical assessment?

An appropriate medical assessment may include one or more of the following;

  • A narrative medical certificate or report from an employee’s doctor outlining in sufficient detail that employee’s medical status as it relates to his or her fitness to return to the workplace.
  • A medical questionnaire provided to the employee and satisfactorily completed by the employee’s doctor and returned to the employer.
  •  Mandatory Physical / Psychiatric examination.

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3.   What types of circumstances would result in an employee being required to undergo a Mandatory Physical / Psychiatric examination?

In general, a Mandatory Medical Examination may be required where the employing authority has concerns regarding an employee’s health status and / or the medical documentation provided by the employee’s physician regarding health status and attempts to adequately clarify this medical information has not been satisfactory. This may include the following situations;

  • Determination of medical fitness for employees required to work in provincial institutions;
  • Where an employee is on sick leave and away from work for an extended period of time;
  • Where an employee is returning to work after an extended sick leave;
  • Where an employee has an extensive pattern of casual sick leave usage;
  • Where individual employee absences are questionable (e.g. calling in sick after being refused vacation).
  • For any employee who, in the opinion of Treasury Board Secretariat should be given a physical / psychiatric examination.

4.   Who pays the costs of an appropriate medical assessment?

Any costs associated with obtaining an appropriate medical assessment is the responsibility of the employee with the exception of a direct request made to the medical practitioner by the employer or a Mandatory Physical / Psychiatric examination which would both be the sole responsibility of the employer.

The authority for approving and arranging Mandatory Medical / Psychiatric examinations has been delegated to the Director, Compensation Services and the Disability Management Coordinator, Treasury Board Secretariat.

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5.  What is the process followed in determining whether or not to proceed with a Mandatory Physical / Psychiatric examination?

  • In general and after consultation with the departmental Human Resource Director, the employing authority and / or the Human Resource Consultant contacts the Disability Management Coordinator, Treasury Board Secretariat, outlining the specific information and circumstances justifying the request for a Mandatory Physical / Psychiatric examination.
  • The employing authority provides sufficient documentation including a written summary of the circumstances to the Disability Management Coordinator.
  • The Disability Management Coordinator evaluates the information received by the department and makes recommendations as to how best to proceed.
  • Alternatives may include the employer making reasonable efforts to have the employee obtain and provide acceptable medical documentation from the employee’s doctor. Other alternatives may include the department contacting the employee’s medical provider directly with the expressed consent of the employee involved.
  • When appropriate, the Disability Management Coordinator will approve and arrange the Mandatory Medical Examination.
  • A consent form is prepared by the Disability Management Coordinator and forwarded to the employing authority for review with and signature by the employee to allow the release of information to the independent medical provider and to allow the release of the medical report to the Disability Management Coordinator.

6.   Can an employee decline to attend a Mandatory Physical / Psychiatric examination?

No. The employee is expected to attend and participate in a Mandatory Physical / Psychiatric examination as requested unless there is an exceptional circumstance that prevents the employee from attending as scheduled. (e.g. Compassionate Leave). In such cases, the appointment will be rescheduled as soon as possible.

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Labour Relations – Treasury Board Secretariat should be consulted in the circumstance of an employee refusing to attend and participate in a mandatory medical examination.

7.   What compensation is paid to an employee while obtaining an appropriate medical assessment?

The use of sick leave may be authorized for the employee while obtaining an appropriate medical assessment provided that sick leave credits are available.

8.   What procedure is followed when an appropriate medical assessment has been obtained?

  • The employing authority or their delegate is to receive the medical assessment from the employee.
  • In the case of a Mandatory Physical / Psychiatric examination, the medical report is received by the Disability Management Coordinator, Treasury Board Secretariat.
  • The medical assessment is reviewed by the employing authority and / or the Disability Management Coordinator and a determination is made whether the employee can return to work in their own employment position or a modified / alternate position with or without medical treatment or remain away from work on sick leave while receiving medical treatment.
  • In addition to the above, advice and assistance can be sought from the Disability Management Coordinator, Treasury Board Secretariat as required.

9.   How is the Personal Health Information Act (PHIA) observed and the personal health information protected?

All medical information obtained as a result of an appropriate medical assessment is received and securely kept in the employee file located in Human Resource Services.

All medical reports obtained as a result of a Mandatory Physical / Psychiatric
examination is received and securely stored by the Disability Management Coordinator. The employing authority is usually only provided with a written summary of the medical report exclusive of any specific medical diagnosis.
No medical information is obtained or released without the expressed written consent of the employee.

10.   Is an employee entitled to a copy of the medical report received by the independent medical provider?

Yes. The employee is entitled to receive one copy of the received medical report upon specific request to the Disability Management Coordinator.

A copy of the original medical report may also be provided to an employee’s medical practitioner if treatment recommendations have been made.


Authority

  • Civil Service Act, Conditions of Employment Regulation 10, 17
  • GEMA: 12 – Medical Fitness, 14 – Conduct of Employees, 28 – Sick Leave, 29 – Addictions.
  • Treasury Board Minute T.B 23B/2001 – ITEM 7

Reviewed: April 11, 2007


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