Melbourne Office Supplies, a Victorian employer who dismissed an employee after he refused to provide medical details for 10 months after surgery was recently taken before Fair Work Australia.
The employee underwent survery in February 2011 for a non-work related illness. When asked to return to work shortly after he was asked to provide a doctors certificate stating specifically what duties he could perform and the hours he could work, shortly after he provided a letter from his doctor simply stating “I am happy for him to return to work for light duties and a work schedule that he feels he is able to manage on a daily basis”.
Melbourne Office Supplies advised the employee they would do their best to bring him back to work but needed to discuss the condition with his doctor and required consent. The employee was warned that if he did not provide consent he “would only have himself to blame if his position was terminated”. The employee argued that the only way to resolve the issue was to allow him to return “unconditionally”.
Without further information Melbourne Office Supplies felt they could not ensure a duty of care to the worker and sent him a letter of termination stating that due to the limited information provided they believed he was physically incapable of performing his role.
Commissioner Gooley agreed that the workers refusal to supply the requested information meant the employer had valid reason to terminate his employment.