Bart was a general practitioner (GP) in Belgium and an occupational physician for more than...
In ‘Absenteeism explained’, our experts answer your most frequently asked questions about absenteeism. In this issue: are your employees allowed back at work before the date listed on their sick note?
Employees are allowed to return to work prior to the prescribed date on their sick note, on the condition that they communicate clearly about this with their manager.
The full statement
Legally speaking, employees are allowed to get back to work before the date listed on their sick note. There is no need for an amended certificate. However, what is important is that the managers and employees communicate clearly about the work resumption. This is because, if a work-related accident were to occur during this period of early resumption, you will only be insured properly if this communication has taken place.
Our general advice is: don’t let your absenteeism policy rely too much on sick notes, as absence if often more than a medical all-or-nothing situation. Maintain a warm yet businesslike dialogue to assess when your employees can restart work (partially) without putting undue pressure on them. The last thing you want is presenteeism – sick employees who are working because they feel obliged to.