BC doctors urge employers to stop asking for sick notes

January 20, 2022

BC’s doctors are once again asking employers to stop asking for sick notes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Sick notes place an unnecessary burden on the health care system particularly during the Omicron surge,” said Doctors of BC President Dr Ramneek Dosanjh. “With critical staffing shortages, let’s ensure that physicians and their teams spend their time with patients who need medical care and attention, not writing sick notes.”

In January 2022, Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry said: “I …want to emphasize that should employees become ill and take sick days, they do not require a note from a physician to get back to work or school or daycare or child care. Last year, Health Minister Adrian Dix stated: “There is no need – none – for sick notes at this time (during the pandemic).”

Doctors of BC started advocating in 2014 for a policy to end the use of sick notes in human resources practices. Although a long-term solution is needed, employers can do their part now by taking this step to immediately ease pressure on the health care system.

BC Family Doctors has created a Covid-19 Sick Note letter for employers explaining why sick notes should not be requested at this time. You can find this letter and more on their COVID-19 Resources page