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Old 01.02.2012, 18:43
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Illness - disclose details to employer?

Do I have to tell my employer the nature of my illness?

I have a doctor's note to confirm 2 weeks of illness/absence. HR is pushing me to say what was wrong with me, but I believe it is a private matter and do not wish to discuss it with them.

Do I have the right to remain silent in this case?
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Old 01.02.2012, 18:52
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Re: Illness - disclose details to employer?

you do not have to tell them what is wrong, they can request you go to a company doctor though
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Old 01.02.2012, 19:38
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Re: Illness - disclose details to employer?

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you do not have to tell them what is wrong, they can request you go to a company doctor though
Wouldn't a company doctor be bound by patient confidentiality?
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Old 01.02.2012, 19:41
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Re: Illness - disclose details to employer?

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Wouldn't a company doctor be bound by patient confidentiality?

in theory, but i know 1 large employer where the company docs pass everything to the bosses
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Old 01.02.2012, 19:44
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Re: Illness - disclose details to employer?

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you do not have to tell them what is wrong, they can request you go to a company doctor though
Thanks, that is what I suspected.

As for confidentiality, I think the company doctor can confirm or reject the GP's sick note, but he/she still shouldn't disclose the reasons to HR.
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Old 01.02.2012, 19:49
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Re: Illness - disclose details to employer?

Medical information must not be disclosed by doctors.

If you are confronted with a case where your medical history has been disclosed without your consent you should complain to the FMH Swiss Medical Association, which will take action against its member.
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Old 01.02.2012, 19:55
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Re: Illness - disclose details to employer?

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Thanks, that is what I suspected.

As for confidentiality, I think the company doctor can confirm or reject the GP's sick note, but he/she still shouldn't disclose the reasons to HR.

exactly, if HR is pushing the issue ask them for the Art. Number which requires you to disclose
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Old 01.02.2012, 20:02
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Re: Illness - disclose details to employer?

Think it probably wise though to inform employer of any longstanding illness that is likely to re-occur. In the home where I work an employee was "let go" after 2 years because she omitted to tell them that she was taking medication for depression and her symptoms re-occurred when she stopped taking them.

I have a chronic back problem and was surprised that they agreed to employee me at all. Must say though they have been very supportive and understanding about it all and even let me off with the "heavier work".
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Old 01.02.2012, 20:05
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Re: Illness - disclose details to employer?

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Do I have to tell my employer the nature of my illness?

I have a doctor's note to confirm 2 weeks of illness/absence. HR is pushing me to say what was wrong with me, but I believe it is a private matter and do not wish to discuss it with them.

Do I have the right to remain silent in this case?
You don't have to tell them. But this is Switzerland, and you can be fired at will (with contractual or statutory notice).
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Old 01.02.2012, 21:15
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Re: Illness - disclose details to employer?

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You don't have to tell them. But this is Switzerland, and you can be fired at will (with contractual or statutory notice).
Yes well said...

In Switzerland employees have two rights:
1. The right to shut up
2. The right to leave
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Old 01.02.2012, 21:27
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Re: Illness - disclose details to employer?

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You don't have to tell them. But this is Switzerland, and you can be fired at will (with contractual or statutory notice).
Yes, but some people are more fireable than others!

Tom
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Old 01.02.2012, 21:35
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Re: Illness - disclose details to employer?

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Yes, but some people are more fireable than others!

Tom
Yes for instance if you are ill too often.

OK only 3 % unemployment, but a further 6 % are "unable to work" (invalidity insurance). I wonder if similar levels are found in other countries...
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Old 01.02.2012, 21:47
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Re: Illness - disclose details to employer?

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Yes for instance if you are ill too often.

OK only 3 % unemployment, but a further 6 % are "unable to work" (invalidity insurance). I wonder if similar levels are found in other countries...
I guess it very much depends on what is considered "unable to work". If you look at figure for the EU for "invalidity pension" you get numbers between under 2% to 11%.

But is this apples to apples? Don't know.
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Old 01.02.2012, 21:54
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Re: Illness - disclose details to employer?

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Yes for instance if you are ill too often.

OK only 3 % unemployment, but a further 6 % are "unable to work" (invalidity insurance). I wonder if similar levels are found in other countries...
6%? I'm not too sure that this figure is correct. There were 240905 people with IV in 2010.
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Old 01.02.2012, 22:02
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Re: Illness - disclose details to employer?

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in theory, but i know 1 large employer where the company docs pass everything to the bosses

That is highly illegal. And you can defo do sth. against it, as this is not a breach of the data protection law, but a crime (Art. 321 of the criminal code) punishable by a fine or up to three years in prison (plus the doctor will very probably loose his approbation).
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Old 01.02.2012, 22:17
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Re: Illness - disclose details to employer?

You don't really have many choices.

If you tell HR your medical problem you might be dismissed. If you don't tell them you might have to attend the company doctor, who is working against you, and then you might be fired. Or you can go back to work and then be fired.

If you tell HR your problem you cannot be fired while you are on doctor's certified sick leave, but you can be dismissed the day you return to work.

Personally I would cooperate with HR and hope you can keep your job with minimal future sickness. Can you offer to do some work at home?
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Old 02.02.2012, 12:50
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Re: Illness - disclose details to employer?

Interesting discussion, these were exactly the dilemma's going on in my head.

I have decided not to say anything. Mind you, I am already back at work, and as far as I'm concerned, it was a one-off thing. I can't imagine them firing me, but if they would, so be it.
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Old 02.02.2012, 13:14
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Re: Illness - disclose details to employer?

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In the home where I work an employee was "let go" after 2 years because she omitted to tell them that she was taking medication for depression and her symptoms re-occurred when she stopped taking them.
On the other hand, they could have sacked her because she told them she had depression. The thinking could have been: depression = mental illness = "nutter".

Can't remember ever hearing of a coworker being off with depression, though it is supposedly very common. There was someone off for a while with "stress" and another with a "bad back". They could both have been completely genuine, but the guy with stress was assumed to be malingering and the guy with the bad back was not. So giving a physical problem as a reason, if pressed to do so, might be a wiser bet if the problem is not physical.
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Old 02.02.2012, 13:23
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Re: Illness - disclose details to employer?

Dare I say it? As the information is confidential, you could lie to HR. A bad back is difficult and very expensive to prove. Of course if one get's caught out, it will be an instant dismissal!
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Old 02.02.2012, 13:44
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Re: Illness - disclose details to employer?

Come on, spill the beans, we're all dying to know what was wrong with you.
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