1 min read

Can we make medical appointments on behalf of workers?

Q: Is it a breach of privacy laws to ask our workers for their doctor’s information to add to their personnel file? We have had issues with workers not going to the doctor immediately after sustaining a workplace injury and we would like to be able to contact their clinic to make an appointment for them to ensure a timely response in their rehabilitation.

A: You may only ask for and receive this information with the worker’s consent. If you wish to use the information to contact the GP to make an appointment for the worker, this must also be done by consent.

It is not uncommon to have a consent form signed by each worker when they commence employment, which provides emergency contact details, GP details and an authority to contact the GP and/or emergency contact in order to assist in the provision of medical services. You could adopt a similar approach.

If that approach doesn’t work, as an employer you are entitled to direct a worker to seek medical attention and provide evidence of that medical service. A worker’s failure to do so would be a breach of a lawful and reasonable request that could result in disciplinary action for that worker.

Please note: The answer is correct at the time of publishing. Be aware that laws may change over time. Refer to Workers' compensation for current advice.

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