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Absent from Work Certificates

Definition of Absence from Work Certificate

A certificate issued by a pharmacist stating that an employee is unable to attend work either due to illness or having to care for family or household member*

*Absence from Work Certificates: Guidelines for Pharmacist © Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd and The Pharmacy Guild of Australia.


Asking for a Certificate for Absence from Work?

Ask your employer FIRST if a certificate issued by a pharmacist will be satisfactory.

Do’s & Don’ts 

Pharmacists can only issue a certificate (Fair Work Act 2009) if you are required to be absent from work due to:

  • Personal illness/ injury OR 

  • The need to care for a member of your family/household who is ill/injured.

Pharmacists can only issue certificates:

  • If in his/her professional opinion you are unfit for your work.

  • In relation to illnesses or injuries they are professionally qualified to assess.

Advice is provided as a pharmacist, not as a medical practitioner

  • From the date that the consultation took place.

Your information collected by the pharmacist will not be used for any other purpose or
disclosed to a third party unless you provide your consent.

A consultation with a pharmacist is not intended to replace medical treatment or
diagnosis. If your illness/injury persists or worsens, visit your doctor.

You need to: 

  • Confirm with your employer that a certificate issued by a pharmacy is acceptable

  • Give a complete and accurate description of your reasons for requesting a certificate, provide medical history where required, and answer questions truthfully

  • Give your certificate issued by the pharmacist to your employer as soon as possible

  • Ensure that the certificate has all the information required by your employer.


Your Pharmacist needs to: 

  • Provide a private and confidential environment for your consultation

  • Accurately assess whether you are unfit for your work, or whether your family/ household member requires your care

  • If appropriate, provide a written certificate stating the days for which you will require leave from work.


Important to know: 

  • Chemist King Pharmacists charge a fee to issue a certificate for absence from work. If a pharmacist is unable or unwilling to issue you with a certificate, and you believe you are unfit for your work, you should seek the opinion of a medical practitioner. 


When completing our Certificate for Absence from Work, the certificate is;

  • Legible 

  • Be written in plain English (i.e. no jargon or abbreviations)

  • Include the name of the employee and /or carer

  • Include information based on facts known to the pharmacist (i.e. gathered from their own observations and/or obtained from the person requesting the certificate)

  • Include the issue date of the certificate

  • Include dates that the pharmacist believes the person will be unable to attend work. Chemist King Discount Pharmacies provide 1 day only supporting our Absence of work certificates.

  • Include the name, address, and contact details (e.g. phone number) of the pharmacist issuing the certificate

  • Include the qualification or AHPRA number of the pharmacist.


Declining issuing of certificates

Our Pharmacists are not under any obligation to issue certificates of absence from work when requested.
Our Pharmacists use their professional judgement to decide whether they should issue these certificates in certain circumstances.

Examples of circumstances where a pharmacist may decline to issue a certificate.

  • Request is for compassionate or maternity leave.

  • The person’s illness or injury requires immediate medical attention.

  • The person is capable of performing work duties and is not a danger to others.

  • The person is requesting absence for a long period of time.

  • Absence certificate is requested to cover other obligations or events e.g. court, sporting events, and educational facilities such as schools. Please note a pharmacist is able to issue a certificate of absence from work for a minor ailment to a person under 18 years of age who is working legally.

  • Pharmacist is subjected to pressure or feels uncomfortable or unsure about issuing a certificate.

  • Pharmacist believes that the person has been untruthful.

  • The person requesting the certificate is not physically present (e.g. a phone request or through a third party).

  • There are potential conflicts of interest e.g. requests from family members or pharmacy staff.

  • Request for certificate relates to a worker’s compensation claim. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of examples. There may be other circumstances where a pharmacist may refuse to issue a certificate.


Fee for service

Chemist King Pharmacists charge a $29 fee for a Certificate for Absence from Work. The fee reflects the period of consultation and other business infrastructure costs.

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