Guidance for exchange of medical information in Alberta

Human rights commission develops information sheets for all parties involved in managing medical work absences
||Last Updated: 10/29/2009

The Alberta Human Rights Commission is getting the word out to help clarify the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved in the exchange of medical information related to work absences.

The commission has launched three new plain language information sheets that complement the commission’s interpretive bulletin Obtaining and responding to medical information in the workplace. The bulletin and information sheets were developed in response to numerous inquiries the commission receives about issues related to medical absences and an employee’s medical ability to work.

Each information sheet is aimed at one of three target audiences who play a role in gathering and providing reasonable medical information about an employee’s disability: employers, employees or doctors.

The bulletin includes sample forms that can help the parties involved in managing medical absences and ensuring the appropriate information is exchanged between them. The sample forms include a Sample Medical Absence Form and a Sample Medical Ability to Work Form, which were developed in consultation with the Alberta Federation of Labour, Alberta Medical Association, Alberta Workers’ Health Centre and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta.

The commission said it anticipates the information sheets will help employers, employees and doctors achieve good communication and effective workplace accommodation for employees.

The interpretive bulletin was released in October 2009 to provide information for employers, employees and doctors on managing medical absences. The bulletin can be viewed on the commission’s website here and the information sheet for employers can be viewed here.

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