Medical Incapacity Icon Medical Incapacity and Sickness Absence Management

Employees may need time off work for different reasons, such as short-term sickness or long-term health issues. A useful absence management framework is aimed at supporting the health needs of employees while providing precise and consistent guidance to avoid an unauthorised absence.

The main objective of sick leave is to ensure that employees don't work while sick, putting their health and that of their colleagues at risk.

Incapacity due to ill health or injury is provided for in the Labour Relations Act as follows:

"Incapacity on the grounds of ill health or injury may be temporary or permanent. If an employee is temporarily unable to work in these circumstances, the employer should investigate the extent of the incapacity or the injury. If the employee is likely to be absent for a time that is unreasonably long in the circumstances, the employer should investigate all the possible alternatives short of dismissal. When alternatives are considered, relevant factors might include the nature of the job, the period of absence, the seriousness of the illness or injury and the possibility of securing a temporary replacement for the ill or injured employee. In cases of permanent incapacity, the employer should ascertain the possibility of securing alternative employment, or adapting the duties or work circumstances of the employee to accommodate the employee's disability."

Sickness Absence Rates

As noted from the above extract, the employer may require the employee to undergo medical examinations so that he/she may make an informed decision for possible adaptation of the work environment or alternative employment.

Dr Haidee Williams will assist the company with:

  • Sickness Absence Management
    Analyse department-specific sickness absence trends and provide reports.
  • Medical Adjudication
    Provide medical adjudication skills regarding impairment, compensation and fitness to work (incapacity) issues.


Dr Haidee Williams offers specialist occupational medicine services with an interest in developing evidenced based safety, health and environment policies and programmes. Expertise includes medical examinations, medical adjudication, toxicology, health based risk assessments, hazardous chemical substances, hazard communication and training and guidance on H,S&E legal compliance requirements.


Practice: 2 Wycombe Avenue, Constantia, Cape Town, 7806
Tel: 087 809 0054
Mobile: 083 271 4551
Twitter: @drhmwilliams