Employee Medical Records and Leaves

Due to the sensitive nature of medical information access to the records should be very limited. Separate storage is one method of accomplishing this.

In some cases collective agreement may specify how medical records should be handled. For example, the Provincial Collective Bargaining Agreement for teachers provides in Article 7.5.4 that teacher medical records should not be retained in the personnel file. A separate file is required that is accessible only to the teacher and the designated official. A similar provision is found in Article 8.3 with regard to medical records collected for the purposes of supplemental employment benefits.

Medical records may be acquired by a school division for a variety of purposes. The purpose for which the information is required should be clearly set out when the information is requested and the information should not be used for other purposes without consent. In many cases the same medical information may be required for several purposes at one time but his should not be used to expand the use of the material into areas not contemplated when the information was gathered.

Maternity Leave

The Saskatchewan Employment Act requires the employee to provide doctor’s confirmation of the expected date of delivery for access to maternity leave. For an employee to access supplemental benefits related to childbirth and maternity the employer will also require information concerning the employee’s application for employment insurance benefits.

While it is recommended, and sometimes required, that medical information be stored in a separate file, minimal information may be required to be shared when an employee wishes to access maternity and supplemental unemployment benefits (SUB) plan from Service Canada. Some of this information will be required, for example, by payroll – this would include the date of birth, whether or not the employee has applied for maternity, and parental leave and the length of the time period which has been requested. Care should be taken, however, that only the minimal information required for the purposes of payroll is provided to payroll personnel.

In the case of teachers, the information contained on the forms relating to supplemental employee benefits (SEB) plan forms (Forms 8-I, 8-II and 8-III from the Provincial Collective Bargaining Agreement) must be retained solely on the medical file of the teacher. Only the pertinent information required by other departments within the school division should be shared. Copies of the original forms should not be retained on other files – for example, a note on the payroll file that the proper forms were completed and received would be sufficient for payroll purposes.

Leaves for Employees

The information collected when an employee requests a leave for any reason, including educational leave, bereavement leave, general leave or medical leave, is personal information and is covered by LAFOIP. 

In most cases the granting of leaves can be delegated to administrators. If, however, the particular procedure of the board of education (board) requires a board motion then every effort should be made that resolutions do not, even unintentionally, disclose personal information of the employee.