Bosses should stop asking their employees for sick notes from doctors because it could have a "discouraging effect" on workers who are ill and should stay at home, says the head of the Ontario Medical Association.

In a statement posted on the OMA's website, president Dr. Scott Wooder also said a sick note policy could increase the spread of germs by unnecessarily sending sick people to doctors' offices.

"Employers should encourage workers to stay home when sick, not require sick notes which ... forces patients into the doctor’s office when they are sick, which only encourages the spread of germs to those in the waiting room, who in some cases are more vulnerable."

Many employers and some universities require notes from doctors to verify that sick day policies aren't being abused.

Wooder's statement, which comes as flu season gets into full swing, emphasizes the importance of patients staying home to rest and avoid infecting others.

“Think about those around you, and please don’t take the flu to work," he said.

His statement also recommends people get the flu shot, use the so-called "elbow sneeze" and use hand sanitizer to limit the spread of germs.