The German firm AU-Schein.de is offering German-speaking workers in Switzerland a medical certificate via WhatsApp for just €9.
Getting a medical certificate in Switzerland generally means visiting a doctor’s surgery and paying a fee of around 65 Swiss francs (€57) in Zurich.
To obtain a certificate, people simply have to answer a series of questions from a virtual doctor about their symptoms. If their replies suggest they are ill, a medical certificate is provided via WhatsApp.
At present, the service is limited to people with common colds and patients are given a maximum of three days away from work. But the plan is to extend the offer to other illnesses.
To stop people abusing the system, individual users can, in theory, only access the service twice a year. But it is up to users to declare this is the case.