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A new ‘fit note’ is going to be introduced in place of the doctor’s sick note on 6 April 2010 if Parliament approves the changes.
The purpose is to provide employers with details on what duties an employee can undertake, and what support they should provide.
What does this mean?
The new fit note will be called the ‘Statement of Fitness for Work’ and will be used in Scotland, as well as England and Wales. It will have more information than the present doctor’s sick note, which you will currently receive from sick employees.
The main changes will mean:
A GP will be able to say if they think an employee is ‘not fit for work’ or ‘may be fit for work’
A GP can add advice to the note for you as the employer on how simple changes to the job will allow the employee to return to work earlier
There will be fewer kinds of medical statements forms issued by GPs
How does this help employers?
Research has confirmed that long periods out of work can lead to worse health while working can be good for physical and mental health and well-being. The longer someone is absent through illness, the lower are the chances of you returning to work as I’m sure you have witnessed in the past. The new fit note is intended for both employees and employers by helping people back to work as soon as possible. Employees will benefit from better health and well-being because they have gone back to work. Employers will be able to keep employees at work, reducing absence and all the associated costs this brings to an organisation.
To make sure your business manages absence, please call us today on 0800 612 4772 or get a Free Quote for HR Services via our website.