Guidance On The Use Of Fit Notes
The fit note was introduced on 6 April 2010 to replace the old sick note, and it allows doctors to not only say that the employee is “not fit for work”, but also that they “may be fit for work”.
The fit note was introduced on 6 April 2010 to replace the old sick note, and it allows doctors to not only say that the employee is “not fit for work”, but also that they “may be fit for work”. The information provided by the doctor can then be used by employers to consider ways to help the employee to return to work.
When the fit note was first introduced there was limited guidance and training available to doctors and employers as to how they should be used. Accordingly, the Government has produced new guidance on how to use fit notes to their potential by looking at what a person can do, rather than what they cannot.
The guidance for doctors is aimed to assist doctors to make the best use of the fit note in order to support their patients. It also includes case studies to illustrate various scenarios as well as question and answer sections to deal with common queries.
The guidance makes it clear to doctors that they do not need to issue a fit note for the first seven calendar days of a person’s absence as they are able to self-certify for this period. Accordingly, if a business requires this from a commercial perspective then this is something that it will be expected to arrange and pay for.
From a business perspective the guidance will also provide assistance on how to use fit notes and how to get the employee back to work, and therefore is worth considering.