DWP Revises Fit Note Advice

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The Problem

So often a fit note from an employee’s doctor is not particularly useful and informative. Employers are often none the wiser about an employee’s condition upon receipt of such a fit note.

The Principles

After 7 days of absence employees must certify their absence by obtaining appropriate evidence, typically a fit note from their doctor, if they are to recover SSP.

The Practice

Recognising the shortcomings of fit notes, the Government has issued new guidance for employers and doctors on using fit notes to their full potential by looking at what a person can do, rather than what they can’t. The guidance advises doctors on how they can give the most useful advice about what patients can do at work and how they can return to the workplace as soon as possible.

The guidance clarifies that the fit note is about someone’s general fitness for work and is not tied to their most recent job.  This allows flexibility to discuss what changes could help someone to do some sort of work, even of different from their substantive role.

To find out more please visit the Government’s Fit note: guidance for employers and line managers

For more information, help or advice please contact Tim Davies on 0191 211 7927.