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Date added: 23 April 2013

Sick Note To Fit Note 

Peter Jones of The HR Dept. Swindon explains the new Government guidance on managing sickness absense
 
Peter Jones:
HR Dept. Swindon
Sickness absence is still a tricky issue for employers and HR professionals;
whether it’s the odd day here and there
or longer term sickness absence.  
 
Managing how the work gets done in
someone’s absence or handling return to
work interviews can be both time
consuming and costly.
 
The Government has issued new guidance for employers on the ‘fit note’ that effectively replaced the traditional sick note in 2010.
 
The fit note gives Doctors the opportunity to tell an employer what an employee could do, rather than what they couldn’t.
 
New guidance clarifies that the fit note is about someone’s general fitness for work and is not tied to their most recent job.
 
B2B Sickness Advice
It is an employee’s responsibility to give their employer a Doctor’s ‘fit note’ if they are off sick for more than seven days which will state whether the employee is either fit or not fit for work.
 
With some health conditions however, coming back to work might even help the individual get better.
 
The fit note was designed to try and get people back to work earlier and meant that Doctors could advise employers on what reasonable adjustments could be made to get individuals fit for work again.
 
If you have an employee who is not fit for work or if they could be fit for work but you can’t agree any reasonable adjustments, you can use the fit note as evidence for sick pay procedures.
 
The new guidance also clarifies the legal status of the fit note in relation to sick pay and in situations where an employer cannot make any reasonable adjustments.
 
Employers should make a copy of the fit note and
include it in an employee’s personnel file. Bear in mind that Doctors cannot issue fit notes during the first seven calendar days of sickness absence.
 
Employees can self certify their sickness absence for this time.
 
HR Dept. Swindon

Led by HR expert Peter Jones, The HR Dept. in Swindon provide services and solutions for SMEs to help prevent staff, employee or HR issues with professional outsourced HR support covering all aspects of UK Employment Law.

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