New Government guidance for employers on fit notes
10 October 2023
On the 6 October 2023, the Government updated its guidance “Getting the most out of the fit note: guidance for employers and line managers”.
A checklist has been provided detailing key points to note in discussions with employees following them being issued with a fit note.
That checklist includes:
- Check if your employee ‘may be fit for work’, discuss their fit note with them and see if you can agree any changes, including workplace modifications or reasonable adjustment to support them to stay in, or return to, work.
- You can make referrals to support your employee to stay in, or return to, work.
- The fit note should cover the duration that the employee is likely to require adaptation or unable to work. A review date may be set by the healthcare professional. Check how long your employee’s fit note applies for.
- Maintain regular contact with your employee throughout the period and get a sense of if/when the employee feels ready to review any workplace modifications or return to work. ACAS provides advice on keeping in touch during absence.
- The name of the issuer, the profession and the address of the medical practice should be completed to make it a valid form. If you receive an old template, then the fit note must be signed in ink by the healthcare professional.
A change to the current regime is expected this autumn, planned to vary the approach on employees being signed off for months at a time. Once confirmed by the Government, an update will be published.
If you have any questions arising from the above, please contact one of our employment team here.