The government have announced that from April this year “fit notes” will be replacing sick notes.
Under the new scheme doctors will be asked to give details of the types of changes that could be made to an employee’s work environment to help them return to work.
It will allow doctors to specify medical advice which should be taken into account when the employer is deciding whether an employee is fit for work (as opposed to the doctor specifying that the employee is “fit for work” or “fit for some work”.
Doctors objected to proposals that they should have the power to make such declarations as they felt they would not know the scope of each patient’s duties at work).
It is hoped that the new scheme will help provide employers with information to allow them to be more proactive in facilitating an absent employee’s return to work.