New guidance – fit notes

Posted on November 9th, 2023

The government has updated its guidance for employers and line managers relating to fit notes. The guide provides details of how to get the most out of the fit note, detailing rules of the fit note and assessing an employee’s fitness for work. An employer’s checklist has also been added to the updated guidance which highlights key points to support discussions following the employee being issued with a fit note.

In 2022, the Department for Work and Pensions introduced a new version of the fit note which enabled an employer to receive a digital note, replacing the need for the signature in ink. Further, nurses, pharmacists and physiotherapists are also able to certify fit notes in addition to doctors.

It is important to note that the advice in the fit note is about an employee’s fitness for work in general, not specifically about their current job. This provides flexibility to discuss potential changes to help an employee stay in work, if this is a possibility. An employee can return to work at any time, before a fit note expires. An employee does not need to be signed back at work and should return to work once their fit note expires.

A link to the guidance can be found here The fit note: guidance for patients and employees.

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