The law around to fit notes for employees not well enough to work is changing. It is the first major overhaul since they were introduced in 2010. New legislation to allow a wider range of healthcare professionals to certify fit notes (or “statements of fitness for work” to give them their proper title) has been introduced to ease pressure on GPs.
Nurses, occupational therapists, pharmacists, and physiotherapists will all be able to legally certify fit notes from July 1. At present, it is only something a doctors can do.
If an employee has been off work with illness for more than seven day, a fit note provides evidence to an employer about their absence and any relevant advice on how to support them to remain in – or return to work. The DWP said the change will support and empower better conversations about work and health between employers and staff by making it easier to get this advice certified by the most relevant healthcare professional.
“The extension of fit note certification is fantastic news for patients, making it easier for them to get the support and advice they need from the right place, ensuring where possible that they are able to remain in work.”
Chloe Smith MP, Minister for Disabled People
This change will help reduce pressure on doctors, particularly GPs, while simplifying the process of issuing and receiving a fit note – cutting bureaucracy for employers and the National Health Service.
20th June 2022