Scepticism & ignorance as new Fit Notes only weeks away
The new “Fitness for Work” forms are due to be introduced in less than three weeks, but the results of a survey published by Aviva Health suggests there is still ignorance about these from most employers & employees, and among those aware of the changes, many don’t think these will help.
Among the 500 employers questioned by Aviva, only 5% consider the Fit Notes will actually reduce absences, while one in 10 believe they will be hard to administer, and 68% have little or no knowledge of the changes.
Of the 1,000 employees responding, 57% did not feel their doctor would be in a position to say if they would be fit to work, an opinion accepted by 64% of doctors who feel ill-equipped to provide Fit Notes.
These changes will be a major change for the sick leave culture, and will invariably require a significant learning curve for employers, employees, and the GPs issuing the forms. Employers should exercise caution in handling sick leave issues as the new system settles in, and while normal sick leave levels should be tolerated & managed in the normal way, employers should continue to take action (albeit with due care & with advice to allow for the adjustment to the new process) in cases involving unacceptable levels of sick leave. For advice & support, contact Employment Law Clinic.