Whilst the overall policy of issuing fit notes remains the same, and employees are required to provide a fit note to cover absences that exceed 7 calendar days, the fit notes themselves have now been reformed.
Employers can now expect to see updated guidance on fit notes, which recommends a discussion with the employee. The reformed fit notes will advocate maintaining contact with absent employees and give guidance on what to consider if an employee may be unfit for work. This is to encourage employers to explore what adjustments can be made to facilitate a return to work, such as a phased return or light duties.
The reformed fit note will also confirm that an employee cannot be required to provide further medical evidence beyond the fit note. If further medical evidence is required, the onus is on the employer to obtain written consent from their employee, to be able to write to the employees’ doctor to obtain a medical report. This is usually only necessary when your employee is off long-term sick or is affected by a health condition or medication that impacts their ability to carry out their role safely.
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