HR goes off proposals for employer-led sicknotes

Almost three-quarters of HR professionals believe that transferring
responsibility for sicknote certification from GPs to employers will be

Forty-five percent of those surveyed by consultants Croner said they believe
the responsibility should stay with GPs, despite pilot schemes scheduled later
this year, which will transfer responsibility to company health professionals.

The survey found that while 30 per cent agreed with the idea in principle,
they didn’t think it would work in practice. Just 25 per cent felt it would be
a good, way to manage sickness.

Croner’s research follows a 2003 survey of 1,000 HR professionals and 300
doctors by Personnel Today and sister magazine Doctor, which revealed that both
doctors and HR wanted a rethink on the system.

The research found that more than 80 per cent of doctors no longer want
responsibility for writing sicknotes, while 77 per cent admitted they issue
sick-notes too easily.

Eighty per cent HR professionals surveyed told us they were seeing more
staff signed off sick, with 30 per cent saying the numbers had increased in

Richard Smith, employment law expert at Croner said firms needed to take a
more active role in managing sickness absence.

"Companies need to start thinking about how they would manage the
increased responsibility that might come their way in the next couple of years
by making sure their own sickness monitoring systems are effective and clearly
understood by employees," he said.

By Quentin Reade

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