Only five per cent of employers believe that the fit note, launched this month, will cut absence rates, according to a survey of 500 employers by OH service provider Aviva UK Health.
It also found that one in 10 thought the fit note would be hard to administer, while 68% had little knowledge of the change or how it would affect them.
Another survey of 1,000 employees by Aviva found that 57% did not think their doctor was in a position to say if they are fit enough to work, and 64% of GPs feel ill-equipped to provide fit notes for workers, while another 15% were non-committal.
The fit note allows GPs to say if a person is fit for work with some adjustments, or needs a phased return to work, altered hours, amended duties or workplace adaptations. “We will only reap the long-term benefits of this move if the right support and training is in place,” said Hugh Laing, chief medical officer for Aviva UK Health.