Finance directors do not trust GPs’ sicknote system

Nearly
two-thirds of finance directors don’t trust sicknotes written by GPs, according
to a new survey.

The
Reed Accountancy poll of 266 finance directors, asking whether they trusted
sicknotes, found 30 per cent said they probably did not and a further 34 per
cent definitely did not. Just 10 per cent definitely did, 17 per cent probably
did, and 9 per cent were neutral over the issue.

Exclusive
research by Personnel Today last year revealed the poor state of the sicknote
system in the UK. The research – which surveyed more than 300 doctors and 1,000
HR professionals – showed 80 per cent of doctors do not want to be responsible
for sicknotes, while 77 per cent admit they issue sicknotes too easily.

Some
80 per cent of HR professionals say they are seeing more staff signed off sick
– with 30 per cent saying numbers have greatly increased in the past year.

Plans
are also afoot to run pilots in the spring looking at whether company doctors
and occupational health nurses can act as a first port of call for sick
employees.

Comments
from the poll included one FD who argued sick-notes did "not represent
anything more than a desire for the GP to get the patient out of his consulting
room". Another suggested the only solution was to implement a
"draconian policy of not paying people if they are sick – with management
discretion as appropriate".

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