Fit note gets mixed review from employers

Four employers in 10 (38%) believe the fit note regime has been a significant step forward in how employers manage sickness absence, according to research published by XpertHR, Occupational Health magzine’s sister HR resource.

This is a lower figure than the 48% reported in similar research carried out in 2011, suggesting that, if anything, optimism about the fit note is declining among employers. It has also struggled to overcome suspicion and opposition from GPs.

Nevertheless, seven employers in 10 (68%) said the fit note programme had helped encourage their organisation to have a more open dialogue with employees about their return to work.

However, the research concluded fit notes had not helped facilitate an earlier return to work in many cases at 36% of employers, while 65% said it had not helped in any way to reduce overall absence.

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