Fit note is opportunity for OH to raise its profile

The introduction of the fit note is an opportunity for occupational health professionals to raise their visibility within organisations, the government said, in guidance published to coincide with the launch of the note.

The Department for Work and Pensions said the note provided “an opportunity for OH professionals to raise their visibility… and demonstrate their contribution through collaborative working and strategic leadership”.

The guidance made it clear that the advice on the statement was not binding on employers and, where a GP and OH professional disagreed about whether a worker was “fit for some work”, the final say lay with the employer, “using the advice on the statement and any other advice that they seek, to agree with the employee if and how they will return to work”.

OH professionals should now work with employers, trade unions and HR to review sickness absence and attendance management policies in light of the new note.

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