The number of requests for sick notes leapt in May, according to an on-demand GP service.
Gogodoc reported a 78% increase in requests for sick notes compared with April. Twenty-two per cent of these requests related to stress, 18% to anxiety, and 12% to depression, which the GP service said highlighted just how much the pandemic has affected workers’ mental health and wellbeing.
The remaining 48% of sick note requests made in May related to other health issues, including physical injuries.
May saw the highest number of sick notes issued by Gogodoc since the coronavirus pandemic began.
If employees are off work for more than seven days, they need to give their employer a sick note that has been issued by their GP.
“While lockdown restrictions are being lifted throughout the country, our stats show that people are still really suffering from ill health – which is a result of such a challenging period of lockdowns which is continuing to affect the nation both physically and mentally,” said Gogodoc medical director Dr Ashish Srivastava.
“With the nation being granted more freedoms and events and team sports back on the agenda, following a long period of people leading sedentary lifestyles, it’s no wonder injuries are on the rise given people are using muscles and exercising more than they have been during lockdown.
“It’s crucial that those who are struggling with their health, whether it be physically or mentally, take the necessary steps to rest and recuperate. A quick video consultation to your GP is often all you need to request a sick note and provide you with some much-needed time off.”
It’s been widely reported that many people have been reluctant to see their GP with a health concern during the Covid-19 pandemic. Nursing provider RedArc said this reluctance may contribute to a “tsunami” of referrals for serious conditions including cancer over the coming months.