From 6 April 2010, the sick note is changing to become a fit note. The sick notes that you are currently familiar with (or Medical Statement) are the forms issued by doctors to people when they are ill or injured. They provide advice about whether or not an individual with a medical condition is fit for work.
Many people with health conditions can, with some support from their employer, work as they recover from their illness. This helps the individual because for many people work can help recovery and also benefits the employer by reducing sickness absence; in current practice this is usually encapsulated within a ‘return to work’ plan.
Under the sick note system, doctors could only advise their patient on whether their health condition meant that they should not work. As a result many people, who could benefit from support whilst in work, would be advised that they could not work and their employers would not have had the opportunity to consider how they could help them achieve an earlier return to work.
To help more people get the support the need to get back to work, the new fit note system will mean that doctors can advise that a Brookes employee is either:
- unfit for work; or
- may be fit for wor
A doctor will give a ‘may be fit for work’ statement if they think that their patient’s health condition may allow them to work if they get suitable support from their employer. If an employee is too ill to work, the doctor will advise this, just like with the current sick note.