fit notes

What plans are in place to reduce fit notes in the workplace?

What plans are in place to reduce fit notes in the workplace?

Rishi Sunak recently said that a Fit Note should be about ‘what work you can do – not what you can’t’ and has plans to help manage the rise in fit notes. 94% of the 11 million Fit Notes issued in the UK last year were used to sign people off work. Some of these employees may have been able to return to work with reasonable adjustments provided by the employer.

What are the plans to reduce fit notes?

  • The Prime Minister is set to overhaul the benefits system to ensure those who are capable of working are not enabled to remain on or claim benefits.
  • A £2.5 billion Back to Work plan has been launched and is already helping people back to work.
  • An additional 384,000 people have been able to access NHS talking therapies.
  • The Work Well programme pilot aims to support 60,000 long-term sick or disabled people back into work.
  • Employers will gain a better understanding of Occupational Health benefits and how it can support employees to stay in or return to work.
  • GP’s may lose their ability to issue Fit Notes.

What can you do as an employer?

As an employer, there are some things you can do to help support your employees’ health and wellbeing and reduce the chance of absence and fit notes.

  • Raise awareness in your company about managing mental health.
  • Provide training to employees on mechanisms to cope with the day-to-day stresses. This could include topics such as financial wellbeing, menopause awareness, time management etc.
  • Offer reasonable adjustments. These can be offered as early interventions to prevent employees from needing to take time off work or to support an employee back to work.
  • Appoint a Mental Wellbeing First Aider in your workplace – research shows us that an employee is more likely to talk to their doctor moreover their employer. Having a Mental Wellbeing First Aider would offer the opportunity for staff to engage with someone who is part of the workplace initially. This person may be able to offer some support before an employee feels they need to go and see their doctor.
  • Have a robust absence policy and process in place. This includes conducting return to work interviews. A return to work interview can help to uncover issues an employee may be facing which may be causing an absence or fit note. By identifying these issues, you may be able to offer solutions to prevent further absence from the business. It also provides employees with the opportunity to discuss any reasonable adjustments they may need to return to work safely and healthily.

To find out more information or if you require any advice about managing fit notes and employee absence get in contact with our team of experts.

T: 0330 107 1037


LinkedIn: High Performance Consultancy

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