The old system of sick notes changed in April, but how much difference will the move to “Fit Notes” really make in most cases?

The essential difference is that a doctor may now suggest ways in which an employee may be helped to return to work, possibly by adopting one of the following:-

  • A phased return to work
  • Changed hours of work
  • Amended duties
  • Workplace adaptations

It is important to note that the recommendations are not binding on an employer, though you should be particularly careful in the case of an employee with a disability as the Disability Discrimination Act imposes certain obligations on an employer and these have not changed.

The Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) has produced a 24 page guide for employers which you can view by Googling “fit notes”.