The Department of Work and Pensions has recently revised its fit note guidance, three years after it was launched to replace the sick note. The updates reflect that the fit note is no longer a new concept, and should help people to utilise it to its full potential. Professional bodies have been closely involved in developing the new content of the fit note, and feedback from employers, doctors and patients has also been used in developing the revisions. The revised guidance clarifies for patients and employers that the fit note is about someone’s general fitness for work, allowing maximum flexibility to discuss what changes could help someone to work.
The guidance also includes examples of the fit note being used in challenging situations, ideas for patients and employers about possible changes to accommodate the advice in the fit note, and a more comprehensive further resources section.
Dr Bill Gunnyeon, Chief Medical Adviser for the Department of Work and Pensions, says: The fit note can be a valuable tool to help people return to work quickly and avoid long term absence and potential job loss – this revised guidance helps doctors, employers and patients use it to its full potential.
The revised guidance for employers, patients and GPs is available at: www.dwp.gov.uk/fitnote