From 1st July 2022 more health professionals will be able to certify and issue fit notes to employees who are unable to work due to sickness.

An employee who has been off work due to illness or injury for 7 days or more must provide their employer with a fit note. Usually this is issued and signed by a doctor and provides advice for the employer on how to support the individual to continue in or return to work.

In the wake of the pandemic, GP appointments can be difficult to access, with high demand and shortages of GPs in many areas. To help ease pressure on GPs, other medical professionals will now be able to take on this role. From 1st July nurses, occupational therapists, pharmacists and physiotherapists can legally certify fit notes.

This change should be a positive one for both employers and employees. Quicker and easier access to professional advice will help employees to effectively manage their own health, whilst guiding employers to understand how they can support their employees to maintain attendance.

Since April you may also have noticed a difference in the fit notes given to you by your employees. Forms can now be certified electronically by an eligible healthcare professional and will no longer need to be signed by a doctor in ink.

Contact us for more advice on fit notes and managing absence.