Changes are ahead affecting sickness certification that could take place as early as April 6th 2010.
The current typical Doctor's 'sick note' will be replaced by a new 'fit note', which will outline whether the employee is 'not fit for work' or 'maybe fit for work', e.g. whether the illness they are currently experiencing is severe enough to affect their performance and ability at work.
A Doctor will give a 'maybe fit for work' statement if they think the patient's health will be suitable for work providing they require adequate support from their employer. There will also be an area on the fit note where the Doctor will provide information on how the employee's condition could affect their abilities at work and also to suggest common ways the employee and employer can help speed up their return to work. These could include a phased return, reduced hours, amended duties or adaption’s to their working environment, e.g. light duties, etc. Employers will not be bound by the Doctor's suggestions and any changes made as a result will be at the discretion of the employer.
The new fit notes are expected to begin appearing from April 6th 2010 and could have an immediate impact on the way sickness is handled within the workplace.
For further details on the planned changes and advice on how to adapt policies within your Cambridge business to suit, please call your local The Best of Cambridge human resources expert, Janet Henson-Webb.