Employees who are off sick for more than seven days are currently requested to supply a ‘fit note’ signed by their GP to confirm the reason that they are unfit for work.
However, new changes to the law take effect from the 1st July 2022 allowing employees to obtain a ‘fit note’ from a wider range of healthcare professionals to include pharmacists, nurses and occupational therapists.
It will still be necessary for all individuals to have an assessment carried out before obtaining a ‘fit note’. It is not possible to obtain ‘fit notes’ over the counter.
In April 2022, the law changed to allow a ‘fit note’ to be digitally signed in order to improve this system. These further changes will provide greater access freeing up GP’s.
This new procedure should be confirmed when updating company handbooks and/or policies for clarity.