Majority of employers say fit notes will not reduce absence

Only 22% of employers believe that fit notes will help to reduce absence levels while 38% believe the fit note will create more problems than it solves.

According to a survey conducted by Kronos, the workplace management company, which polled 1,400 private and public sector employers:

  • 35% are still unaware that the fit note is to be introduced.
  • 64% have not received any guidance on how to manage the fit note.
  • 26% say a lack of employee understanding and information will be the main problem in introducing the fit note.
  • 12% think that the lack of information and support for employers on how to manage the fit note will be its greatest barrier.
  • 5% indicated that they think there will be no barriers to the introduction.
  • 65% believe that employees will react negatively.
  • 93% are currently monitoring patterns of absence behaviour to help manage absence levels.
  • 89% are conducting timely back-to-work interviews when employees return after a period of absence.
  • 72% are providing good information to employees about the negative effect of absence on the organisation.
  • 56% of employers are encouraging flexible working.
  • 22% of respondents also use bonuses to encourage attendance.

Simon Macpherson, senior director business development and operations of Kronos UK, said: “The introduction of the fit note on 6 April and the government’s new focus on public sector absence again raised the profile of absence management in business.

“I very much hope the fit note has the same positive effect that many organisations already achieve by closely monitoring absence levels and patterns of behaviour and nipping the problem in the bud by conducting timely return-to-work interviews.“

Read more articles on wellness at work. Learn more about fit notes.