Government unveils new fit note consultation

The government has launched a twelve-week consultation into the design of the new medical ‘fit note’ that will replace the current ‘sick note’.

The fit note will enable employees to get the best possible advice about staying in work, and if they can’t work what their employer can do to help them return to work sooner.

Lord Bill McKenzie, Work and Pensions Minister, said: “Employers tell us that managing sickness absence can be a challenge. This is compounded by a ‘sick note’ system that makes sickness absence a black and white issue – either you are unfit for work or you are not.”

Developed with the support of healthcare professionals, employer representatives and trade unions, the new ‘fit notes’ will be rolled out across Great Britain in the spring of 2010.

The introduction of the ‘fit note’ forms part of the Government’s response to Dame Carol Black’s report into the health of Britain’s working age population, which was published in March 2008.

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