Plans launched to get rid of 'Sick Note' culture
A new medical 'fit note' to replace the current 'sick note' has been revealed with the intention of trying to keep more people in work. The new 'fit note' will enable people 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.
For example, if the employee has a problem with mobility, suggesting a job where they can work sitting down rather than standing up.
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.
"We recognise how important it is to help people who are sick to stay in work or get back to work quickly - the new fit note will help do just that."
Health Minister Ben Bradshaw said: "We know that sickness absence is economically and socially damaging and makes people more likely to drift into social exclusion and poverty. Getting people back into work quicker is good for their health as well as the country's finances.
"The fit note will give GPs a new opportunity to benefit their patients and I look forward to it being used in surgeries everywhere. Our goal is that under the new system 'fit notes' will be computer-generated in GPs surgeries, replacing the current hand written version.”
The introduction of the 'fit note' forms part of the Government's response to Dame Carol Black's groundbreaking report into the health of Britain's working age population, which was published in March 2008.
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