Not fit notes...

Posted: 9th July 2010

Fit noteA few weeks ago we saw the arrival of a newcomer to the employment arena. You might think that by now the novelty had worn off.

Quite the opposite it seems – the fit note is becoming more of a novelty as time goes by!

Reportedly, fake fit notes are selling openly on the internet, delivery guaranteed within 48 hours, with a choice of having the certificate stamped by doctors from medical centres in any UK town or city.

It is claimed that the documents are “for novelty use only”, retailing at as little as £10.

Whilst HR personnel are no doubt becoming accustomed to the new regime, there are fears that these bogus documents could fool some of them.

It is believed that approximately 15% of sickness absence is not genuine, and costing the country an estimated £2.5 billion a year in addition to the expense of justified absences.

Speaking at an employee benefit summit in Monte Carlo last month, the National Director for Health and Work Professor Dame Carol Black revealed that some organizations had already experienced problems with fit notes that have not been completed properly by GPs.

Of 2,900 fit notes received by Royal Mail only 31 of them contained information about what an absent employee might be able to do in the work place!

A survey by the Confederation of British Industry indicates that 75% of employers think that the new fit note is a good idea although employers still need to be more aware of the business and social advantages of early intervention and dispel misconceptions that an employee needs to be 100% fit to return to work.