Range of medical professionals able to issue fit notes expanded
From 1 July 2022 nurses, occupational therapists, pharmacists and physiotherapists in England, Wales and Scotland may issue a statement of fitness for work (known as a "fit note") following an assessment of a patient's fitness for work. This is due to the introduction of the Social Security (Medical Evidence) and Statutory Sick Pay (Medical Evidence) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2022 (SI 2022/630), prior to the introduction of these Regulations, only doctors were able to issue fit notes.
End of the COVID-19 adjustments to Statutory Sick Pay provisions: From 24th March 2022– Statutory Sick Pay will no longer be payable from day 1 of absence f people are unable to work because they are sick or self-isolating due to COVID-19 and the small employer rebate will end under the government's 'living with COVID plan'. Pre-pandemic SSP rules will apply.
Research shows that employers who proactively manage staff attendance are more effective and achieve cost savings compared to those organisations that don't manage absence well.
80% of absences result from short-term sickness. Tackling short-term absence effectively means having a regime of return-to-work discussions regardless of the duration of absence, maintaining good communication with employees and seeking to offer support where employees need it.
With long-term absence the focus is generally more on seeking medical advice to inform employment decisions, keeping in regular contact with the person off sick and working to develop 'back to work' support to help reintegrate the employee after an extended spell of sick leave. in some cases where the employee is not fit for work for the foreseeable future, it may ultimately be necessary to terminate employment on the grounds of ill-health capability.
In all cases a distinction needs to be maintained between absence without good reason (potentially a conduct issue) and absence on the grounds of genuine ill health or injury.
The resources in this topic area are aimed at providing schools and colleges with a robust framework for the management of attendance. In the guidance and information section we have comprehensive guidance on all key aspects of managing attendance as well as additional help guides for managers on using absence data, planning a return to work and maintaining contact with absent staff. Information on sick pay entitlements under the Burgundy Book and Green Book are also available.
Templates and tools includes an example attendance management procedure and a wide range of template letters to support the procedure. A model self-certificate and return to work discussion form plus an advice leaflet for employees on what to do when they are sick are also available to download.
If you have a question you haven't been able to resolve via our other resources you might want to consult our FAQs to see if your query has been covered there.
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