Is an employer obliged to comply with the advice on a fit note?

No, the advice given on a fit note is not binding on the employer. Where a healthcare professional advises on the fit note that the employee may be fit for some work, they will give advice about what the employee can and cannot do at work. The employer should discuss with the employee what changes could be made to help them return to work, but it is ultimately the employer's decision how to act on the advice, taking into account its wider legal obligations.

If the employer is unable to implement the suggestions on the fit note, it should explain this to the employee and treat the fit note as if the healthcare professional had advised that the employee is "not fit for work". The employee does not need to return to the healthcare professional to confirm this. Alternatively, the employer could request that the employee return to the healthcare professional for advice on alternative suggestions for adjustments. The employer could also seek specialist occupational health advice.