How to use fit notes effectively
Author: Claire Watt
Click on any of the hyperlinks to go to more detailed guidance below.
- Be aware that doctors can issue a fit note indicating that the employee either is not fit for work or may be fit for work taking into account the doctor's advice.
- Be aware that the employer is responsible for ensuring that any adjustments suggested by the GP are suitable and do not pose a risk to the employee.
- In cases of long-term absence, consider gaining more specific advice via a medical report.
- Discuss potential adjustments with the employee, based on the information provided by the doctor on the fit note.
- Consider whether or not the employee's condition means that he or she is disabled within the meaning of the Equality Act 2010 and understand the duty to make reasonable adjustments.
- Retain a record of any adjustments made and give a copy to the employee.
- Be aware that the advice from the doctor on a fit note is not legally binding and that the final decision on any adjustments lies with the employer.
- Carefully consider possible adjustments if the fit note states that the employee's job may be affecting his or her health.
- Comply with the data protection rules relating to information about employees' health.