Fitnote changes from 1 July 2022
From 1 July 2022 a wider range of healthcare professionals will be able to certify fit notes. The measure will mean that occupational therapists, some pharmacists, and physiotherapists will be able to certify and issue fit notes.
The Government set out that this measure has been introduced with the aim of reducing pressure on GP’s as well as empowering better conversations about work and health between employers and staff by making it easier to get health advice certified by the most relevant healthcare setting.
From 1 July 2022 nurses, occupational therapists, pharmacists, and physiotherapists will all be able to legally certify fit notes – something that at present only doctors can do. If an employee has been off work with illness for more than seven days, a fit note provides evidence to an employer about the employee’s absence and any relevant advice on how to support for the employee to remain in or return to work.
The change, the most significant since the fit note’s inception in 2010, will support and empower better conversations about work and health between employers and staff by making it easier to get this advice certified by the most relevant healthcare professional. This change will be delivered in general practice and hospital settings.
It will also help reduce pressure on doctors, particularly GPs, while simplifying the process of issuing and receiving a fit note – cutting bureaucracy for employers and the National Health Service.
Fit notes can only be issued following an assessment of a person’s fitness for work, so cannot be issued on request or via over-the-counter services.
This change follows legislation changes in April 2022, which removed the need for fit notes to be signed in ink. This change makes it possible for eligible healthcare professionals to certify fit notes digitally, and also for patients to receive their fit note via digital channels (where GP IT systems support this).
Should you have any absence concerns, contact 121 HR Solutions to discuss further on 0800 9995 121.