Increase in number of fit notes being issued
The number of fit notes issued to employees has hit an all-time high according to a recent report based on NHS data for the year, ending September 2022. The data showed an 11% increase in the number of fit notes issued – up to 10.4 million.
The findings are being attributed to the state of the economy and the after-effects of the pandemic, resulting in more absences along with an increase of employees working in offices rather than from home.
Businesses are being advised to take a proactive approach to supporting employee health and wellbeing at work to decrease employee sickness absence. Regular return to work meetings and discussing support for employees who may be struggling with their mental health, will reduce the stigma attached and hopefully result in better attendance to work.
Previously, fit notes could only be issued by GPs but with a change implemented on 1st July 2022 to alleviate pressure on primary care services, nurses, occupational therapists, pharmacists and physiotherapists are now able to issue them. A fit note may be issued if an employee misses more than seven days of work because of illness.
It is important for businesses to have supportive absence management procedures in place and managers should be trained to stay in touch with employees and flagging when support can be provided.
If you would like to understand how 121 HR Solutions can provide training for managers on dealing with absence, contact us on 0800 9995 121.