Managing sick leave – what to do!

The number of fit notes issued, along with a rise in long-term sickness is prompting businesses to look at their absenteeism rates and ensure they have the right processes in place to manage and reduce this. Fit notes are issued to employees following an assessment of their fitness for work. A fit note is issued after the first seven days of sickness absence (when employees can self-certify) if the healthcare professional assesses that the patient’s health affects their fitness for work.

The healthcare professional can decide if the employee is ‘unfit for work’ or ‘may be fit for work subject to the following advice…’ with accompanying notes on suggested adjustments or adaptations to the job role or workplace.

New data from the Office for National Statistics has also revealed the number of people off due to long-term sickness has reached nearly 2.52 million (a record high).

The latest Health and Safety Executive data suggests that the majority of people off work with long-standing ill-health are suffering from stress, anxiety or depression (51%) or musculoskeletal disorders (27%).

Reducing absenteeism has always been on the agenda but with record numbers now off on long-term leave it’s a priority. Employers have a vital role to play, especially at a time when the NHS is struggling to cope.

Contact 121 HR Solutions to discuss training your managers on how to manage absence – contact us on 0800 995 121.

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