Mixed di­ag­no­sis on suc­cess of fit notes

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - ET Business Daily -

THE in­tro­duc­tion of “fit notes” which were de­signed to get those on long-term sick­ness ab­sence back to work sooner are hav­ing only a modest im­pact.

That’s the view of Roythornes’ Phil Cook­son, who heads up the Peter­bor­ough em­ploy­ment team.

He was com­ment­ing on re­search by the Char­tered In­sti­tute of Per­son­nel and De­vel­op­ment which showed that only 11 per cent of em­ploy­ers con­sid­ered they had helped to re­duce ab­sence rates.

The one “ben­e­fit” of the notes, though, ac­cord­ing to the re­search, was that just over half of the em­ploy­ers thought they had helped to start con­ver­sa­tions with sick em­ploy­ees.

Fit notes were in­tro­duced in April 2010. Rather than sign­ing em­ploy­ees off work, GPS now have to ad­vise on what work the em­ployee could un­der­take, sug­gest­ing adap­ta­tions to the work­place or work­ing hours if nec­es­sary.

The prob­lem, in prac­tice, seems to be GPS con­tin­u­ing in their role as “pa­tient ad­vo­cate” and sug­gested adap­ta­tions from GPS of­ten be­ing seen by em­ploy­ers as ei­ther un­work­able in prac­tice or too vague to be of real as­sis­tance.

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