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A Guide to Understanding and Utilising Fit Notes

Top tips for employers and line managers ...


Posted by Roger Eddowes on 19/10/2023 @ 8:00AM

Having my own employees, I understand the importance of managing my team's health and wellness in the workplace. With the recent updates to fit note guidance, it is crucial for all employers and line managers to be well-informed and prepared ...

The updated fit note guidance shifts the focus from employees' inability to work to their ability to work!

The updated fit note guidance shifts the focus from employees' inability to work to their ability to work!

created by dall-e / open ai

I have some valuable insights and tips on how to navigate fit notes effectively. Whether you are new to the concept or simply need a refresher, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and expertise to support your employees.

"So, what is a fit note?"

A fit note, formerly known as a sick note, is a medical certificate provided by a doctor to an employee who is unable to work due to health reasons. It serves as evidence of the employee's inability to work and outlines their fitness for work.

Fit notes have replaced the traditional sick note format and have been updated to better support employee health and return to work. Employers and line managers play a critical role in understanding and utilising fit notes to support their employees' health.

The updated fit note guidance emphasises the role of employers in managing employee health and shifting the focus from employees' inability to work to their ability to work. This change promotes a more proactive approach to managing health in the workplace.

The guidance also introduces the concept of 'may be fit for work', providing flexibility for employees to return to work with adjustments if needed. It is essential to understand these changes and communicate them to your team.

Tips for employers and line managers:

  • Communication: Maintaining open communication with employees can help identify any issues early on and prevent prolonged absences. Regular check-ins with employees on long-term sick leave can also reassure them of their value within the organisation.

  • Supporting return to work: When an employee is ready to return to work, it is crucial to have a structured return-to-work plan and make necessary adjustments (if required) to ensure a smooth transition. This can include flexible working hours, altered duties, or accommodations for disabilities.

  • Reasonable adjustments: Under the Equality Act 2010, employers must make reasonable adjustments to support employees with disabilities. This can include changes to the work environment, equipment, or responsibilities. Consult with employees and their healthcare professionals to identify any necessary adjustments.

Fit notes play an essential role in managing employee health and promoting a healthy workplace. As employers and line managers, it is crucial to understand the changes to fit note guidance and implement effective strategies to support your employees' health and well-being.

By prioritising open communication, supporting a return to work, and making reasonable adjustments, you can create a healthier and more productive work environment for everyone.

Until next time ...

Business Godparent


Would you like to know more?

If anything I've written in this blog post resonates with you and you'd like to discover more about fit notes and how you can support your team's health and well-being, it may be a great idea to call me on 01908 774320 and let's see how I can help.

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About Roger Eddowes ...


Roger trained at Edward Thomas Peirson & Sons in Market Harborough before working at Hartwell & Co, followed by Chancery, as a partner. He started Essendon Accounts and Tax with Helen Beaumont in 2014 as a general practitioner with a hands-on approach.

Roger loves getting his hands dirty, working with emerging, small-to-medium and family businesses to ensure they receive the best possible accountancy advice. Roger utilises an extensive network of business contacts to leverage the best guidance and practical solutions.