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New rules for Fit Notes

15 June 2022

Where employees are absent from work due to sickness for more than 7 days, they need to provide reasonable medical evidence in respect of that absence for statutory sick pay purposes – this is most frequently satisfied through the provision of a Statement of Fitness for Work, otherwise known as a Fit Note. In April 2022, the rules relating to Fit Notes were amended to allow for these to be certified and provided electronically. Further, more significant, changes are now due to come into force from 1 July 2022, amending who can certify Fit Notes. Currently, only doctors can certify these; however, from 1 July 2022, this will be expanded to include nurses, occupational therapists, pharmacists and physiotherapists. The aim of the change is to release some of the pressure on GP resources and to enable certification by the most relevant healthcare professional.

Employers will need to be aware of these changes in respect of Fit Notes provided by employees on or after 1 July 2022 to ensure that due weight is given to Fit Notes certified by this wider group of healthcare professionals.

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