New Fit Note unveiled - Government gets rid of Sick Note culture
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A new medical 'fit note' to replace the current 'sick note'
and help more people stay in work rather than drift into long term
sickness is unveiled today along with a twelve week consultation on its
The new 'fit note' will enable people to get the best possible
advice about staying in work, and if they can't work what their
employer can do to help them return to work sooner. For example, if the
employee has a problem with mobility, suggesting a job where they can
work sitting down rather than standing up.
Lord Bill McKenzie, Work and Pensions Minister, said:
"Employers tell us that managing sickness absence can be a
challenge. This is compounded by a 'sick note' system that makes
sickness absence a black and white issue - either you are unfit for
work or you are not.
"We recognise how important it is to help people who are sick
to stay in work or get back to work quickly - the new fit note will
help do just that."
Health Minister Ben Bradshaw said:
"We know that sickness absence is economically and socially
damaging and makes people more likely to drift into social exclusion
and poverty. Getting people back into work quicker is good for their
health as well as the country's finances.
"The fit note will give GPs a new opportunity to benefit their
patients and I look forward to it being used in surgeries everywhere."
Developed with the support of healthcare professionals,
employer representatives and trade unions, the new 'fit notes' will
roll-out across Great Britain in the Spring of 2010.
Our goal is that under the new system 'fit notes' will be
computer-generated in GPs surgeries, replacing the current hand written
The introduction of the 'fit note' forms part of the
Government's response to Dame Carol Black's groundbreaking report into
the health of Britain's working age population, which was published in
The full Government response to Dame Carol Black's report can
be found here: http://www.workingforhealth.gov.uk/Government-Response
* Cost to the British economy of working age ill-health in
terms of working days lost and worklessness is over £100bn each year
(as estimated in Black Review)
* Over 29 million people in employment in UK; an employment
rate of 74.4 percent.
* About 172 million working days lost in 2007 due to sickness
absence (CBI survey)
* Absences that last over four weeks make up around 40 percent
of days lost to absence (CBI survey)
* About 2.6 per cent of working time lost to illness in 2007
* 34 million days lost in 2007/08 to work-related illness
* 2.6 million people on incapacity benefits in May 2008
* Fallen from 2.77 million in 2004
* Around 600,000 per year makes claims to incapacity benefits
and survey data suggests that half of these had been in work
immediately prior to their claim
About the Author
© Crown Copyright. Material taken
from the Department for Work And Pensions. Reproduced under the terms
of the Click-Use Licence.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2009-05-28 15:19:19 in Employee Articles