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Employers Sceptical of Government's Fit Notes Initiative
Date:3/28/2010

The business benefits of the Government’s new “Fit Notes” scheme is being called into question by a new 360 degree study of UK businesses and their employees. Just 5% of employers claim Fit Notes would reduce absence rates. 57% of employees don’t think that their doctor is qualified to judge them fit for work**

(PRWEB) March 28, 2010 -- The business benefits of the Government’s new “Fit Notes” scheme is being called into question by a new 360 degree study of UK businesses and their employees. The “early intervention prevention” study by Aviva UK Health shows that business owners and workers are dubious about how Fit Notes will be brought into effect in April 2010, and question the initiative’s power to reduce employee absence rates and get employees back to work sooner.

The launch of the new Fit Note means that instead of giving patients a sick note saying they are too ill to work, GPs will have to decide whether a person may be fit for work with some support, and what employers can do to help them return. This includes a phased return to work, altered hours, amended duties or workplace adaptations.

The initiative is designed to encourage employers to be more responsible regarding employee rehabilitation. It aims to help reduce the impact long term sick leave has on UK businesses, which is estimated to cost the UK economy £17.3 billion*. However, Aviva’s research indicates that both employers and their workforce currently remain to be convinced of the benefits of Fit Notes.

Among the 500 employers questioned, just 5% said they thought Fit Notes would reduce absence rates. One in ten thought they would be hard to administer and 68% had little or no knowledge of the change and how it would work for them. On the employee side, the majority of the 1,000 respondents (57%) did not think their doctor was
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