Connecting to LinkedIn...

Blank

XpertHR survey gives mixed views on fit note

XpertHR survey gives mixed views on fit note

The 2011 XpertHR fit note survey, published exclusively on XpertHR, reveals that more than 85% of employers do not think doctors are good at communicating what the employer needs to do to “facilitate a return-to-work”.

The replacement of the sick note with the fit note in April 2010 represented one of the biggest universal shifts in how UK employers manage sickness absence for decades, giving employers the opportunity to assist in the deciding when staff were ready to come back to work, based on doctors recommendations.  Under the sick note system only doctors had the authority to say whether a patient could work or not.

Respondents were divided on how easy it was to interpret GP’s suggestions with over half saying it was very easy, while 10% said it was very difficult. Also nearly 45% of employers said a section on the fit note which could help them decide if an employee could return to work was rarely completed and in more than three cases in 10 it was left blank.

Despite reservations over whether the fit note worked better than the sick note, employers were positive about its potential and they remained optimistic about the fit note’s impact on unnecessary absence in the future, XpertHR’s author of the report Rachel Suff said.

“The responses are mixed and there is not an overwhelming enthusiasm for any one aspect of the fit note over the old sick note.

“The more positive feedback from employers is focused on the dialogue the fit note encourages between employer and employee, and the fact that it is easier to administer. Employers are much less positive about the fit note helping to prevent unnecessary referrals to occupational health, or about it acting as a prompt to encourage greater dialogue between employer and GP/healthcare services.”

Key points

Percentage of employers that implement GP’s fit notes and to what degree:

suggestions fully implemented in some cases – 39.5%

suggestions fully implemented in all cases – 27.6%

suggestions partially implemented in some cases – 20%

no suggestions implemented in any cases – 7% and

suggestions partially implemented in all cases – 5.9%.

The responsibility for dealing with fit notes was shared in most organisations

In 77.7% of cases HR had the main responsibility

A further 62.2% of organisations shared the responsibility with line managers

While 19.7% also shared the responsibility with Occupational Health

 

How does the fit note compare to the old sick note?

% of employers

1: least effective

2

3

4

5: most effective

Don’t know

Encourages greater dialogue between employer and employee

8.1%

20.8%

28.1%

32.6%

9.5%

0.9%

Easier to administer – 1 form instead of 2

5.9%

12.7%

42.5%

27.1%

8.2%

3.6%

Empowers employee to help influence their own return-to-work

12.2%

25.3%

30.8%

24.0%

5.0%

2.7%

Greater range of options means more informed discussion on fitness to work

16.3%

22.2%

31.2%

23.1%

6.8%

0.4%

Encourages earlier return-to-work

14.9%

24.4%

30.3%

21.7%

5.4%

3.3%

Promotes cultural change that good work can be good for you

19.0%

22.6%

31.7%

19.0%

5.0%

2.7%

Encourages greater dialogue between employer and GP/healthcare services

24.9%

27.6%

26.2%

12.2%

2.7%

6.4%

GP advice helps avoid unnecessary referrals to occupational health

29.4%

32.1%

19.5%

9.5%

2.7%

6.8%

Unnecessary sickness absence rate has fallen in organisation

34.8%

22.6%

26.7%

7.2%

1.4%

7.3%

n 221

Source: XpertHR

Tags:

Articles similar to

Articles similar to