Health@Work supports GP’s motion to extend employee Sickness Leave without Fit Note

National workplace wellbeing charity, Health@Work, has come out in support for recent comments from the British Medical Associations General Practitioners Committee calling for employees to take up to two weeks off work without requiring a Fit Note from their GP.

Currently, if an employee is off sick for more than seven, an employer can ask for proof of illness, in the form of a Fit Note from a GP. The announcement made by the British Medical Association proposes that self diagnosis and training in the workplace can help ease the load on GP’s.

Chief executive Frances Molloy commented:

“This is an announcement from the BMA which Health@Work believes needs to be considered.  Managing absence within the workplace with the right training and support for managers is a much more cost effective and considered approach for all involved.  This will reduce the time wastage with GP’s and will ensure that practitioners can spend more time with patients that need appointments as a matter of priority. GP appointment times are also a challenge for businesses, as employees often need to book on the day which can also disrupt business planning. If GP’s were focused on those who really need their input then this would reduce the need for appointments for common ailments that can be managed without their intervention.”

“Businesses and organisations should aim to foster a culture where staff and management are honest and open and should look to develop a management process for short term sick leave. Employers should also look to take on a Better Ways Of Working approach to how their employees work – this includes flexible hours and remote working wherever possible.  Introducing schemes to support employees health may be considered an unaffordable option for many small to medium sized employers, but there is a wealth of evidence to show that in the long term it is makes better sense for both the business and their employees.”

Health@Work provides national support to business and organisation to improve health, safety and wellbeing in the workplace. They are the main provider for the Public Health England endorsed Workplace Wellbeing Charter.

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