Statement of Fitness for Work – fit note
The Statement of Fitness for Work, commonly known as the fit note, helps people who are off sick return to work as quickly as possible.
Guidance is available for:
Computer-completed fit notes
From early July 2012, General Practitioners (GPs) will start using computer-completed fit notes. They will be printed on one side of A4 paper and will include the same information as handwritten fit notes.
Patients will still get handwritten fit notes from hospital doctors, GPs on home visits and GPs with older IT systems.
Fact sheets about computer-completed fit notes are available for:
- Employees and patients – computer-completed fit notes (36KB)
- Employers – computer-completed fit notes (36KB)
- GPs – computer-completed fit notes (34KB)
Computer-completed fit note samples:
How fit notes are used
The fit note allows doctors to advise that patients are "may be fit for work taking account of the following advice" or "not fit for work".
Doctors can record details of the functional effects of their patient's condition – so individuals and employers can consider simple changes to the work environment or job role or other steps to help the employee return to work earlier.
The fit note also helps employers to support their employees back to work as soon as possible, so that they retain skills that are critical to business success.
Support for people with health conditions
The Government believes that it is important to support people with health conditions to return to appropriate work as soon as possible. There is strong evidence that long periods out of work are associated with poor mental and physical health, increased use of health services and poverty. The longer someone is off work, the lower their chances of getting back to work. Work has also been shown to have therapeutic value and is generally good for physical and mental health and well-being.
The fit note enables doctors to provide more useful advice to their patients about the effects of their health condition and how they might be able to return to work while they recover.
The Statement of Fitness for Work was developed in partnership with employer, medical and employee representative groups based on the consultation “Reforming the Medical Statement”.
- Reforming the Medical Statement (242KB)