Sickness Certificates


Sickness Certificates – a new approach?

The BMA annual conference has come up with an interesting way to reduce waiting times at GP surgeries.

Currently most businesses expect their employees to self-certify their first seven days of sickness and then produce a note from the GP (fit note or sickness certificates) after that. The conference idea is to increase the initial seven day period to fourteen days. In other words an employee would only need to get GP’s sickness certificates if they are off work for more than two complete weeks.

while we can see that this might lead to less queues in the GP’s office, surely it would become a headache for businesses as it is often the thought of having to get sickness certificates that brings staff back to the business. Equally maintaining sensible records for someone who decides to take several two week periods off work, without any back up from a GP might be problematic.

At this point the Government is stating that they had no plans to change the sickness certificate system, but watch this space as once the idea is out there anything could happen.

For advice on managing sickness absenteeism please contact one of our employment experts at out Nottingham Head Office on 0115 988 6211. Premier Legal can also provide sickness policies, information and training on back to work interviews as well as advice on all other elements of employment law.

Click here for the original BBC report

Of course the BBC presented a report some years ago stating that GP’s admitted that their sickness certificates were not worth the paper they were written on and that they just gave out sickness certificates as t was the quickest solution and the line of least resistance – few GP’s wanted to challenge their patient’s ability to return to work.

Click here to see the 2003 report on the GP certificate sham