Fit notes: what’s changing?

The Office for National Statistics has reported the highest rate of sickness absence in over a decade. Expect to receive more fit notes from employees. The process for issuing fit notes will be streamlined to free up GP appointments so they can focus on dealing with sick patients and those with complex medical needs.

From the 1st of July 2022, in addition to doctors, the following will be able to issue and certify fit notes:

  • Nurses
  • Occupational therapists
  • Pharmacists
  • Physiotherapists

These healthcare professionals can issue fit notes if they have assessed an individual’s fitness for work. This means that it is not permissible for them to issue fit notes on request or via over-the-counter services without an assessment.

You should treat a fit note issued by a nurse, occupational therapist, pharmacist or physiotherapist on or after the 1st of July 2022 in the same way as you would treat a fit note issued by a doctor, i.e. as valid evidence of their sickness absence.