Fit Notes (Statement of Fitness for Work)

From 6 April 2010 the sick note is changing to become a fit note.

Sick notes (or Medical Statements) are the forms issued by doctors to people when they are ill or injured. They provide advice about whether or not an individual with a health condition is fit for work. They are commonly used by employers as evidence that an employee cannot work for sick pay purposes.

Under the sick note system, doctors could only advise their patient on whether their health condition meant that they should or should not work. As a result many people who could benefit from support whilst in work, would be advised that they could not work. Their employers would not have had the opportunity to consider how they could help them achieve an earlier return to work.

To help more people get the support they need to get back to work the new fit note system will mean that doctors can advise that an employee is either:

  • unfit for work; or
  • may be fit for work.

A doctor will give a ‘may be fit for work’ Statement if they think that their patient’s health condition may allow them to work if they get suitable support from their employer.

If an employee is too ill to work the doctor will advise this just like with the sick note.

Further information is available from-


Telephone Enquiry Point

The Agency’s Enquiry Point is available to employers, employees, trade unions and others. Enquiry Point advisors provide information and advice on a wide range of employment matters. The Enquiry Point is also an important contact point for identifying circumstances, or clients, who would benefit from being referred to other Agency services.

The Enquiry Point provides clear, confidential, independent and impartial advice to assist the caller in resolving issues in the workplace.

While the advisors cannot provide a legal opinion they can help callers gain a better understanding of their rights and responsibilities as well as identifying possible options to help resolve their issues.

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