By Lea Pachta

In response to the introduction of Fit Notes, Stephen Morrall, Employment lawyer at Dawsons LLP said:

Fit Notes will cause confusion and create yet another layer of bureaucracy for employers because of the lack of clarity around how they should treat them. It is not clear what weight will be attached to the ‘fit note’ by an Employment Tribunal in the event that the GP’s recommendations are not implemented, or how the Tribunal will treat conflicts between the ‘fit note’ and any subsequent Occupational Health report or independent medical assessment.

Further, many employers are concerned about a GP’s expert ability to judge an employee’s fitness to work, given that GPs will only hear the employee’s point of view. An employer could therefore be forgiven for questioning whether GPs will be able to make a sound judgment about the employee’s ability to carry out a particular role, of which they may know little about.

Having said this, it would be a brave employer who chose to ignore the GP’s recommendations, particularly those that are cost effective and practical.”

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