New digital fit notes rolled out

08 April 2022

From April 2022 changes are being made to the fit notes that employees provide to their employers to certify sickness related absences.

Fit notes are one of the forms of evidence employees provide to employers as evidence of their sickness. Traditionally, they are printed forms with a doctor’s signature. However, a new version of the fit note will be authorised digitally, and could be sent to employees by email, SMS or other similar channels. Instead of having a signature, it will just have the name of the doctor who authorised it. 

The previous fit note will still be valid in the meantime whilst this is being rolled out. The CIPP policy team will provide an update as soon as this is no longer valid as certification of an employee’s sickness.

Current guidance for employers states that employees can self-certify for the first 7 days of their sickness episode (including non-working days). Employers can then ask for a fit note to authorise further sickness absence. Contracts will normally specify when employees must inform their employer of sickness. 

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