Keeping track of sick and fit notes

Under UK law, employees can self-certificate for the first 7 days of a sickness absence. After 7 calendar days they need to get a fit note from a doctor. The 1-week rule applies to everyone, regardless of how many days per week they normally work. The fit note is essentially a legal document that entitles the employee to statutory sick pay.A fit note is also meant to provide practical guidance to both employee and employer about what work the employee is fit to do. The focus on fitness for altered duties whilst recovering  was the reason why these medical certificates are now called fit notes, and not sick notes.

Each fit note can cover a different length of time. It is an arduous task for managers, HR and payroll to make sure the absentee sends the right paperwork in, and keeps it updated. Well, we’ve fixed that headache!

Log sick / fit notes electronically

Users of Engage absence management software can log incoming sick notes on the absence record online. They can be recorded with or without a scanned copy of the note attached. It is then very easy to run reports on current absentees and check what sick notes should have been received. The reports also show when existing fit notes expire.

Reminders to employees when a new sick note is due

Subscribers to Honeydew’s Day-1 absence reporting service already benefit from fit note reminders. These are given on the phone to the absent employees when their absence exceeds 7 days. The messages can be tailored to each employer’s preferences. It could, for instance, remind the employee if the fit note needs to be sent to their line manager, HR or to payroll.

Reminders to line managers

Reminder about a new fit note due

In addition to reminding the absentee employees, Engage can now also remind the manager when they should be expecting a fit note. The conditions are:

  • a sickness absence
  • exceeds 7 calendar days, and
  • no sick note has yet been added on file

At this point, Engage can add a reminder to the nominated managers in the daily digest email.

Tracking expired fit notes

Reminder to manager about an expired fit note

Another onerous task is keeping up with expired fit notes. Now you can add a second reminder to managers when a previously logged fit note expires. The manager can then keep an eye out for a new certificate and get in touch with the employee if nothing has been received.

If you’d like to reduce your admin burden of managing fit notes, get in touch for a chat!