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Changes to who can issue Fit Notes

As part of the absence procedures within your business, an employee can self-certify their absence for 7 days. Following these 7 days, a fit note must be provided to evidence the reason for their absence and the length of time the Fit Note has been issued for. This of course allows the employer to understand the potential length of the absence and to understand if there is anything they can do to help support the return of the employee to become a regular attender at work.


In April 2022, new legislation was introduced which removed the necessity for a Fit Note to be physically signed by a GP, allowing for online Fit Notes to be issued. This came into play following the backlog of work for GPs and to take some pressure off them in order to try and streamline the processes. It was also an effort to allow practices to focus on delivering vaccinations to combat the Covid-19 crisis.

To further support these April changes, new rules have been introduced from 1st July 2022 which lifts the restrictions that only GPs can issue a Fit Note. In addition to GPs, those now able to certify and issue a Fit Note now include Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Pharmacists and Physiotherapists.

You may now start to see Fit Notes issued by these different healthcare providers, meaning you may start to see more and more Fit Notes being issued. It is important therefore to actively manage absence effectively to make sure employees are returning to work as soon as they are able to.

If you have any queries on managing absence in the workplace, please get in touch with our HR Support Team on 01302 341 344 or 0114 243 9914.

By Rachel Storey Dip CIIHR Support & Business Development


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