Might be fit for work - Fit notes when off sick

Might be fit for work

A healthcare professional could say someone might be fit for work. They should explain in the fit note what they think the employee is able to do.

They might say the employee is fit for work in general, but not for a specific task.

For example, a factory employee with a back injury might be able to do light tasks, but not heavy lifting.

The fit note might also say how the employer can help their employee get back to work. For example:

  • a phased return to work where they might come back for a limited number of hours or days a week to start with
  • flexible working
  • giving them different duties
  • making changes to their workstation or working pattern

What to do with fit note recommendations

The employer should carefully consider any fit note recommendations. Putting those recommendations in place could help the person return to work quicker.

If it's not possible for the employer to do anything that's recommended, the employee will become not fit for work. They do not need to get another fit note to show this.

The employer can ask for a report from the employee's doctor to help them:

  • assess if the employee is fit to carry out their work
  • support their employee to return to work

The employer must have the employee's permission to do this.

The employer must put recommendations in place if they are reasonable adjustments for a disabled employee.

Find out more about:

If an employee is unhappy with how their fit note has been handled

If an employee is unhappy with how their fit note has been handled, they should raise it with their employer.

Contact the Acas helpline

If you have any questions about fit note recommendations, you can contact the Acas helpline.

Support for employers

Employers and managers can get government guidance on supporting employees' health and disabilities.

Find support with employee health and disability on GOV.UK

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