It’s a mixed bag of news this week! As reports surface that HR is one of the happiest professions (despite the gender pay gap), failure of the fit note has also been reported by the CIPD.
Fit Note Not Fit for Purpose
The Fit Note had great intentions. As supposed to the binary healthy employee vs. sick employee that could or could not come to work, it aimed to provide a third option whereby doctors would recommend that an employee could return to work in some capacity if appropriate support was provided by the employer.
It was hoped it would facilitate a more helpful conversation between employer and employee, enabling individuals to come back to work earlier and in turn saving money for firms. Being back at work was also thought to have a beneficial effect on employees’ health rather than them being stuck at home.
However despite its good will and being a brilliant idea in principle, in practice it’s failed to meet the grade.
Low Usage and Benefits Reported
The CIPD has reported on results of a Sickness Absence Survey which had two main findings concerning the Fit Note:
- 45% of employers said that the Fit Note was not helping employees return to work earlier
- 52% disagreed that the GP advice given on Fit Notes had helped them to make adjustments for their employees to enable them to return to work
The Government is currently reviewing the operation of the Fit Note. One suggestion has been to make it available for wider health professionals to use such as occupational health or physiotherapists, who are specialists in their respective medical fields. With GPs at bursting point, allowing specialists to issue Fit Notes could improve the advice within them and how they are issued.
Despite legislation worries, staff stresses and sickness along with Fit Note faux pas’, it seems HR are a happy bunch! They topped a list of the happiest UK professions recently.
There is still a significant pay gap in this profession though – coming in at 10%.
If looking after people is your bag, it could be that a career in HR is right for you. Individuals working in this profession seem to be enjoy it and there is certainly variety given the number of changes coming in and out of the employment scene!