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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness
 Work and mental health

From sick note to fit note

From April 2010, the sick note was replaced by the fit note. This signalled a shift in emphasis from how long an employee cannot be at work to providing more useful information on how your employee's condition affects what they do and how they might be able to return to work.

 A doctor will give a 'may be fit for work' statement if they think that your employee's health condition may allow them to work - as long as you give them the appropriate support.  The appropriate support could be a phased or graduated return to work as well as the ‘reasonable adjustments’ set out in the ‘Costs and benefits of reasonable adjustments’ section of this website.


Links to resources

Sick note to Fit Note

Department for Work and Pensions

From the 6th April 2010 the sick note was replaced by the fit note.  This section of the DWP website includes a guide for employers, employees and health professionals on the new system. 


Information for employers

Business Link website. 


Statement of Fitness for work: A guide for Employers

This booklet has information specifically for employers.  It includes a flow chart of what to do when you receive a ‘Maybe fit for work’ statement as well as FAQs, case studies and sources of information and support including links to information about statutory sick pay.           


Statement of Fitness for Work or 'Fit Note'


This guidance from ACAS also includes information on ACAS services such as in-company training. 


Working together to support people recovering from mental ill health at work (Clinician module)