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Important changes to Fit notes and your absence policies

By Victoria Brown

By Victoria Brown

Victoria reports on the latest key changes to Fit Notes, that you need to consider as an employer.

There are a couple of key changes that I wanted to bring to your attention this week, that you may need to consider as an Employer;

Changes to Fit Notes

Over the past few years, it has been no secret across the UK, especially since the pandemic, that the pressure on GP surgeries has been enormous.

In an attempt to alleviate some of that pressure for GPs, from the 1st of July 2022, the authority to sign statements of fitness for work (typically called “fit notes”) is being given to other healthcare professionals.  It will now be the case that nurses, some pharmacists, physical therapists and occupational therapists will be able to ease the burden on GP’s by certifying and issuing fit notes.

It is important to note that in order to be qualified to certify and issue fit notes, these professionals must be registered with the existing legislation governing bodies for their professions.

With the new legislation being introduced from 1st July 2022 across England, Scotland and Wales, it is important that employers look to review their current sickness and absence policies and be sure to update them should there be a reference to only GP’s signing and issuing these statements.

Government Legislation – Potential Change to Industrial Action and Strikes Rules

It has been announced by the Government that there could be an impending change to legislation relating to agency workers being unable to supply temporary workers during industrial action and strikes.

This proposed change will allow businesses who face strikes from the workforce to temporarily cover the duties of an employee who is taking part in a strike or other industrial action with agency workers.

The Government has also announced that the maximum damages award for any action against a Trade Union arising out of unlawful industrial action will also rise from £250,000 to £ 1 million.

Immigration changes –Scale-up Worker Visas

Launching on 22 August 2022, these visas will be targeted at individuals from the EU and outside of the EU who work for a recognised UK scale up sponsor.  UK businesses can be granted a scale up sponsor licence if they meet the government’s definition.  An annualised growth of at least 20 per cent over a three year period in terms of turnover or turnover or staffing; a minimum of 10 employees at the start of the three year period; and be listed as ‘A-rated’ on the Home Office register of licensed sponsors.

If you would like to discuss the changes to employment law this month and how they may affect your business further, or you would like to learn more about how we can help you, get in contact with our team of experts today.

T: 0330 107 1037


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