Small firms voice fears over fit note introduction
35% of small firms believe that the recent introduction of the fit note will have a 'very negative' impact on their business, a new survey from comparison site Constructaquote.com has revealed.
Last week, it was confirmed that the traditional GPs sick note has been replaced by the fit note. Following the change in procedure, doctors will still be able to advise workers if they are 'not fit for work', but will now also be able to describe particular aspects of jobs that workers can still perform.
The change forms part of the Government's latest bid to tackle the number of UK workers on long-term sick leave. However, the latest findings indicate that smaller firms are concerned that it will hinder their business.
When asked about how easy it would be to implement a change in workers' roles following GP advice, 49% said that this would be'very difficult'. A further 32% said that that it would be 'quite difficult', while only 11% said that it would be 'quite easy'.
Some small business owners said that they were worried the new note is too dependent on GPs understanding the day-to-day duties of each patient. Others explained that, while larger organisations may be able to accommodate changes to employees’ work conditions, smaller companies will find it difficult to be so flexible.
Perhaps more worrying still, 48% of firms said that they had no idea that the fit note had been launched at all.
Lyndon Wood, CEO of Constructaquote.com, commented:
"These findings indicate that the fit note’s arrival could cause significant problems for smaller businesses around the UK. These firms are often heavily reliant on a very small workforce, so it is not always realistic to expect them to be in a position to adjust their employees' work conditions."
"While the fit note seems well-intentioned enough, in reality it comes at a time when many firms are already struggling to keep up with frequent changes in employment legislation. The fact that so many of them were unaware of the fit note’s introduction perhaps signals that the Government is slightly out of touch with smaller firms."
Note to Editor
As part of the above named research, Constructaquote.com obtained the views of 100 of its small business customers and readers. The opinions of the small businesses detailed in this release were collected as part of the survey and specific examples are available on request.
Constructaquote.com is always available for comment.
Constructaquote.com specialises in providing competitive insurance quotations for a range of UK businesses and tradesmen. Based in Caerphilly and part of the Moorhouse Group, Constructaquote.com compares quotes for a variety of insurance types from a range of leading insurers.
The types of business insurance available via Constructaquote.com include public liability insurance, employers& liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance, shop insurance, goods in transit insurance and van insurance.
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