Tuesday, 23 March 2010

From Sick Note to Fit Note: A New Workplace Regime


In a posting last year I highlighted the impending introduction of changes to the long-established method of certification for sickness absence.

6 April 2010 will herald a new regime in managing employee sickness absence with the introduction of the "Statement of Fitness for Work" or "Fit Note" as it is more commonly called. Fit notes will replace the current incapacity certificates which have been around in their present format since the 1920s in an attempt to reduce the incidence and costs of workplace absence. As the name suggests, the new regime focuses on encouraging employers and employees to work towards an early return to work in appropriate circumstances.

Thompsons Solicitors contributed to the consultation phase around the development of this new concept. Naturally the firm were seeking reassurances in the methods used to introduce the new system. See full details here:


In introducing the fit note the government's mantra is that it creates a new method by which employee's full capability of undertaking some form of work is better scrutinised and made more likely.

Have a look at what the DWP has to say in rolling-out the new system:


The TUC has produced a very useful guide to the new proposals and aims to help reps prepare for its workplace implications. A pdf version of the TUC can be seen here:


Please take the time to look in detail at the information provided in the links and let me know what you see as the potential issues in your workplace.



Thursday, 11 March 2010

The Role & Future of Trade Union Education


Can I encourage you to attend an event that is being organised by the Campaign for Independent Working Class Education (IWCE) on Saturday 27th March (11am-4pm) at Ruskin College.

I am contributing to the day's focus which attempts to shine a light on the short and long-term challenges to activist education, but also seeks to gain a sense of what the purpose and function of trade union education is.

Full details of the event can be seen on the Solidarity web-site: