The government announced an update to the Fit Note or Med 3 form which was published on 6 October 2023.
The fit note should allow the employer and employee to discuss the employee’s health condition and consider ways to help them stay in, or return to, work on a phased or permanent basis.
Previous updates to the form included an extension to the healthcare professionals that could issue the form, in addition to doctors which included occupational therapists, pharmacists, and physiotherapists.
An updated version of the fit note replaced the signature in ink with the name and profession of the issuer, enabling the employee/employer to receive fit notes from GP practices through digital channels (where the local IT system support this).
The latest update to the fit notes will extend availability within secondary care settings (hospitals) from later this year. In the interim, employers may receive a pre-printed fit notes for employees discharged from hospital.
In the meantime, employers should be checking that the name of the issuer, the profession and the address of the medical practice correctly entered to make it a valid form. If you receive an old template (Med3 2017) it must be signed in ink by the healthcare professional.The guidance, together with a checklist for employers can be found here