The TUC is urging union reps to make sure their employers are aware of changes to the sick note procedure. The current sick note, also called the 'fit note', Med3 and medical statement, is to be computer generated from this month, although some GP surgeries will not be using it until later this year or even early in 2013.
According to the TUC, the only change will be that the GP will complete the sick note on their computer and print it off, rather than give out a handwritten sick note. TUC stresses the GP will not be able to send the computer-completed sick note electronically, for example by email, to an employer. The computer-completed sick note also contains a system-generated barcode, which cannot be altered once the fit note is printed by the GP, and contains key information from the fit note that the employer can check. TUC is advising safety reps: 'It would help if you ensure that employers are aware of the new procedures as early as possible. It is also important that they know about the virtual impossibility of forging the new note so that they do not make accusations against employees who present a printed copy.' The DWP is due to issue brief guidance for employers and employees later this month. Meanwhile the TUC guidance for health and safety representatives on the revised sick note has been updated to take account of the change.
For the updated TUC How to use the new fit note (15/06/12), click here
All information taken from http://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace/tuc-21122-f0.cfm