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Fake fit notes - be warned

Fake fit notes - be warned
Richard Rowell
Written by
Tuesday, 01 June 2010 15:02

From 6 April employees have been required to provide "Fit Notes" to support their return to work rather than the old "Sick Note" scheme.

There has been an alarming turn of events though with a simple method to circumvent the "Fit Note" scheme. A Website is now offering fit notes for as little as £5. This provides employees an easy way to take unauthorised absence but obtain a seemingly valid fit note.

http://www.doctorsnotestore.com. are openly selling fit notes and while they claim that they are for novelty use only, the possibilities are clear. There appears to be nothing illegal in offering these fit notes in the same way that there are similar sites offering duplicate P60's.

The problem is worsened presently as there is a clear window of opportunity, while the regime is new, for employees to abuse the system. Employers simply are not familiar with the system.

It would seem to be employers that offer company sick pay schemes that are most at risk to abuse but it could affect every employer. In particular, fit notes claiming an employee is "unfit to work" may be most open to abuse.

If you do catch an employee submitting a fake fit note this can be classed as gross misconduct.

It may be an opportune time to look at your contracts of employment and to make sure that they give you the right to refer the employee for independent review by a doctor or occupational advisor.

You do not have to accept a fit note at face value so stay vigilant.

Richard Rowell

Richard is the managing director of Dataplan Payroll Limited and is also responsible for the ideas and development of Dataplan's innovative technology solutions such as ePaysafe.

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