Q: How can I tell if sick leave is genuine or not?
A: The CBI estimates that of the 172 million working days lost to absence last year, 21 million days were not for a legitimate reason, costing the economy £1.6 billion.
A survey by Croner in 2007 found that a third of British workers admitted exaggerating their sickness to justify taking time off work. Many employers remain unaware they’re entitled to go behind a medical certificate where they have reason to believe that the employee in question is actually fit to work. This may arise if there’s evidence the employee is working elsewhere or engaging in activities (such as hobbies and pastimes) which are inconsistent with their stated condition.
Under current proposals the GP sick note system will be replaced by electronic ‘fit notes’ from 2010. In the new regime, GPs will be able to indicate that an individual may be fit for some work and give advice about the impact of the individual’s condition. It’s hoped that the fit note will become the basis of a dialogue between the employee and employer, facilitating an earlier return to work.
Cognisis can help you manage sick leave more effectively through absence management techniques which will, on average, reduce the incidence of staff absence by up to 25%.
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