Headlines: January 14th, 2002

A new campaign will encourage employers to ease the burdens on GPs caused by demands for sick notesfrom their workers.The initiative has been launched by the Department of Health and Cabinet Office as one of 36 measures identified in the ‘Reducing GP Paperwork’ report, published in March last year.

It is estimated that doctors waste 2.4 million appointments a year and 37,000 hours of their time filling in unnecessary sick notes.

Workers do not need a sick note unless they’ve been absent for more than seven days, but some employers still insist on receiving them for shorter periods.

As part of the campaign, such employers will be issued with a leaflet explaining the costs of their unnecessary act along with the sick note. They will also be guided towards advice on alternative methods of managing sickness absence, found on a new website – www.managingabsence.org.uk.

The initiative has the support of the Confederation of British Industry, ACAS, the British Chamber of Commerce, and the Federation of Small Business.

Link to ‘Making a Difference, Reducing GP Paperwork’ – www.cabinet-office.gov.uk/regulation/PublicSector/reports.htm