This brings the traditional medical note into the 21st century and provides greater control and peace of mind to employers
Electronically generated sick notes were launched across the UK at the beginning of July. According to employment law advice from Linder Myers, this could boost the health of employers' sick leave records.
The new electronically generated sick notes will include the same information as the previous handwritten versions; however, they will have the added benefit of being tamper-proof. The majority of GPs will have adopted the new system by the beginning of 2013. They will be able to generate and print electronic sick notes, but will not be able to email them out to employers. Even so, the employment law solicitors believe the new system has many benefits.
Alan Lewis, head of employment at Linder Myers, commented: "This brings the traditional medical note into the 21st century and provides greater control and peace of mind to employers as the new notes will not only be easier to read and impossible to forge, but will also revolutionise how sickness is recorded.
"Current figures from the Office of National Statistics show that 131 million days a year are lost in the UK due to sickness and I would anticipate this figure coming down fairly significantly once the new system is in wide use. Employees will no longer be able to tamper with sick notes or make up ailments as the new version allows employers to check the credibility of notes via a barcode if they have the correct systems in place to facilitate this. It is worthwhile for employers to start familiarising themselves with the method and putting the systems in place to take full advantage."
Absence and sick leave records are known to be vital in resolving many common employment law disputes. From pay disputes or unfair dismissal to workplace discrimination claims, proof of poor attendance can back up the employer's case. Accurate and tamper-proof sick notes could therefore give employers the advantage at an employment tribunal.
Further guidance can be found at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or obtained from Linder Myers.
National law firm Linder Myers has 260 employees including 43 partners in total across its offices in Manchester, Shropshire and Lancashire.
Offering both private and commercial legal services, the practice has further growth plans targeting a number of regions including Yorkshire, Cheshire, Warwickshire, Herefordshire and Worcester.
Linder Myers is part of the Consulegis Group, the international network of over 1,700 lawyers from 150 cities worldwide.
For more information visit www.lindermyers.co.uk or contact Rana Audah, Linder Myers media relations, at email@example.com or via telephone 0844 984 6085 / 07506 009 478.
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