Returning to work when signed off sick Employment

When you were signed off sick by your GP, you will have been given what’s known as a ‘fit note’. This fit note tells your employer that after examination and assessment they have concluded that you are not fit for work.

Going back to work when signed off

While you need a fit note to be signed off work, you do not need a fit note to return to work. In fact, if you feel able to, you can return to work before your fit note runs out with your employer’s agreement. It may be that you’ve recovered from your illness quicker than expected, or that your employer has agreed to make changes to help you come back.

It is important to note that you do not have to be 100% ‘fit’ to be able to go back to work. That being said, if your doctor has stated that you must see them again before returning to work, then you must stay off work for the full duration of your fit note.

Getting agreement from your employer to return to work

If you feel ready to return to work before your fit note runs out, you should get in contact with your employer. In order to go back to work after illness, your employer must be in agreement and they will most likely carry out a risk assessment or refer you to occupational health.

If adjustments need to be made to the workplace to accommodate your return, but your employer cannot do these, then they may decide that you cannot return to work as they are unable to safely support you.

Getting advice from your GP

As well as assessing your fitness for work, a GP can also give you general advice about how your employer can support you in returning to work. This could include:

  • A phased return (e.g. returning on a part-time basis initially)
  • Amended duties
  • Workplace adjustments

If you feel able to return to work, you should have a conversation with your employer about what adjustments can be made either to your working hours and duties to best support you.

Get support in returning to work

At Building Better Opportunities, we regularly support people in Stafford and South Staffordshire who have been away from the workplace due to long-term illness. While some individuals may need employment support in the form of updating their CV, preparing for interviews and job searching, others may benefit from training, counselling, and even volunteering or a temporary work placement.

To find out how we can help you regain your confidence, manage your mental and physical health and take steps to get back into to work you can either:

  • Pop into one of our drop-in sessions (find your nearest one here)
  • Give us a call on 01902 696 228
  • Fill in the enquiry form below