Last month changes to employee legislation meant that the ‘sick note’ would abandoned. In its place would be, what the media are calling, a ‘fit note’. This note will advise an employer of which jobs an employee can still carry out despite their illness. It also gives Doctor’s the ability to advise employers on changes that should be made to the ill employees role to make it easier for them to get back to work.
On the face of it, getting any person who has been on long-term sick leave back into the work environment can only have a positive impact on that company and on the wider economy. However, in the wake of a recent European Court of Justice ruling, which found that employees on long-term sick leave would still be entitled to paid annual leave in their absence, small business owners have said that the new legislation will have a negative impact on their company and future recruitment plans.
According to a report by the CIPDS – which involved over 2,000 small business owners – small businesses are the largest employer in the UK and these new employment laws will hinder their plans for growth.
Niles Rossman, founder of merchandising company ‘Rossman ltd’ comments; “Small businesses like mine have been on the front line of one of the worse economic downturns this country has ever seen. With the planned National Insurance increases and now this, it seems the government is trying to make it harder, not easier, for us to get back on our feet and do what we do best – grow our businesses.”
While unemployment figures decreased last month, so too did the number of businesses who are looking to employ new staff.