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Doctors urge 10-day self-certification

How would an extension of workers’ self certification limits affect your business?

Every year, GPs carry out around 370 million appointments in the UK. A significant number of those are the result of workers reaching the end of their week of self certification. But the BBC reports that doctors are seeking to reduce the burden on surgeries by increasing the period of self certification.

According the report, Dr Richard Vautrey, a Leeds medic who sits on the BMA’s GPs committee, believes the change would be a sensible move:

“If you’ve got a patient who very clearly has an illness that is going to last 10 days to two weeks, why do they need to make an appointment with a GP, just to get that note to tell their employer what their employer probably knows already, and what the patient should be trusted to be able to pass on?”

The DWP currently has no plans to change the current arrangement, but if things did change, how would that affect businesses?

Easing the burden on HR?

In one sense, the change might be welcomed by busy managers and HR departments. Keeping track of absence can be a tricky and time consuming business, especially when you don’t have an absence management system integrated with your time and attendance to keep the process on track.

Two weeks of self certification might reduce the administrative workload, even if only by a small margin.

Putting absence managent procedures to the test

But a change would test the mettle of a company’s absence management system. Managers would have to stay on top of their absence tracking and monitoring to spot any developing patterns. And without the check and balance of GP sicknotes, bespoke trigger alerts would assume a greater role in ensuring consistency of action.

None of these issues would be insurmountable with a comprehensive workforce management system that had absence management at its core. But for those businesses without the support of such a system, the two week self-certification period could make absence management a whole lot more complicated.

Platinum+ from Addtime can make your absence management easier. To find out how, please call 01942 272061 or contact us.

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