Introduction to this document

 

Letter seeking authenticity of statement of fitness for work

Fake, yet convincing, fit notes can be bought on the Internet for under £10. If you have doubts about the authenticity of such a document, write to the GP who supposedly issued it. As you aren't requesting medical information, you don't need the employee's prior written consent. Our letter asks for confirmation in this situation.

Fakes for sale!

Within only a few days of the new system being introduced, fake - yet convincing - fit notes were readily available on the Internet for as little as £9.99 (although the website owners said that they were for entertainment purposes only).

If you're ever unsure of the authenticity of such documentation, there's no reason why you can't write to the GP who is supposed to have issued it. As you're not requesting any medical information about your employee - rather you're asking the GP to simply confirm that they issued the document - you don't need their prior written consent under the Access to Medical Reports Act 1988 as it’s not a request for a medical report.

Our Letter Seeking Authenticity of Statement of Fitness for Work asks a GP to:

  •       confirm that they are the medical practitioner who issued the document
  •       not disclose any medical information about your employee
  •       reply as soon as possible (it's best to provide a self-addressed envelope for this purpose).

 

Check it out 

If the GP denies any involvement in issuing the fit note, you can take this up with the employee concerned. Should your investigation reveal that it is (or likely to be) a fake, you can take disciplinary action. Arguably, this would amount to gross misconduct because the employee has:

  • misled you about their time off
  • provided fake documentation; and
  • possibly claimed sick pay, i.e. SSP or company pay, fraudulently.