The Fit for Work service is now available in all of England and Wales.
This free service offers assistance to employees who have been, or who are likely to be, absent from work for more than 4 weeks due to illness. The service includes a telephone occupational health assessment followed by a personalised return to work plan. Such a plan will provide evidence of sickness absence in exactly the same way as a fit note issued by a GP.
From Autumn 2015, with the employee’s permission employers will be able to refer eligible employees to the service directly (at present only GPs can refer employees).
More information on the service can be found here http://fitforwork.org/.