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6 April 2010 will mark the introduction of ‘fit notes’, a new system for managing employee sickness absence that will replace the current incapacity certificates. The new system focuses on encouraging an early return to work in appropriate circumstances and reducing the costs of workplace absence. The fit note system GPs will have two options to choose from when assessing their patients. These are either: “You are not fit for work”; or “You may be fit for work taking into account the following advice”. Where an employee is certified as not fit for work, the GP will state the period