The media are getting into a froth about the fake sick-notes being sold on the internet for £25. “Employers could possibly lose thousands each year,” screams an unnamed DWP spokeswoman quoted in the Telegraph.
But no one has asked the obvious question: what kind of idiot coughs up twenty-five quid for something they could get for free?
As GP Ann Robinson said earlier this year:
It’s true that sick notes have become a bit of a joke. Most GPs I know will sign a Med 3 sick note for pretty much anyone who asks. They are usually for a week at a time and most GPs faced with a patient who says they can’t work for a week, will tend to believe them.
The commonest reasons that we sign sick notes for, like back pain and stress or depression, are impossible to prove or disprove. And if someone comes in and says they have rampant diarrhoea and work in a restaurant, I will sign them off for a week or until they’re better. Short of examining their stools myself, how can I be certain of the truth?
If I caught people using fake sick-notes to skive off work, I’d sack them, not just for being dishonest but because I wouldn’t want anyone that stupid working at my company.