When should I go back to work?

There are two choices:

  1. Go back to your normal job after full recovery; or
  2. Return to work, but to lighter or different duties, or for shorter or adjusted hours. This will probably involve a trial period, by prior agreement with your employer. To help you get back to work, your GP may give you a Fit Note (formerly known as a Statement of Fitness for Work) suggesting with your agreement the steps your employer should take to help you return to work. For example, your GP may suggest lighter duties for a trial period if you have a back injury. 

If you intend the arrangement to be temporary, it is very important to agree this clearly with your employer (and preferably to record this in writing), so that there is no confusion or misunderstanding about your right to return to your normal hours as soon as you are well enough.

Depending on the nature of your disability, and its likely duration, you may have disability rights. If so, your employer is legally obliged to make 'reasonable adjustments' to enable you to return to work. For more information, see the Disability Rights section.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

What is WorkSmart?

A career coach that works for everyone.


Enjoy bite-sized activities delivered to you every week.

Lightbulb brain

Equip yourself with essential skills to be the best you yet.


Get the guidance you need to stay focused and reach your goals.

Worksmart circle