Doctors are now able to get information on plans to replace sick notes with fit notes from the Department of Work and Pensions.
The new fit note will take into account all factors of a patient's health, according to Professor Steve Field, chairman of the Royal College of GPs (RCGP).
After consultation with the RCGP, the British Medical Association, employers and trade unions, the fit note was developed and will replace the sick note on 6 April. The recovery of many health conditions can be aided with work and this is reflected in the new note.
Professor Field (pictured) said: "GPs can give more helpful advice to patients and their employers to support an earlier return to work. We know work has beneficial effects on recovery. The fit note is in keeping with our holistic approach to patient care.
"We valued the opportunity to help shape the new medical statement and supporting guidance. We believe it will have benefits for GPs as well as patients."