Brits may soon use an app to sign themselves off work under government plans to overhaul the sick note system. 

The move, part of a wider scheme to crackdown on the UK’s ‘sick note culture’, would see people with common infections such as flu automatically given time-off after declaring their own symptoms. 

It would also remove the need to see a doctor. 

Brits battling more complex or longer term illnesses would receive more intensive support, the plans mooted by ministers suggest.  

It comes as Rishi Sunak last week vowed to strip GPs of their power to sign Brits off work.

The move, part of a wider scheme to crackdown on the UK's 'sick note culture', would see people with common infections such as flu automatically given time-off after declaring their own symptoms. Rishi Sunak last week vowed to strip GPs of their power to sign Brits off work

The move, part of a wider scheme to crackdown on the UK’s ‘sick note culture’, would see people with common infections such as flu automatically given time-off after declaring their own symptoms. Rishi Sunak last week vowed to strip GPs of their power to sign Brits off work

The change would instead see the letters – known in the NHS as ‘fit notes’ – become the responsibility of teams of ‘specialist work and health professionals’, he said. 

Under the new system, a ‘triage service’ would ‘support people seeking a fit note into a pathway that best suits their individual health and employment needs’, according to a call for evidence published by the government.

Automatic sick notes, however, are likely to be limited to one-off illnesses to prevent Brits from misusing the system, The Times reported. 

The system would also first be tested as a pilot scheme.  

‘If I’ve got flu and just need seven days off work and then I’m back, do I really need to see a doctor for that’, a government source said. 

Another source added the algorithm was just one of the ideas tested to ‘find ways of making triage more efficient in a way that protects GP time’, likening it to the existing NHS 111 symptom checker. 

The Prime Minister last week claimed benefits have become a ‘lifestyle choice’ for some, causing a ‘spiralling’ welfare bill.

Latest figures suggest 2.8million Britons are ‘economically inactive’ due to ill health. Around half are signed off with depression, anxiety and bad nerves.

Official forecasts also show spending on ill health through the Personal Independence Payments (PIP) scheme is set to spiral to £33billion by 2029 — compared to just under £19bn last year. 

Mr Sunak argued that ‘part of the problem is that it may not be reasonable to ask GPs, who are very busy at the moment, to assess whether their own patients are fit for work.’

He added: ‘It too often puts them in an impossible situation where they know that refusal to sign somebody off will harm that precious relationship with their patient.’

Experts last week slammed two online firms selling same-day sick notes for as little as £25, for offering a service that 'threatens to make a mockery of the whole system'. Home2Lab, one of the companies ¿ seemingly based in North London ¿ offers a workplace medical certificate for as little as £44 for a 'regular request'

Experts last week slammed two online firms selling same-day sick notes for as little as £25, for offering a service that ‘threatens to make a mockery of the whole system’. Home2Lab, one of the companies — seemingly based in North London — offers a workplace medical certificate for as little as £44 for a ‘regular request’

Home2Lab claimed the medics are all registered with the General Medical Council ¿ the body responsible for regulating doctors. Under the regulator's professional standards, medics must always provide accurate information, that is neither false or misleading. This means, 'taking reasonable steps' to ensure information is never deliberately left out and the risk of harm is not minimalised or trivialised

Home2Lab claimed the medics are all registered with the General Medical Council — the body responsible for regulating doctors. Under the regulator’s professional standards, medics must always provide accurate information, that is neither false or misleading. This means, ‘taking reasonable steps’ to ensure information is never deliberately left out and the risk of harm is not minimalised or trivialised

MailOnline also discovered Updoc UK, advertising 'sick notes for work' from as little as £24.95. The letter, 'accepted by small and large employers alike', gives 'official confirmation of your sickness ensuring you obtain sick leave'

MailOnline also discovered Updoc UK, advertising ‘sick notes for work’ from as little as £24.95. The letter, ‘accepted by small and large employers alike’, gives ‘official confirmation of your sickness ensuring you obtain sick leave’

Labour criticised the plan, arguing that the Government had ‘run out of ideas’. Green Party co-leader Carla Denyer also accused Sunak of ‘blaming people who are ill’.

However, some GPs welcomed the change, with some arguing doctors are ‘often too scared to refuse to sign patients off because they worry they will get angry’. 

It comes as experts last week slammed two online firms selling same-day sick notes for as little as £25, for offering a service that ‘threatens to make a mockery of the whole system’. 

MailOnline found the letters, allowing customers to be signed off work by UK-regulated medics, were promised with ‘no appointments necessary’. 

Customers must just fill out a form, but some ask for people to submit a 30-second video outlining their illness.

This newspaper also put their services to the test, with one reporter able to purchase a sick note from both companies in under two hours.

Rubber-stamped by a doctor and pharmacist respectively, both signed him off work for a month without once speaking with a medical professional. 

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