HomeBlogLeadership Mental Health & WellbeingNewsRishi Sunak Changes UK Approach to Sick Notes & Wellbeing Support

Rishi Sunak Changes UK Approach to Sick Notes & Wellbeing Support

Today Rishi Sunak announced the government’s consideration towards a huge shake-up to the way the UK handles sick notes. The move would see GP’s stripped of their power to sign people off work as part of a plan to tackle what Rishi Sunak calls “sick note culture”. The prime minister claims benefits have become a “lifestyle choice” for some causing an increase in the welfare bill.

A study showed that 49% of CEOs report struggling with a mental health condition and the majority of CEOs say that they are feeling overworked, struggling with fatigue and suffering from continual stress. CEOs feel responsible for the reputation and mood of the whole organisation, which can feel overwhelming. Over some time, this can lead to long-term mental illness and ultimately, being signed off sick.

As a leadership mental health and wellbeing advocate, I’m deeply concerned by the recent announcement – Gary Parsons

While reform may be necessary, we mustn’t lose sight of the human element — especially in mental health. It is worth noting over 99% of businesses in the UK are SMEs, run by hardworking leaders who often find themselves unsupported by the system. These leaders not only drive our economy but also face immense pressure and mental health challenges.

Rather than penalising those in need, we need a system that genuinely supports everyone, especially those steering our economic ship. This isn’t just about issuing sick notes; it’s about providing comprehensive mental health support and recognising the pressures faced by SME leaders.

The Future of Sick Notes & Support

Let’s advocate for a balanced approach that ensures adequate support and care, rather than penalising those in need. It’s time for a system that uplifts, not undermines.


A Leadership Mental Health Advocate and Inspirational Speaker, Gary works with businesses and leadership teams to break the stigma and begin prioritising their own mental health and wellbeing. Reach out today to discover how Gary can support your team in cultivating a culture of wellbeing and effective leadership.

Leadership Mental Health Advocate & Inspirational Speaker

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