Doctors have hit back at proposals that would force them to encourage patients to stay in or go back to work as soon as possible.
They argued that the reforms were politicising the health service and may not be in the patient's best interests.
Any negative feelings held by GPs towards encouraging patients to work could have a significant impact on employee benefits and group protection policies.
It could also hinder the progress of the Sickness Absence Review's recommendations, which held that for most people of working age, the right kind of work was good for their health and wellbeing.
As COVER reported last year, the recommendations were made by the General Medical Council (GMC) in its proposed revision of the Good Medical Practice guidance.
At present GPs complete a fit note to suggest alterations that can be performed in the patient's workplace to enable a return to work.
However, the British Medical Association (BMA), which represents all strands of doctors, has responded angrily to the suggested changes.
According to a report by GP news service Pulse, the BMA wrote a strongly worded response to the consultation.
It warned it was ‘concerned about imposing an obligation on doctors to encourage patients back to work': ‘Several respondents saw this as possible political capture of Good Medical Practice.
And added: ‘Any efforts by doctors in this regard should have the patient's interests in mind rather than seeking to help the government's employment strategy.'