Sickness Certificates (Fit Notes)

You only need a doctor's sickness certificate (fit note) after 7 days off work sick.

Your employer may however require you to complete a self-certification form (SC2) which is available from your employer or on the HMRC website.

Evidence that you are sick

If you are sick for more than seven days, your employer can ask you to give them some form of medical evidence to support payment of SSP (statutory sick pay).

It is up to your employer to decide whether you are incapable of work. A medical certificate, now called a 'Statement of Fitness for Work’ (see below) from your doctor is strong evidence that you are sick and would normally be accepted, unless there is evidence to prove otherwise.

You could also provide evidence from someone who is not a medical practitioner, e.g. a dentist. Your employer will decide whether or not this evidence is acceptable. If your employer has any doubts, they may still ask for a medical certificate from your GP.

Statement of Fitness for Work - 'Fit Note'

If you require a fit note please contact the surgery with the relevant information: Name, DOB, reason, date note requested from.

A 'Fit Note' is the informal name for the Statement of Fitness for work which replaced the sick note. The Fit Note allows your GP to give you more information on how your condition affects your ability to work.

Your GP can give advice on helping you return to work or stay in work.

The GP can also choose the 'may be fit for work' option if they think returning to work - with support from your employer - will help you recover for example:

  • returning to work gradually maybe on a part-time basis
  • working different hours temporarily
  • performing different duties or tasks
  • having other support to do your job, for example, if you have back pain, avoiding heavy lifting.

Please talk open & honestly with your GP about how your illness will affect you at work so they can give you the right advice to help your recovery.

For more information see the DirectGov website (where this information was sourced).

Call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergencyNHS ChoicesThis site is brought to you by My Surgery Website