Sickness Certificates

Do I need a sick note?

You do not require a doctor's sickness certificate for any illness lasting seven days or less.

Please do not book a GP appointment if your only request is for a sick note after you have been unwell for less than seven days.

Your employer may require you to complete a government self-certification form (SC2) which is available from your employer or on the HMRC website (which you can find by clicking this blue link).

If your employer 'insists' on a doctor's note to cover your first seven days of illness, then we can provide that for you, however please note that there is a charge for that service as it is specifically not covered by the NHS.

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'

The 'fit note' was introduced on 6 April 2010. With your employer's support, the note will help you return to work sooner by providing more information about the effects of your illness or injury.

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

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