Sick / Fit Note Certificates
If you are absent from work due to sickness for seven days or less, your employer should not ask you for a doctor's certificate.
For more than seven days (including weekends and bank holidays), you will need a medical certificate.
Self-certification (Sickness fewer than seven days)
If you're off from work for 7 days or less, your employer can ask you to complete a form when you return to work confirming that you've been ill. This is called self-certification.
Self-certification forms usually include details such as:
- Information about your sickness or illness
- The date your sickness started
- The date your sickness ended
These dates may be days that you don't normally work. For example, your sickness could start or end on a Saturday, Sunday or Bank Holiday.
Many employers have their own self-certification forms. If your employer doesn't have one, they may alternatively use an SC2 form from HM Revenue & Customs Employee's Statement of Sickness. Complete the form here.
Fit Notes (Sickness for more than seven days)
Your employer will normally ask you to provide a medical certificate from your GP if you've been off sick from work for more than seven days.
When you need a certificate will depend on your employer's company policy on sick leave (or sickness absence), and should tell you how many days you can be off sick before you need a note.
To find out about your employer's policy:
- Ask your Team Leader or Supervisor, or
- Speak to someone from your Human Resources (HR) or Personnel Department
Fit Notes and how to get one
Also sometimes known as "Doctor's notes", "Sick notes", "Medical certificates" or "Doctor's statements"
If you need a Statement of Fitness for Work, arrange an appointment with a clinician so they can assess you and decide if your health affects your fitness for work.
They can either advise:
You are not fit for work
You may be fit for work taking into account the following advice
They will choose the latter option if they think that returning to work – with support from your employer – will help you, even if it's reduced hours or not your usual job.
Continuation of a fit note
If you've seen one of our clinicians about the problem already, or we've received a letter from the hospital about your sickness, you may not need to see our clinicians again. If they do want to see you, we have the option of doing this as a ringback appointment.
If you haven't seen a clinician at the practice and we haven't had information from a medical professional about your illness, you will not be able to get a certificate without an appointment, so please book one routinely. Urgent appointments are only provided for genuine medical emergencies and not for the purpose of certificates.
In either case there are rules governing the issue of sick certificates and the GP may not be able to supply one, depending on the information you provide.
If you are under the care of a hospital, your certificate may be issued by the hospital, rather than by the practice.
Charges for fit notes
There is usually no charge for providing a fit note if you are off sick for more than seven days.
Some employers may request a fit note (e.g. from employees who repeatedly take time off sick) even if they are off work for seven days or less. This is a private non-NHS medical certificate.
For sickness of seven days or less, a charge of £20 is payable in order for us to provide a certificate.
When you fit note runs out
If your certificate runs out, but you are still sick, you will need to consult the doctor again before you can get a further certificate.
Fit certificates can be back-dated so it is not necessary to make an emergency appointment to renew your certifiate. If you attend an emergency appointment for the purpose of getting a medical certificate you will be asked to rebook.