Off Work Sickness Certificates and Fit Notes

7 Days Off Sick or Less

You do not require a doctor’s sickness certificate for any illness lasting seven days or less. Your employer may however require you to complete a self-certification form (SC2) which is available from your employer or on the HMRC website www.hmrc.gov.uk 

For any illness lasting for more than seven days, you will need to see the Doctor for him/her to issue a fitness to work certificate (Med 3).  Please telephone requests after 10.00 am. Forms can be collected or posted.

We will only accept a Med 3 renewal request on the day it is due, not before.

More than 7 Days Off Sick

For any illness lasting for more than seven days, you will need to see the Doctor for him/her to issue a fitness to work certificate (Med 3).  Please telephone requests after 10.00 am. Forms can be collected or posted.

We will only accept a Med 3 renewal request on the day it is due, not before.

Evidence 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’ from your doctor is strong evidence that you are sick and would normally be accepted, unless there is evidence to prove otherwise.

 

How to get a 'fit note'

If you need a fit note, contact your GP surgery. Or if you are getting hospital treatment, ask for one from your hospital doctor.

Your doctor will assess you, and if they decide your health affects your fitness for work, they can issue a fit note and advise either that:

  • you are “not fit for work” 
  • you “may be fit for work taking into account the following advice”

Your doctor will choose the “may be fit for work” option if they think that you are able to do some work even if it not your usual job – with support from your employer.

Discuss this advice with your employer to see if you can return to work. For example, your doctor may suggest possible changes, such as:

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

If your employer is unable to accommodate the changes advised by your GP then the fit note is treated as though it said “unfit for work”.

Charges for Fit Notes

There is never a charge from a doctor for providing a fit note if you’re off sick from work for more than seven days.

For sickness of seven days or less, your GP practice may charge you to provide a private medical certificate.

For example, some employers may request medical evidence from employees who repeatedly take time off sick, even if each time they’re off work it’s for seven days or less. A fit note cannot be used for this purpose and a doctor may charge to issue a private certificate.