Sickness Certificates

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.

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.

Medical certificates are required to be issued to the person who is responsible for your care, this means if you are discharged from hospital or have an operation or being seen regularly in outpatients the consultant or other doctor supervising your treatment must provide a medical certificate. Please ask when you are seen, otherwise contact the consultant's secretary or PALS.

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.

People do not need to be signed back to work and there is no option on the fit note to do this. When the fit note expires, you should return to work as normal. If you don’t feel able to go back to work, you should make a new appointment to see your GP.

Returning to work

You may return to work at anytime if you feel well, even if your fit note has not run out. Your employer may not accept this, however we cannot provide a return to work note.

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