Request a Fitness to Work Form

Sick Leave for Less than Seven Days

If you are off work sick for seven days or less, your employer should not ask you for a doctor's certificate.

You will need a medical certificate if you are off work sick for than seven days. These seven days include days that you don't normally work. So when you work out how long you've been off sick, you should include weekends and bank holidays.

After 4 days of sick leave your employer will need a self certification form from you to confirm that you have been ill.  You do not need to contact a GP for a sick note until you have been on sick leave for more than 7 days

Sick Leave for between Four & Seven Days

Your employer can ask you to confirm that you've been ill. You can do this by filling in a form yourself when you return to work.

This is called self-certification.  This form is required if you have been on sick leave from work for 4-7 days#,

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 their own form, instead they may use an SC2 form from HM Revenue & Customs Employee's Statement of Sickness.

Sick Leave for More Than Seven Days

If you have taken sick leave from work due to illness or sickness for more than 7 days, you must give your employer a doctor’s ‘fit note’ (sometimes called a ‘sick note’). This includes non-working days, such as weekends and bank holidays.

If you are self-isolating and cannot work because of coronavirus (COVID-19) they can get an ‘isolation note’ online from NHS 111. You do not need to contact the surgery or your GP for a self-isolation note. 

The fit note will say whether you are either ‘not fit for work’ or ‘may be fit for work’.

If you feel you ‘may be fit for work’ we recommend you speak to your employers or line manager to discuss any changes that might help the you return to work (for example, a phased return to work after a period of sick leave, different hours or tasks).  These recommendations will be needed for the GP to complete your 'may be fit for work' 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

If you have seen a doctor at the practice regarding the problem you need a medical certificate for (or we have received a letter from the hospital about your sickness) you many not need to see the doctor again. 

If you have not seen a doctor at the practice and we have had no information from a medical professional about your illness, you will not be able to get a certificate without an appointment. Please use eConsult to let us know about your illness.  If you are unable to complete an eConsult form then please contact our reception team who will ask you some information about the sick note to pass onto the GP.   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 sick note can 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 Your Fit Note (Sick 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 sick note.  However we cannot date sick notes for future dates, so cannot issue a new sick note before your current one expires. 

If you feel better and able to return to work before the end date of your sick note, you do not need a new form to sign you "fit for work".  Fit notes can only state that you are NOT fit for work, or your MAY be fit for work.  You are able to return to work earlier than the date of your sick note if you feel well enough.  The same applies at the end of your sick note, and you do not been to be "signed back to work".