FIT NOTES (SICKNESS CERTIFICATES)

If you are off work sick for seven days or less, your employer should not ask for medical evidence that you have been ill.

If you are off work sick for more than seven days, your employer will usually ask you to provide evidence or proof that you have been ill. They will normally ask for a fit note from your GP. Fit note is the informal name for the Statement of Fitness for Work. Fit notes replaced sick notes from April 6 2010.

The 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.

 

Sickness of seven days or less

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.

 

Self-certification forms

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.

 

Sickness of more than seven days  

If you are sick and off work for more than seven days, your employer will probably ask for proof of your illness. Most employers ask for a fit note from your GP.

However, this will also depend on your employer's company policy on sick leave (or sickness absence). This policy should tell you how many days you can be off sick before you need to provide proof of illness or a fit note.

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