Sick & Fit Notes

Been Off Work?

You do not require a sickness certificate for any illness or injury lasting seven days or less and we are not able to provide one. Your employer may however require you to complete a self-certification form (SC2) which is available from your employer or on the HMRC website. Self certify gives you 7 consecutive days off work. From the 8th day you will need to provide evidence to your employer.

Evidence that you are sick

If you are ill or injured 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’ or ‘fit note’ (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.

Statement of Fitness for Work – ’Fit Note’

The ‘fit note’ was introduced on 6 April 2010. The fit note can be issued following a health and work assessment by the healthcare professional, either a doctor, nurse, occupational therapist, pharmacist, or physiotherapist, who may be responsible for your care plan. The fit note will provide advice to you and your employer about the impact of your health condition, where that may have an effect on your fitness for work.

If you need a fit note, contact the healthcare professional treating you. They will assess whether your health condition impacts on your ability to work and whether a fit note is required. This may be your GP but may also be a hospital doctor if you have had an operation or been admitted to hospital.

It is important that you are not signposted to other healthcare professionals when discharged from a hospital setting purely for the purposes of certifying a fit note. The healthcare professional responsible for your discharge should be the one who issues the fit note if possible, and you should discuss this with them before you are discharged. If you have not been given a fit note as part of your hospital discharge and one is required please contact the hospital ward you were discharged from.

For more information see the DirectGov website (where this information was sourced)

The fit note: guidance for patients and employees – GOV.UK (

Requesting a Fit Note from your GP

The easiest way to request a fit note is by submitting an eConsult

Consult Online from Home – Adelaide Medical Centre (

You can also submit a written request at reception – the forms are in the foyer.

Returning to work

You should go back to work as soon as you feel able to and with your employer’s agreement – this may be before your fit note expires. You do not need to go back to see your healthcare professional before going back to work, the fit note does not have an option to say that you’re fit for work. 

Can I go back to work before the end date on my fit note? – NHS (