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Sick 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).

In this situation, a ‘Statement of Fitness For Work’ is usually sufficient evidence for SSP to be approved. However, it is not a legally-binding document and your employer therefore does have the right to contest it.

You could also provide evidence from another 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 ask for further information from your GP. This information can only be issued with your consent.

Please note that for a ‘Statement of Fitness for Work’ to be issued, you must have been seen during the illness by a member of medical staff.

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.

For more information see the website.

Date published: 8th October, 2014
Date last updated: 28th April, 2020