You only need a doctor’s note if you are unable to work and are ill for longer than seven calendar days. Your employer will provide you with an SC2 self-certificate form for shorter periods of illness.
Fit notes and Proof of Sickness
- Employees must give their employer a doctor’s ‘fit note’ (sometimes called a ‘sick note’) if they’re off sick for more than 7 days in a row (including non-working days).
- Hospital doctors or GPs can provide a fit note. They may charge a fee if the note is asked for before the 7th day.
- The fit note will say the employee is either ‘not fit for work’ or ‘may be fit for work’.
- If it says the employee ‘may be fit for work’, employers should discuss any changes that might help the employee return to work (eg different hours or tasks). The employee must be treated as ‘not fit for work’ if there’s no agreement on these changes.
- Employers can take a copy of the fit note. The employee should keep the original.
- Employers can also ask employees to fill in a form when they return to work to confirm they’ve been off sick for up to 7 days. This is called ‘self-certification’. Employers usually provide their own version of this form.