Sick (fit) notes

Employees can take time off work if they’re ill. They need to give their employer proof if they’re ill for more than 7 days.

If they’re ill just before or during their holiday, they can take it as sick leave instead.

If you’ve been off sick for more than 7 days

To request a sick note:

If you’ve been off sick for 7 days or less

If you’re off work sick for 7 days or less, your employer should not ask for medical evidence that you’ve been ill. Instead, they 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. We call this self-certification.

Find out more about sick notes on the NHS website.

Fit notes and proof of sickness

Employees must give their employer a doctor’s ‘fit note’ (sometimes called a ‘sick note’) if they’ve been ill for more than 7 days in a row and have taken sick leave. This includes non-working days, such as weekends and bank holidays.

If employees are self-isolating and cannot work because of coronavirus (COVID-19) they can get an ‘isolation note’ online from NHS 111. They do not have to go to their GP or a hospital.

If they are off work with any other illness, they can get a fit note from a GP or hospital doctor. If their employer agrees, a similar document can be provided by a physiotherapist, podiatrist or occupational therapist instead. This is called an Allied Health Professional (AHP) Health and Work Report.

Fit notes are free if the employee has been ill for more than 7 days when they ask for one. The doctor might charge a fee if they ask for the fit note earlier.

Visit www.gov.uk – Taking sick leave for more information.

The doctor may call you or arrange for an appointment.

If you have already been seen by your Doctor about this illness your certificate will be sent to you within a week.