Absence for seven days or less:

Patients can self-certificate for the first week of their illness; employers are obliged to accept this certification. If you are absent from work due to illness for seven days or less, your employer should not ask for medical evidence that you’ve been ill. Most employers have their own self-certification form – if they do not, you may use HM Revenue and Customs’ Employee Statement of Sickness (SC2) form. (This form can also be collected from our reception.) Patients who are self-employed or unemployed claim Employment Support Allowance from the Department for Work and Pensions.

Absence for more than seven days:

Patients who are absent from work for more than seven days due to illness and whose employers require a ‘fit note’ (sick note) must be examined by a doctor. There is no charge for this. Please note that we cannot issue a ‘fit note’ if we did not see you during your illness; nor can we back-date certificates for when you were ill but not seen by a doctor.

N.B. Doctors can use a ‘fit note’ to recommend alterations in working practices to employers that might allow the patient to work in some capacity before full health is regained.

Patients under the care of a hospital can have their ‘fit note’ issued by the hospital, rather than by their general practitioners.