Sickness 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 you will not be covered by a self certificate and your employer can ask you to give them some form of medical evidence to support payment of SSP (statutory sick pay) this is a sick note from the GP. In most cases to obtain a sick note you will have to book an appointment with the GP to get this, however if you have already discussed an illness or there are clinical letters etc in your records, the reception team may be able to speak to the GP on your behalf and request a sick note without an appointment.

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’ (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.

Returning to work

You do not always have to feel 100% to return to work - but it is important to speak to your employer first before doing so, so they can support you in the best way. You should be able to return to work as soon as you feel better and able to and you do not have to wait until your sick note has expired to return back. If someone has been of work for a while and is wanting to return to work after speaking to their employer, the GP can do something called a phased return which is - amended hours, lighter duties or different duties this is to help someone slowly get back into work without going straight back doing their usual work. You do not need a note from the GP to state you are "fit for work" and it is something that the GP can't do.

For more information click here.

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