Request a Fitness to Work Form (Sick note)

Sickness of LESS THAN 7 DAYS

If you are off work sick for seven days or less, your employer should not ask you for a doctor's certificate.

They may ask you for a self-certificate though.

You will only need a medical certificate if you are off work sick for more than seven days.

The seven days include days that you don't normally work. So when you work out how long you've been off sick, you should include weekends and bank holidays.

Sickness of MORE THAN 7 DAYS

If you are sick and off work for more than seven days, your employer will normally ask you to provide a medical certificate (Fit Note/Med3) from your GP.

When you need a certificate will also depend on your employer's company policy on sick leave (or sickness absence). This policy should tell you how many days you can be off sick before you need a note.

To find out about your employer's policy:

  • ask your team leader or supervisor, or
  • speak to someone from your human resources (HR) or personnel department

Self-certification forms

Your employer 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. This is called self-certification.

Self-certification forms usually include details such as:

  • information about your sickness or illness
  • the date your sickness started
  • the date your sickness ended

These dates may be days that you don't normally work. For example, your sickness could start or end on a Saturday, Sunday or bank holiday.

Many employers have their own self-certification forms. If your employer doesn't have their own form, instead they may use an SC2 form from HM Revenue & Customs Employee's Statement of Sickness.

Download a template self certifcation form


Sick notes (aka Fit notes/Med3) and how to get one

Fit notes are also sometimes called doctor's notes, sick notes, medical certificates (med3) or doctor's statements. They are now sent electronically (text or email), unless you specifically request a paper copy.

The GP can either say you are 'not fit for work', or can say you 'may be fit for work'. The GP will choose the option for may be fit to work if they think that returning to work – with support from your employer – will help you.

There is also space for the GP to give advice to your employer about common ways in which your employer can help you return to work such as allowing you to work part time or temporarily or by changing your duties, for example, if you have back pain, avoiding heavy lifting.

You can request a fit note via Klinik, which will be passed to the doctor to review. 

  • If you have seen a doctor at the practice regarding the problem (or we have received a letter from the hospital about your sickness) you may not need an appointment.
  • If you have not seen a doctor at the practice and we have had no information from a medical professional about your illness, you will not be able to get a certificate without an appointment. Please submit a sick note request via Klinik. Please note, urgent appointments are only provided for genuine medical emergencies and not for the purpose of certificates.

In either case there are rules governing the issue of sick certificates and the GP may not be able to supply one, depending on the information you provide.

If you are under the care of a hospital, your certificate may be issued by the hospital, rather than by the practice.

Charges for fit notes

There is usually no charge for providing a fit note if you are off sick for more than seven days.

For sickness of seven days or less, a charge is payable in order for us to provide a certificate as this is a non-NHS service. You will be advised of the fee, once the doctor has assessed your request.

When you fit note runs out

If your certificate runs out, but you are still sick, you will need to request a new sick note.

Fit certificates can be back-dated so it is not necessary to make an emergency appointment to renew your certificate.

hand on face

Do I need a note to return to work?

  • You DO NOT need a sick note to return to work. Historically this was the case, but is no longer so.
  • A sick note has an end date, you are presumed fit to work from the end date unless stated otherwise.
  • A sicknote does not prevent you from returning to work earlier than it's end date either.