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, your employer can ask you to give them some form of medical evidence to support payment of SSP (statutory sick pay).
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.
If your employer wants a doctor’s note for a period of illness less than a week we are not obliged to issue any certificate.
We will happily discuss this with your employer with your permission. In special circumstances we can issue a private sick note for a charge of £10.
Statement of Fitness for Work – ’Fit Note’
The ‘fit note’ was introduced on 6 April 2010. With your employer’s support, the note will help you return to work sooner by providing more information about the effects of your illness or injury.
For more information see the DirectGov website (where this information was sourced).
Fit Notes from the hospital
For illnesses and injuries which have involved the hospital or A&E (such as a broken wrist) we are able to use consultant letters as proof of illness and can in many cases safely give you a sick note without you having to come into the surgery.
The hospital wards and A&E can issue you with a sick note if you ask them at the time.
More information on sick-notes is available on the NHS Choices website: www.nhs.uk