Sick/Fit Notes

7 days off sick 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. This is called self-certification.

More than 7 days off sick

If you’re off work sick for more than 7 days, your employer will usually ask for a fit note (or Statement of Fitness for Work) from a healthcare professional. Fit notes are sometimes referred to as medical statements or doctor’s sick notes.

How to count sick days

When you work out the number of days that you’ve been sick, you need to count all the days in a row you’ve been sick, including days you do not usually work, such as weekends and bank holidays.

How can I get a fit note?

New Fit Notes

If you need a new fit note, you will usually need to book an appointment to discuss this with a healthcare professional. Please call reception to book an appointment.

Repeat Fit Notes

If your fit note has expired and you think you need another usually you will be asked to book a review with the clinician who authorised this. Occasionally this may be done remotely but is at the discretion of your named GP. You can request this via our online portal Klinik.

Fit Note Assessment

Your healthcare professional will assess you, and if they decide your health affects your fitness for work, they can issue a fit note and advise either that:

  • you are “not fit for work”
  • you “may be fit for work taking into account the following advice”

Your healthcare professional will choose the “may be fit for work” option if they think that you are able to do some work, even if it is not your usual job, with support from your employer.

Discuss this advice with your employer to see if you can return to work. For example, the healthcare professional treating you may suggest possible changes, such as:

  • returning to work gradually, for example, by starting part time
  • temporarily working different hours
  • performing different duties or tasks
  • having other support to do your job. For example, if you have back pain, avoiding heavy lifting

If your employer is unable to accommodate the changes advised by a healthcare professional, then the fit note is treated as though it said “not fit for work”.

Charges for fit notes

There is never a charge from a healthcare professional for providing a fit note if you’re off sick from work for more than 7 days.

For sickness of 7 days or less, your GP practice may charge you to provide a private medical certificate.

For example, some employers may request medical evidence from employees who repeatedly take time off sick, even if each time they’re off work it’s for 7 days or less. A fit note cannot be used for this purpose and a healthcare professional may charge to issue a private certificate.