The Fit Note replaces the old style Sick Note. Your doctor will issue you with a Fit Note when your health affects your ability to work; the information provided will help your employer to understand how they might be able to help you return to work sooner. Fit Notes are issued only on the eighth day of sickness, though they can be issued earlier if more than seven days off work seems likely from the outset.
When your doctor provides you with a Fit Note they will advise you on one of two options. Either you will be 'not fit for work' or you 'may be fit for work'.
'Not fit for work'
Your doctor will choose this option when they believe that your health condition will prevent you from working for a stated period of time.
'May be fit for work'
Your doctor will choose this option when they believe that you may be able to return to work while you recover with some help from your employer.
Your doctor may include some comments which will help your employer understand how you are affected by your condition. If appropriate, they can also suggest one or more common ways to help you return to work.
We are aware that some employers/schools sometimes ask employees/students to provide medical evidence to support sickness claims for periods of less than one week.
Please note that GPs are not required by law or by their contracts to provide sickness certificates for periods of less than one week. We want to discourage people from making appointments purely to obtain a certificate, when those appointments could be better used by other patients, who need to be seen for medical treatments. We will, of course, see patients who need medical advice but we will not issue short term certificates.
Self certification forms should be given to your employer on the fourth day of sickness, for a period of absence of up to seven days, or to cover the first seven days of a longer absence. The forms are obtainable from your employer, the DSS and this Practice (please ask at reception or download below). You do not need to see a doctor for this purpose.
Updated Nov 2019
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