Sick (fit) notes

If you’ve been off sick for more than 7 days

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 sick (fit) note 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.

To request a sick note:

If you’ve been off sick for 7 days or less

Your doctor is not obliged to provide a ‘sick note’ for their patients for periods of less than seven days.  In these circumstances patients should self certify as below.

Here is a letter that you can send to your employer to explain this:

Letter for your employer (PDF)

If you or your employer wishes to pay for a private (Non NHS requirement) sick note then your doctor may be prepared to do this in some situations.

Find out more about sick notes on the NHS website.