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.
This can also be downloaded and printed using the following link on our site Sickness Absence Self Certification Form (SC2)
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).
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. The SC2 form is used for this purpose.
If you're sick and off work for more than seven days, your employer will probably ask for proof of your illness. Most employers ask for a fit note from your GP. If you have been under the care of secondary care (for hospital admissions or operations), the fit note would be issued by them.
A fit note (also referred to as a MED3) can be requested by completing a form at the reception desk in the practice. Please be advised, the GP may request to see you for a face to face consultation prior to issuing a fit note. Also, we can not forward date fit notes.
You could also provide evidence from someone who is not a medical practitioner, e.g. a dentist.
More details on fit notes can be found here: The fit note: guidance for patients and employees
Continuation of fit note
If you have had on-going absence and have been receiving fit notes from the GP, you do not need an appointment for a continuation of a fit note. This would be the case unless a GP has advised in a consultation or on your most recent fit note that you will require a review prior to receiving any further fit notes. In these circumstances, please contact the practice on receipt of your fit note to make an advance bookable appointment.
Returning to work
When returning to work following a period of sickness, you do not require a fit note or MED3 to certify you are now well enough to return. You can return back to work at any time, on expiry of your fit note, or even before you fit note expires. You do not need to go back to see a GP first.
If your employer states that they require further evidence from your GP, or another fit note to confirm you are fit to return, this is not required. The following information from the government clearly sets out what is required in these circumstances. Guidance for employers and line managers (page 9) is clear that the employer will need to engage an occupational health specialist. Your GP can not issue any further MED3s.
Getting the most out of the fit note: guidance for employers and line managers
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 and the Fit note website