Sick/Fit Note Certificates
Sick Notes (Fitness to Work Certificates)
Self Certification for less than 7 days
The National Insurance system will allow you to Self Certificate for any period of illness where you are off work for up to 7 calander days. The clock resets if you return to work (or work from home) even for a few hours. During this first week your employer should accept your word that you are ill.
Many employers have their own self-certification forms, which the employee should complete and return to the employer. You do not need to see a doctor.
If you are having difficulty with your employer about this, the government rules on sick certification are a useful reference.
We do find that some employers insist on a doctor’s note regardless. If we are asked to provide a doctor's note for a period of absence from work of under 7 days, we will charge a fee for a private sick certificate.
Fitness to Work Certificate for more than 7 days
If you have been ill and off work for more than 7 days you will need a doctor’s certificate. These certificates are called ‘Fitness to Work’ Certificates.
If you have been advised not to work by another team elsewhere, you should contact them for the certificate (see opposite).
Otherwise, if you have not spoken to us about this illness yet, you will need an appointment.
If you have already spoken to us about this illness, and now just need a note (e.g. you have taken longer than expected to get better) you can arrange this non-urgently by email. Please remember DO NOT use email if you need advice from us or want to speak to the doctor.
Requesting an additional Fitness to Work Certificate
If you have already had a Fitness to Work Certificate for this illness, your doctor may not need to see you to extend it.
You can arrange this non-urgently by email. Please remember DO NOT use email if you need advice from us or want to speak to the doctor.
Hospital Fitness to Work Certificates
The hospital are responsible for providing Fitness to Work Certificates to any patient who they advise not to work.
This includes providing a certificate for the period of time the patient is an inpatient in hospital, and any period of time afterwards when they advise not to work.
It also includes patients who they have advised need time off work due to injury (e.g. advice given in A+E, or advice given in the fracture clinic).
It includes all patients they have advised not to work, even if that advice was given over the phone.
Patients should try to remember to ask the hospital about whether they can work, and to ask for a Fitness to Work Certificate.
We find that a lot of patients are advised to see their GP for the certificate. That is not correct, and we will refer such patients back to their hospital team.