Fit Note Sickness Certificate

The Statement of Fitness for Work or '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 (where this information was sourced)

You do not require a doctor's 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

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).

It is up to your employer to decide whether you are incapable of work.  A medical certificate, now called a 'Statement of Fitness for Work’ (see below) 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.


The practice will not provide a medical certificate for patients requiring self-isolation for coronavirus reasons. Government guidance is that employers use their discretion around the need for medical evidence for a period of absence where an employee is advised to stay at home either as they are unwell themselves, or live with someone who is, in accordance with the public health advices issued by the government.

Should your employer ask for documentation, you can now get an isolation note from NHS 111 online or you can download and complete this form this form (Word format) or in pdf format yourself and pass to them.

We Are Bristol volunteers can assist if you feel lonely, anxious or afraid, or need practical help getting food or essential items: call the FREE We Are Bristol support hotline on 0800 694 0184

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