You don’t usually need a doctor’s medical certification for any illness lasting seven days or less. However, your employer may need you to complete a self-certification form (SC2) which is available from your employer or on the HMRC website.
In rare cases that you do need a short-term certificate, you can obtain one from your doctor for a fee.
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 Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). You can do this by filling in a form yourself when you return to work. This is called self-certification.
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 Statement of Fitness for Work (also known as a Fit Note) from your GP. However, this depends on your employer’s company policy on sick leave (or sickness absence). This policy should tell you how many days you can be off sick before you need to provide proof of illness or a Statement of Fitness for Work.
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.
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.