Fit (sick) notes

From time to time you may require time off work and your employer request evidence that you have been ill. You may require a fit note (previously called ‘sick notes’) which state you are unfit to work or may be able to carry out some work but with amendments.

The Government has set out the how this process works.

First 7 days

If you are unable to work you should ‘self-certify’ for the first 7 days. Your employer should not ask for medical evidence of your illness but may ask you to complete a form, this is called self-certification. For those claiming statutory sick pay a form is available.

After 7 days – who can issue a fit note

If you have received hospital treatment or are under a specialist

If you are off work due to a hospital admission, on the advice of a specialist or A&E then a fit note should be issued by the hospital to cover the entire period of time required until you are expected to recover. Please ask at the time of being seen or contact the ward or your specialist’s secretary if you require a fit note (phone number usually at the top of any clinical letters).

If you are are under the care of an allied health processional

If you are seeing a physiotherapist, podiatrist, dietician or similar allied health professional then they can provide an Allied Health Professional (AHP) Health and Work Report.

If you are receiving care from a GP

Fit notes can be backdated (to start from an earlier date) and last as long as you are expected to be unable to work.

All requests for fit notes should be made online via an eConsult. We need to know:

– the reason you require the note

– if you are unable to do any work at all, or may be able to work but with some adaptations

– what dates you require the note for

Once we have this information a GP will review your request and can usually issue a note within 48 hours. If this is your first request for a fit note, or you have not received a review recently, we may request you make an appointment so we can gather more information before we can issue the note.

Returning to work

It is no longer a requirement to be signed ’fit for work to return to work’. You can return to work when you feel well enough (or have been advised that you can), and do not usually need to wait until the end date on a fit note.

Further information on fit notes is available on the NHS website.