Get a sick note for work

Get a sick note for work

First 7 days of illness

The NHS provides sickness certification or “fit notes” only after 7 continuous days of illness. In the first 7 days you use a Self-Certification (SC2) form which is available from your employer or on the HMRC website.

After 7 days of illness

After 7 days of illness you can request a form either from the hospital where you are being treated or through your GP surgery.

To request a fit note from the GP surgery fill in this form.

Our guidelines for fit notes

Our doctors have a responsibility to take care of their patients. They have to use their medical judgment to decide if a patient should receive a fit note.

As healthcare professionals, they also have to follow national rules. They are accountable to their professional bodies, like the General Medical Council, and they need to make sure the certificates they give are appropriate and accurate. They also need to consider if giving a fit note will help the patient recover from their medical condition.

It’s our duty to provide the best possible treatment and address the underlying issues rather than just prolonging your medical condition. It may be before we can issue a fit note we need to see you in person at the surgery.

A fit note is advice from your healthcare professional, it’s not a prescription. Your employer can decide whether to accept it or not, and your healthcare professional can’t get involved in any disagreements between you and your employer.

You might want to talk to your employer’s occupational health service, as they are better equipped to assess your ability to work in your specific job and workplace.

Usually, a GP practice cannot provide long-term or repeated fit notes. You can ask your employer about the occupational health services they offer.

Supplementary support and services

Being off work due to illness can be a distressing time. Remember there are services available that may be able to help you. For instance:

If you are having problems with the cost of living the council provide a lot of advice and support too: please click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a note saying I am fit for work?

No. You do not need to see your GP again to be ‘signed back to work’.

Can I get a fit note without seeing a healthcare professional?

Click here for more information.

Can I go back to work before the end date on my fit note?

Click here for more information.

When do I need a fit note?

Click here for more information.

Taking sick leave

Click here for more information.