The DWP has issued strict guidelines for doctors to follow when issuing Fitness for Work notes (formerly known as ‘sick notes’).
If the illness is:
- Less than 3 days: your employer should not require a Fitness for Work certificate
- Between 3 and 7 days: you should hand your employer a “self certificate” (SC1). You do not need to see the doctor for this
- More than 7 days: Your employer can ask you to give them some form of medical evidence to support payment of SSP (statutory sick pay). You will need a Fitness for Work note and must see the doctor to get one. It is only at 7 days that you need a doctor’s note. If you require a note covering illness when you saw a different doctor (e.g. casualty) the doctor at the surgery must be in receipt of written evidence that you saw another doctor.
Fitness for Work notes needed before 7 days illness will incur a charge that should be borne by your employer.
Please visit the Department for Work and Pensions website for more information.