If you're off work sick for seven days or fewer, your employer should not ask for medical evidence that you've been ill.
A sickness certificate completed and signed by our doctor is ONLY required when a period of continuous absence from work due to illness is of longer than seven days duration.
For absence up to three days no certification is required.
Between three and six days, absence due to illness is adequately covered by a ‘self-certificate’, obtainable from your employer or the direct.gov website (SC2 form). Self-employed patients or those otherwise unentitled to statutory sick pay will need to claim ESA (employment and support allowance).
If you think your employer may not be aware of this you can direct them to this website. You can also print off the following letter to give them if they insist on a certificate before 7 days. 'Private' sick notes are charged at £15.
Letter to employer
For more information see the government website on taking sick leave
Statement of Fitness for Work: There are two options
- You are not fit for work- unable to work for the specified period due to illness and return to work at the end of this period. You may or may not need an assessment for fitness for work at the end of this period (stated at the bottom of the certificate).
- You may be fit for work taking account of the following advice- this is considered when patient may benefit further from one or more of the workplace adjustments or adaptations.
The duty to provide a Med 3 generally rests with the hospital doctor.
Form Med 10 should continue to be issued by the hospital doctor to cover any period that a patient is in hospital. On discharge from hospital the doctor who has clinical responsibility for the patient should provide them, if appropriate, with Med 3 to cover a forward period. This is to avoid unnecessary visit to GPs solely for the purpose of sickness certification.