You can click here to request a sick/fit note online, see below for more information on sick/fit notes.
The first 5 days
It is not necessary to obtain a sick note (“fit note”) from a Doctor unless you have been absent from work for more than 5 days (i.e. one working week). For your first 5 days of sickness you can self-certify.
This means you can either write a letter to your employer or, if you prefer, there is a form you can collect from your employer or the Benefits Agency. Complete the form and hand it to your employer. The form is called a Statutory Sick Pay Form – Employee’s Statement Of Sickness (form SC2). You can download the SC2 form by clicking here.
After one week
Once you have been off sick for more than 1 week you can obtain a sick note (“fit note”) from your Doctor.
This can often be done by a telephone consultation with your own Doctor who may be able to issue a certificate without you needing to be seen. Or if it is a continuing problem, a telephone consultation from the Doctor who saw you previously for the condition, again there may be no need for you to be seen in person.
If you have been in Hospital a sick note (“fit note”) can either be issued by the Hospital Doctor or by a telephone consultation with your own Doctor who will have been informed by the Hospital of your visit. It is not normally necessary for the Doctor to see you in person.
If you have not been seen by a Doctor before for the current problem and it is not a continuing condition it may be necessary for you to be seen by a Doctor in person at the surgery.
It is possible for a sick note (“fit note”) to be back dated so you do not need to be seen urgently or on the day that your sick note expires.
COVID -19 Request for MED3 ‘Fit Note’
Requests for certification of absence from the workplace relating to covid-19 may fall into five categories:
1. Symptomatic so isolating for seven days
Patients can and should self-certify for the first seven days as normal if they are unfit to work. They do not need to contact their GP.
2. Symptomatic and remaining unwell for over seven days
If they remain unwell and unfit to work after seven days, the current advice is to visit www.111.nhs.uk where there is an online self-assessment tool which should be up and running soon. They do not need to contact their GP for a certificate but you can advise patients to use the template form below.
3. Household contact symptoms so isolating for fourteen days as per government advice.
GPs cannot and are not the gatekeeper of the statutory sick pay system and can only provide certificates for the purpose of illness, not in relation to government advice regarding self-isolation. Employers are responsible for putting in place arrangements for home/remote working where this is possible. Where it is not, the employee may self-certify and return to work following the relevant absence which their employer may authorise as per government advice.
4. At risk group so following government advice
Where they do become unwell during or after this time, point 1 and 2 applies. They do not need to contact their GP.
5. Those in full time education who are symptomatic or requiring self-isolation.
There is no NHS requirement to issue certification to schools or colleges to confirm absence. These organisations must work with parents and students to ensure that any absence is appropriately recorded, obviating the need for a ‘doctor’s note’. They do not need to contact their GP.
The current Government Guidance for employers and businesses on coronavirus (COVID-19) states;
“By law, medical evidence is not required for the first 7 days of sickness. After 7 days, employers may use their discretion around the need for medical evidence if an employee is staying at home.
We strongly suggest that employers use their discretion around the need for medical evidence for a period of absence where an employee is advised to stay at home either as they are unwell themselves, or live with someone who is, in accordance with the public health advice issued by the government.”
Please click HERE for a COVID 19 Fit note letter for your employer
Please click HERE for a COVID 19 Returning to work letter