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Fit notes

You do not require a doctor's fit note for any illness lasting seven days or less. Your employer may however require you to complete a self-certification form (SC2) which is available from your employer or on the HMRC website.  A letter from the practice stating this is available free of charge at reception for patients to take to their employer.

Evidence that you are sick

Sickness CertificatesIf you are sick for more than seven days (counting non-working days), your employer can ask you to give them some form of medical evidence to support payment of SSP (statutory sick pay).

It is up to your employer to decide whether you are incapable of work. A medical certificate, now called a 'Statement of Fitness for Work’ (see below) from your doctor is strong evidence that you are sick and would normally be accepted, unless there is evidence to prove otherwise.

You could also provide evidence from someone who is not a medical practitioner, e.g. a dentist. Your employer will decide whether or not this evidence is acceptable. If your employer has any doubts, they may still ask for a medical certificate from your GP.

A routine doctor's appointment must be made to obtain a fit note, as the doctor signs the majority of fit notes on the basis of having seen/examined a patient.

A doctor can only consider renewing a fit note during a telephone consultation for patients recovering from operations, or those who have long-term accidental injuries or terminal/chronic medical conditions.

The issue of a fit note is not classed as urgent or a medical emergency.  A charge will be made for the issue of private certificates for insurance purposes etc.

Statement of Fitness for Work - ’Fit Note'

The 'fit note' was introduced on 6 April 2010. With your employer's support, the note will help you return to work sooner by providing more information about the effects of your illness or injury.

For more information see the DirectGov website (where this information was sourced)

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