Sick/Fit Note Certificates

Sick Notes

Self Certification Sick/Fit Note for less than 7 days

If you're off work sick for 7 days or less, your employer should not ask for medical evidence that you've been ill. Instead they can ask you to confirm that you've been ill. You can do this by filling in a form yourself when you return to work. This is called Self-Certification. 

Many employers have their own self-certification form, but HM Revenue and Customs have created a form template (Employee's Statement of Sickness SC2), which is publicly available should your employer not have one. Download the form here. Please print it, fill it in and hand it in to your employer. You do not need to see a Doctor.

Some employers insist on a Doctor's note regardless.  A Doctor's note under these circumstances involves a charge of £25.


Doctor’s Sick/Fit Note for more than 7 days

If you have been ill for more than 7 days you will need a doctor’s certificate. These certificates are called ‘Fitness to Work’ Certificates.

The doctor may call you or arrange for an appointment.

If you have already been seen by your Doctor about this illness your certificate will be sent to you within a week.

Requests from Schools

Requests for information about medical conditions

Schools frequently request information from GPs regarding a child’s health conditions, their absence from school, or to certify that they were ill when sitting an exam.  Parents often are put under pressure from schools to get this information from practices, even though they themselves would be happy to write to the school on their child’s behalf.  

The practice can provide information for schools about a child’s health conditions, as long as there is consent from the parents and child.  There is no fee applicable to this information.  These requests should be made by the school, and not the parents.

Requests for fit notes for absence from school

GPs do not provide “fit notes” for adults until they have been unable to work for 7 days. This rule also applies to children who are absent from school for less than 7 days. 

If a child is absent from school for longer than 7 days, the child may have a condition which may affect their long-term ability to attend school and thus more information may be needed by the school. In these circumstances, the school should request more information about the child's long-term health condition rather than requesting a "fit note". 


Requests for sick notes for missing exams

Ofqual states that The Joint Council of Qualifications (JCQ) has confirmed that as far as they are concerned, if a student was absent from an examination as a result of illness and has the support of the school or centre to be absent, special consideration will be granted in that basis.  Awarding Organisations do not insist that medical proof is provided.  We therefore do not provide fit notes for students who miss school examinations.

Requests for authorisation to give medications

  • GPs do not need to provide authorisation for medications to be administered by school staff, as parents can give this authorisation.
  • GPs do not need to prescribe medications which are available over-the-counter so that the medication can be administered in school, as non-prescription medication can be given with parental consent.