Sickness Certificates


The Department of Work & Pensions in conjunction with the UK Government have temporarily made changes to the self-certification process. During the period of time from 17th December 2021 to 26th January 2022, individuals can issue a self-certificate to their place of work for a maximum period of 28 days. This is in place of the current rules of 7 days or less. If your absence is longer than a period of 28 days, you will then require a medical certificate from your GP. From 27th January 2022, the rules will return to absences 7 days or less in length. If you require any further information, please visit the HMRC website.

You do not require a doctor's sickness certificate 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.

Evidence that you are sick

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

A medical certificate,  called a 'Statement of Fitness for Work’ (see below) from your doctor is  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. Please note that provision of a medical certificate for a period of sickness less than 7 days in duration will attract a fee. 

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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