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 they should provide. Alternatively you can ask at Reception or download a copy from the HMRC website.
If you are sick for more than seven days your employer can ask you to provide 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.
You could also provide evidence from someone who is not a medical practitioner, such as 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.
The ‘fit note’ was introduced in 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.
To find out more about fitness for work, see the following links: