Fit Notes


If you’re off work sick for seven days or fewer, your employer should not ask for medical evidence that you have been ill (so you do not need to see your GP). It is only after 7 days that you may need a fit note.

This is explained in more detail by the NHS
When do I need a fit note? When do I need a fit note? – NHS

Information for you and your employer

From Gov UK

Further information

Answers to frequently asked questions are included below:

Under 7 days what to do

You do not need a sick note from your GP practice if you are sick for under 7 days

From Citizens Advice
Very clear and helpful guidance what you should do if you are sick under 7 days, including a link to the SC2 form (which you can fill in and download) if your employer is unable to supply one
and information on who you can phone for advice about sick pay
How to get sick pay How to get sick pay – Citizens Advice

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Employee’s statement of sickness (form you can download and fill in) self_certification_certificate_1-1

Private Non-NHS medical certificates for illness of seven day or less.

There is no charge for providing a fit note if you are off sick for more than seven days.

On rare occasions employers may request you get a fit note even though you have been off work for 7 days or less. This may be done for example for employees who repeatedly take time off sick. For sickness of seven days or less you can only be issued with a non-NHS private medical certificate and there is a charge payable in order for such a certificate to be provided. The charge for this certificate can normally be found on any linked practice website, see page on your practice website “non-NHS private services”. 

If this is your first time off work with illness in a long period then you should discuss with your employer whether a private non-NHS medical certificate is actually necessary in accordance with the national guidance on this page.

Over 7 days: AVOIDING HAVING TO SEE A GP in some situations

Firstly, you may not need to actually see your GP to get a fit note depending on the circumstances.

This is explained in more detail by the NHS
Can I get a fit note without seeing a GP? Can I get a fit note without seeing a GP? – NHS

NHS hospital – inpatients and outpatients

Importantly also, if you are seen in outpatients or are an inpatient then the doctor who sees you will issue a fit note and should not ask you to go to your GP for a sick note.

Private hospital – inpatients and outpatients

If you are inpatient privately then your consultant can complete a fit note for the whole time you are going to be off. If they forget to do this then they can send the fit note directly to you in the post. They should not ask you to see your GP for a fit note.

There is a more detailed explanation of the rationale around sick notes which relate to private care, see the frequently asked question “Can you have some of your private care covered on the NHS in the short term?”, found under


The simple answer is YES. Importantly you do not need to see a GP again to be signed fit to go back to work unless your GP has suggested they want to see you again. 

This is explained in more detail by the NHS
Can I go back to work before the end date on my fit note? Can I go back to work before the end date on my fit note? – NHS

Employment support

There is good local support for any employment issues which can be found under

Support for return to work

There is local support to help you with returning to work after any prolonged illness or absence, see under

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