Sick certificates / “Fit notes”

The first 5 days

It is not necessary to obtain a sick note (“fit note”) from a Doctor unless you have been absent from work for more than 5 days (i.e. one working week). For your first 5 days of sickness you can self-certify.

This means you can either write a letter to your employer or, if you prefer, there is a form you can collect from your employer or the Benefits Agency. Complete the form and hand it to your employer. The form is called a Statutory Sick Pay Form – Employee’s Statement Of Sickness (form SC2). You can download the SC2 form by clicking here. The above document is in PDF format. You will need Adobe Reader to view these files.

After one week

Once you have been off sick for more than 1 week you can obtain a sick note (“fit note”) from your Doctor.

This can often be done by a telephone consultation with your own Doctor who may be able to issue a certificate without you needing to be seen. Or if it is a continuing problem, a telephone consultation from the Doctor who saw you previously for the condition, again there may be no need for you to be seen in person.

If you have been in Hospital a sick note (“fit note”) can either be issued by the Hospital Doctor or by a telephone consultation with your own Doctor who will have been informed by the Hospital of your visit. It is not normally necessary for the Doctor to see you in person.

If you have not been seen by a Doctor before for the current problem and it is not a continuing condition it may be necessary for you to be seen by a Doctor in person at the surgery. This can be arranged either by a telephone consultation with your own doctor or a routine appointment.

Back dating

It is possible for a sick note (“fit note”) to be back dated so you do not need to be seen urgently or on the day that your sick note expires.