A fit note is a written statement from your doctor. It says if you're fit to work.
It's sometimes called a 'sick note', or 'Statement of Fitness for Work'.
If you're off sick for seven days or less
You usually do not need a fit note if you’re off work sick for seven days or less.
It should be enough to give proof yourself when you go back to work - this is called 'self-certification'.
However, check your employer's policy about this. This should tell you how many days you can be off sick before you need to give proof from your doctor.
When you go back to work you may need to fill in a self-certification form.
This includes things like:
- details about your sickness or illness
- the date your sickness started
- the date your sickness ended
These dates may include days you do not normally work, for example a weekend or bank holiday.
Many employers have their own self-certification forms. If yours does not, they can use HM Revenue & Customs: Employees Statement of Sickness on GOV.UK.
If you're off sick for more than seven days
If you’re off work sick for more than seven days, your employer will usually ask you to get a fit note from your doctor.
The note can say that:
- you are ‘not fit for work’
- you ‘may be fit for work’
The seven days include days that you don’t normally work. So when you work out how long you’ve been off sick, include weekends and bank holidays.
Request a fit note
If you need a fit note, contact us. We may ask you to make an appointment, either in person or on the phone.
If you're getting hospital treatment, ask for one from the doctor at your hospital.
If you're off sick a lot
Some employers may ask for a fit note if you're off sick a lot, even if it's for seven days or less each time.
You may have to pay if you get a fit note when you're off sick for seven days or less. To find out more, please ask at reception or go to NHS.UK guidance on fit notes.
You do not have to pay for a fit note if you're off sick for more than seven days.