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Employees only need a fit note from a doctor after 7 days off work sick.

If they are ill just before or during their holiday, they can take it as sick leave instead.

Fit notes and proof of sickness

Employees must give their employer a doctor’s ‘fit note’ (previously called a ‘sick note’) if they’re off sick for more than 7 days in a row (including non-working days).

Hospital doctors or GPs provide them.

The Practice can, and will, charge a fee of £20 if a sick note or fit note is requested before the 7th day.

The fit note will say the employee is either ‘not fit for work’ or ‘may be fit for work’.

If it says the employee ‘may be fit for work’, employers should discuss any changes that might help the employee return to work (eg different hours or tasks). The employee must be treated as ‘not fit for work’ if there’s no agreement on these changes.

Employers can take a copy of the fit note, the employee should keep the original.

Self-certification

Employers can also ask employees to fill in a form when they return to work to confirm they’ve been off sick for up to 7 days.

This is called ‘self-certification’. Employers usually provide their own version of this form.

For more information see the DirectGov website (where this information was sourced)

 
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