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Do I need a doctor's certificate?

Employers who are only paying SSP cannot ask for a doctor's certificate for the first 7 days of a spell of sickness. The 7 days include non-working days, such as weekends.

Employers are entitled to ask for evidence that you have been off sick. Typically, employers make rules such as:

  • asking you to notify them on the first day of absence
  • following this up by asking you to complete a self-certification form for spells of between 4 and 7 days.
  • asking for a medical statement (now known as a Statement of Fitness for Work or “fit note", rather than a sick note) after 7 days' absence. In 2012, GPs started issuing electronic Fit Notes. These are typed by the GP and then handed to the patient. They are not sent by the GP to the employer. The TUC has produced guidance on the electronic fit note (PDF).