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Sick CertificatesHealth Advice - Sick Certificates

If you are off work for seven days or fewer your employer should not ask for medical evidence that you’ve been ill and you do not need a medical certificate from your doctor.

You will however need a self certification form. These are available from the Post Office or Department for Work and Pensions (formerly the DSS). If you are employed you will need form SC2; If you are self-employed or unemployed you will need form SC1. If your employer insists on a certificate from your doctor for illness between 1-6 days, this service is not covered by the NHS and a charge will be made.

You can fill out and print the SC2 form at

If you’re off work sick for more than seven days, your employer will usually ask you to provide proof that you’ve been ill. They will normally ask for a fit note from your GP. A fit note is the informal name for the Statement of Fitness for Work.

A fit note must be signed by a doctor, for example, your GP. On the fit note, your GP can advise that:

  • you are ‘not fit for work’
  • you ‘may be fit for work’ or a 'phased return to work'

The seven days includes days that you don’t normally work. So when you work out how long you have been off sick, you should include weekends and bank holidays.

Providing these certificates will ensure that you receive company sick pay or statutory sick pay (SSP).

For further information on SSP, other benefits and how being ill may affect or change your claim, please visit the Department of Work and Pensions website at: