‘Fit notes’ replaced ‘sick notes’ in 2013.

Research shows that work can be good for your physical and mental health, lowers the risk of experiencing financial difficulties, and improves your overall quality of life.

You do not need a Fit Note if you are off sick for seven calendar days or less, because you can self-certify your leave for this time. Click here to download a self-certification template which you can use to inform your employer of your situation.  Any request for a Sick/Fit note before this 7 day statutory will incur a fee.  

Fit/Sick Notes are note provided for Children and those in Education.  Schools should not be making this request.

What is a Fit Note and how does it work.

Detailed information about Fit Notes can be found on the government website via the following link: https://www.gov.uk/taking-sick-leave

Some important points

  • You should get a fit note from the doctor who is treating you. This will usually be your GP, but if you are getting treatment in hospital you should ask for one from your hospital doctor (if you don’t already have one).    
  • Your doctor will only give you a fit note if your health affects your fitness for work.  Your doctor will not automatically assess that you are not fit for work if you have a health condition. Instead, they will discuss with you how your health affects what you can do at work. They will think about your fitness for work in general rather than just your current job.   
  • Your doctor cannot give you a fit note for non-medical problems (such as problems at home or relationship trouble at work).
  • You do not always need to be 100% ‘fit’ to be able to do some work – indeed, work can help your recovery from health problems or support your all-round wellbeing if you have a long term health condition.   
  • The fit note is your property and you should keep it – your employer can take a copy if they want one for their records.
  • The Fit note is classed as advice from your doctor. Your employer can decide whether or not to accept it, and your doctor cannot get involved in any disputes between you and your employer. You may wish to seek help from a trade union or ACAS in such situations.
  • You should go back to work as soon as you feel able to and with your employer’s agreement – this may be before your fit note runs out. You do not need to go back to see your doctor before going back to work. Your doctor cannot give you a Fit note stating that you are ‘Fit for work’.