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Sick notes

So-called ‘Sick notes’ are actually now ‘Fit notes’ or Med 3 statements.

They are a statement about when you are likely to be fit to return to work and are there to support employees with short-term absences from their job whilst informing employers how long they have to manage without you.

When the period has passed, you are deemed fit for work again (unless the statement specifically says that you need a reassessment). It is up to you if you chose to return to work before this period has ended (although your employer may object).

They can also be used to help advise employers about ways in which they can support employees back to work quicker with an amended duties statement.

They are not to be used as a long-term statement about somebodies suitability to be employed, you should instead be speaking to the Job Centre about your options/ entitlements.

They are also not an assessment of whether or not you can do your job. You will need to speak to your line manager/ employer about the need for an occupational health assessment.


You only need a doctor’s note if you are unable to work and are ill for longer than seven calendar days.

When do I need a sick note?

Your employer should provide you with an SC2 self-certificate form for shorter periods of illness or you can download it here:

Self Certification Form

Statutory Sick Pay

If you have an existing sick note that has already been discussed with a doctor and would like this extended but is not needing a review, please use our online contact form, this is subject to clinicians discretion and as such, please take time to complete the form with as much information as necessary to make a decision. Alternatively, make an appointment for a review.

Sick notes can only be issued when they are due, although they can be back-dated they cannot be future-dated.

Date published: 8th October, 2014
Date last updated: 2nd October, 2023