You do not require a doctor's sickness certificate for any illness lasting seven days or less. Your employer may, however, require you to complete a self-certification form (SC2) which is available from your employer or on the HMRC website.
Evidence that you are sick
If you are sick for more than seven days, your employer can ask you to give them some form of medical evidence to support payment of SSP (statutory sick pay).
This evidence can include all proof of illness including a hospital discharge letter, letter from your dentist or A&E attendance letter.
You could also provide evidence from someone who is not a medical practitioner. Your employer will decide whether or not this evidence is acceptable. If your employer has any doubts, they may still ask for a medical certificate from your GP.
It is up to your employer to decide whether you are incapable of work. A medical certificate, now called a 'Statement of Fitness for Work’ (see below) from your doctor is strong evidence that you are sick and would normally be accepted unless there is
Statement of Fitness for Work - ’Fit Note'
The 'fit note' was introduced on 6 April 2010. With your employer's support, the note will help you return to work sooner by providing more information about the effects of your illness or injury.
For more information see the DirectGov website (where this information was sourced).
Please note that if you require a Fit note from the GP, this will require a face to face appointment to enable the doctor to assess you further. Please note that we are unable to issue Fit Notes over the phone.
Returning to Work
At the end of the date on your ‘Fit Note’ you are deemed as being ok to return to work unless the signing GP has specifically stated the need for another assessment at the end of this date.
We do not do letters or notes confirming you are fit to return to work. Some employers will want to know that you are able to return to your previous duties, and will arrange for an occupational health assessment to assess this. Please speak to your employer in this circumstance.