You only need a doctor’s note if you are unable to work and are ill for longer than seven calendar days. SC2 self-certification forms for shorter periods of illness (up to seven calendar days) can be completed electronically.
If your employer is not willing to accept an SC2 self-certification form, a charge will be made for a private sick note.
Recurrent sick notes can be backdated.
For more information regarding sicknotes please visit
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).
Your employer can ask you to confirm that you have been ill. You can do this by filling in a form yourself when you return to work. This is called self-certification.
If you’re sick and off work for more than seven days, your employer will probably ask for proof of your illness. Most employers ask for a fit note from your GP.
However, this will also depend on your employer’s company policy on sick leave (or sickness absence). This policy should tell you how many days you can be off sick before you need to provide proof of illness or a fit note.
You could also provide evidence from someone who is not a medical practitioner, e.g., a dentist. 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.
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.
(This information was sourced from the www.gov.uk website)