In April 2010 the Department of Work and Pensions original “Sick Note” (med3) changed and is now known as the fit note. The emphasis of certification has switched from what somebody cannot do to what they can do.
Fit notes are merely proof of advice given by a doctor to his or her patient. Employers are not obliged to respect the advice or regard it as proof of inability to work although for many employers the note is adequate evidence. Some employers will ask employees to attend an occupational health assessment.
Fit notes are not required:
- For periods of sickness lasting less than 7 days – you can certify yourself. Download self-certificate.
- Where an employer has advised an employee to take sick or compassionate leave.
- In most cases you do not need to see a doctor to return to work at the end of a period of absence. If an employer wishes to satisfy themselves that you are fit to work, they should make their own arrangements to organise an occupational health assessment.
A Fitness to return to work certificate does not exist.
Please note: The practice is not able to provide a copy or multiple copies of the original fitness to work certificate under DWP (Department of Work & Pensions) regulations. If the original certificate has been lost the GP can issue a duplicate, which will be annotated as “duplicate”. There may be some delay with producing a duplicate certificate which may impact any benefits.