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Fit notes

Your doctor will only give you a fit note if your health affects your fitness for work. The fit note is your property and you should keep it – your employer can take a copy if they want one for their records.

If you are fit for work, you do not need a fit note. You also do not need one if you are off sick for seven calendar days or less, as it is your responsibility to self-certify on form SC2, available here. If your employer insists that you obtain one, this service is not covered by the NHS and a charge may be made.

Your Doctor's responsibility is to provide a fit note after the first week of absence, if there is a medical need. Your doctor cannot give you a fit note for non-medical problems (such as problems at home or relationship trouble at work).

Once you have reached, or in the opinion of your GP, are expected to reach, four weeks of sickness absence, you can be referred by them for an assessment by Fit for Work

The purpose of this assessment is to give you, your employer and your GP more occupational health information to assist your return to work more quickly. It is a voluntary service where you can consent to a referral and participation in Fit for Work.

Following a Fit for Work assessment (which is done with your consent), you will be provided with a Return to Work Plan which can be used as evidence in place of a fit note. The Fit for Work assessment will provide advice on steps on a Return to Work Plan to help support you back into work.

A fit note may still be required to cover the first two weeks of sickness absence from when a referral is made to a Fit for Work assessment. Once a Return to Work Plan has been issued, this can be used in place of a fit note.

You can also access the advice line or use their website to get general health and work advice.