How do I obtain a "Fitness for Work" certificate?

Self Certification - "the first week"

Most employees get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) from their employers when they are unable to work as a result of illness. SSP can be paid for a maximum of 28 weeks. Spells of incapacity separated by 8 weeks or less count as one.

For the first seven days of incapacity a patient completes a self-certificate:

  • SC2 – used if they are in employment and the employer does not have their own self-certification forms. The SC2 form can be completed online by clicking here.
  • SC1 – used if the individual is self-employed or unemployed. The employee gives the form to Jobcentre Plus.

The self-employed or the unemployed can claim Incapacity Benefit or Employment and Support Allowance straight away

Medical Certificates (Now called Fitness for Work Certificates) - "from 7 days onwards"

After 7 days, the patient must obtain a medical certificate confirming that their GP has advised them to refrain from work. If you have not been seen by a doctor before for the current problem and it is not a continuing condition it may be necessary for you to be seen by a doctor in person at the surgery.

Medical Certificates after a hospital admission

It is the responsibility of the hospital to provide a patient with a medical certificate for the full duration of the expected time off work after a hospital admission. If you were not provided with a sick note at the time of discharge you will need to contact the ward directly. 
On rare occasions, if the hospital cannot provide a sick note, then the surgery may be able to help once we receive written confirmation from the hospital. Please be aware there will be a delay in you receiving your certificate if you have to go down this route.

Private Sick Notes

In some instances employers will ask for a sick note from a doctor during the self certification period. This would mean a private sick note. There is a charge for this service. Please ask the receptions about the charge.


For further advice re sick notes click here