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If you are off work for seven days or fewer, you do not need a medical certificate from your doctor.


You will however need a self certification form.  If you are employed you will need form SC2; If you are self-employed or unemployed you will need form SC1. You can download form SC2 here​.

The seven days includes days that you don’t normally work. So when you work out how long you’ve been off sick, you should include weekends and bank holidays.

If you require a certificate from your doctor for illness between 1-7 days, this service is not covered by the NHS. We can issue a private sickness certificate but a charge will be made, and a receptionist can advise you of this.

If you are off work sick for more than seven days, your employer will usually ask you to provide proof that you’ve been ill. They will normally ask for a fit note from your GP. A fit note is the informal name for the Med3 Statement of Fitness for Work. When you phone us for this, please provide us with the nature of your illness, and the date that you need the sick note from - this is after the 7 days of self-certification.

If illness should cause you to be absent from work for a period longer than seven days, you need to phone and speak to a GP or book an appointment to see your GP to obtain a medical certificate confirming your illness and inability to work. This will be required to receive company sick pay or statutory sick pay (SSP) from the government. The only exceptions to this may be after hospital inpatient or outpatient treatment or for long-term sickness.

If you have seen a doctor in hospital, been an inpatient, or attended A&E; they can also issue you with a sick note.

You can direct your employer to the following government advice on sick note requirements:

Fit Note Guidance for Patients/Employees

Fit Note Guidance for Employers/Line Managers

For further information on SSP, other benefits and how being ill may affect or change your claim, please visit the NI Direct website.

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