Swadlincote Surgery Patient Information Leaflet
Sick Leave and Fit Notes
- Employees must give their employer a doctor’s ‘fit note’ (often known as a‘sick note’) if they are off sick for more than 7 days in a row (including non-working days).
- When requesting a continuation of a sick note please plan ahead and allow at least 4 working days for this to be completed by the doctor.
- Both GPs and hospital doctors can provide fit notes. If you are expected to be off work following hospital treatment, the hospital doctor should provide you with a sick note to cover the expected period of absence. This includes hospital doctors who see you in an outpatient clinic.
- A fit note will say the employee is either ‘not fit for work’ or ‘may be fit for work’. If it says the employee ‘may be fit for work’, employers should discuss any changes that might help the employee return to work (e.g. different hours or tasks).
- Employers can take a copy of the fit note. The employee should keep the original.
- When the fit note expires you do not require a note to state that you are fit for work.
Employers usually ask employees to fill in a form when they return to work to confirm they’ve been off sick for up to 7 days. This is called ‘self-certification’. Employers usually provide their own version of this form.
Charges for Fit Notes
There is never a charge from a doctor for providing a fit note. If an employer insists on a medical certificate for sick leave of less than 7 days a fit note cannot be used for this purpose. In this situation we may be able to provide a private medical certificate for a fee of £15.*
Further information about fit notes is available on the government’s website: https://www.gov.uk/taking-sick-leave
*In line with other GP practices we charge for services which are not part of our NHS contract – further details are available on the BMA website: