Sickness Certificate

An employer may require an employee to provide a doctor's certificate after more than seven days' sickness. To claim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for illness of seven days or less, the patient may self-certify using the appropriate form.

Since 6 April 2010, the Statement of Fitness for Work has replaced forms Med 3 and Med 5. NHS General Practitioners and, where appropriate, other doctors are required to issue, free of charge, a Statement of Fitness for Work to patients for whom they provide clinical care. A Statement is not required until the patient has been off work for more than seven calendar days. The Statement may be issued:

The changes associated with the Statement of Fitness for Work include:

However, the Statement can still only be completed by a doctor, the doctor can still advise patients that they are not fit for work, and the Statement remains advice from the doctor to the patient. Patients can use the Statement as evidence of fitness for work for sick pay and benefit purposes; however, the advice on the Statement is not binding on employers.

The new Statement of Fitness for Work allows the doctor to advise one of two options:

If it is not possible for the employer to provide the support for your patient to return to work, your patient and their employer can use the Statement as if you had advised 'not fit for work'. The patient does not need to return to see a doctor for a new Statement to confirm this.