Sick notes

Self certification

You do not need to see the doctor or have a sick note from your doctor for any illness lasting less than 7 days but rather can self certify. This should be accepted by your employer. Download the form below from HMRC website.

Self certify SC2 form


If you are in hospital as a patient then please ask the doctors there to give you a medical certificate. Listed below is a summary of what type of sick notes you need to get when you are ill. For more information on sick notes visit patient.co.uk gives a good overview

Sick Notes

The first 7 days

If you are off work for up to 1 week (5 working days) you do not need a sick note from your GP. You can either write a letter to your employer or, if you prefer, there is a form called a Statutory Sick Pay Form or Employees Statement of Sickness (form SC2). These forms should be accepted by your employer. If your employer insists of a sick note from your GP for less than 7 days absence then your GP maybe able to offer a private letter at a charge of £15.


After 1 week

Once you have been off sick for more than one week you can obtain a sick note from a doctor. The first appointment may be needed face-to-face with your doctor. However if you have proof of your absence i.e. hospital letter or AE attendance, then a sick note may be obtained from the surgery through reception. The GP may wish to contact you by telephone.

Renewal of a sick note

If you have a continuing problem and you have already received a sick note from the GP, simply request for a renewal with the receptionist who will inform your GP. You do not need to book an appointment. Your GP may organise a telephone consultation with you and be able to issue a certificate without needing to see you

Back dating a sick note

It is possible for a sick note to be back dated so you do not need to be seen urgently or on the day that your sick note expires. It can be issued at a later date and back dated at the doctor’s discretion. A doctor may also extend a sick note without you being seen again. A request for another sick note can be made by telephoning your doctor's personal assistant or asking one of the reception staff. However if you are requesting for a sick note for the first time and you need it back dated to a time you were not registered or have no evidence of health seeking behaviour i.e. A/E, walking clinic, hospital letter then it may not be possible to issue one.

Private Certificates

Sick notes from the doctor are normally free of charge (unless you request a duplicate or replacement sick note). However, if you require a private sick note and have been absent from work for less than five days, there is a charge of £15.

Duplicate sick notes

If you are requesting for a duplicate sick note that has already been issues then there can be a fee for this service.

Sick notes covering period of stay in hospital and expected recovery time

It is the responsibility of the hospital staff to issue sick notes for a period of stay in hospital and the ‘expected’ recovery time afterwards. This certificate should be obtained before you are discharged from hospital.