DO YOU NEED A DOCTOR’S CERTIFICATE IN THE FIRST SEVEN DAYS OF ILLNESS?
Illnesses, which last less than one week are usually minor and self-limiting and you may not require a visit to a Doctor. It can be difficult for your Doctor to judge whether or not you are incapable of reporting for work in this situation and all the certificate really indicates is that you attended the surgery on a specific date complaining that you had a minor illness.
In general, the Departments of Health & Social Security, employers, Doctors and patients do not recommend that you attend your Doctor for sickness certification alone. Your GP is required to issue a certificate only if your absence from work through sickness lasts more than seven days.
WHAT DO YOU NEED?
For the FIRST FOUR DAYS of any illness you do not require any form of certification. (It is for you to decide if you are fit to work).
For the NEXT THREE DAYS (including Saturdays and Sundays) you must fill in a self-certification form, (SC2 that is available from your employer)
After the FIRST SEVEN CALENDAR DAYS you will need a doctor’s certificate and will have to contact the surgery for a Department of Social Security sick note either a Med3.
The sicknote also now allows advisory information on return to work with captions to your job all the hours that you work. Your employer does not have to take this into consideration and can demand that you remain off work it is only advisory.
WHAT ARE PRIVATE SICK NOTES AND DO YOU NEED ONE?
Some employers or insurance schemes will ask you to provide a private sick note. The Doctors will charge you a fee to provide you with a “sick note”. Sick notes are not necessary for the first week any illness.
A handout with this information is available here to keep or give to your employer.