If you are off work sick for seven days or less, your employer should not ask you for a doctor's certificate. You will need a medical certificate if you are off work sick for than seven days. The seven days include 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.

Sick certification forms

Your employer can ask you to confirm that you've been ill. You can do this by filling in a form yourself when you return to work. This is called self-certification.

Self-certification forms usually include details such as:

  • information about your sickness or illness
  • the date your sickness started
  • the date your sickness ended

These dates may be days that you don't normally work. For example, your sickness could start or end on a Saturday, Sunday or bank holiday.

Many employers have their own self-certification forms. If your employer doesn't have their own form, instead they may use an SC2 form from HM Revenue & Customs Employee's Statement of Sickness.

Download a template self certifcation form

Sickness of more than seven days

If you are sick and off work for more than seven days, your employer will normally ask you to provide a medical certificate from your GP.

When you need a certificate will also depend on your employer's company policy on sick leave (or sickness absence). This policy should tell you how many days you can be off sick before you need a note.

To find out about your employer's policy:

  • ask your team leader or supervisor, or
  • speak to someone from your human resources (HR) or personnel department
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