Change to rules on Fit Notes & proof of sickness for employers December 2021


There is temporary change to sick note rules. The old rule of needing a sick note after 7 days has changed to 28 days from now until the end of January 2022.


An additional point is that whilst GPs have traditionally done most sick notes, hospital doctors can and should do sick notes. It is best done by the doctor who has been managing the illness that relates to your absence. 


For example if you have an operation, the surgical team should do the sick note and you can ask for this. Sometimes we will refer you back to the team who has been managing your problem if this is not the GP surgery.


If employees are off work for 28 days or less, they do not need to give their employer a fit note or other proof of sickness from a medical professional? When they return to work, their employer can ask them to confirm they’ve been off sick. This is called ‘self-certification’. The employer and employee will agree on how the employee should do this. They might need to fill in a form or send details of their sick leave by email.


For more details head to



Why do you not issue a fit note free within the first 7 days?

The NHS does not provide fit notes (sick note) within the first 7 days as you are able to self certify during this time for your absence. Should you require a fit note for any reason within the first 7 days then this is a private service. Please ask at reception for the curren charge.

See further advice on Fit Notes on the NHS Choices website.

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