Sickness Certificates and Fitness to Work
If you have an illness or injury that makes you unfit to
work then you may need a sickness certificate (or "fit
Most illnesses and injuries causing absence from work last
less than seven days. You can self certify for these
absences by using an SC2 self-certificate form - available
from your employer or downloadable here. Remember: if
you have diarrhoea and handle food as part of your job or
are in a caring profession, you should not return to work
until 48 hours after your last loose motion.
If your illness or injury has lasted, or is likely to last more
than 7 days then you will need to get a certificate. You
will probably need to be examined by a doctor or advanced
nurse practioner before a certificate will be issued.
Remember: If you have been in hospital - or have seen a
specialist in a hospital clinic about the condition (e.g. a
fracture) they can and should issue a certificate for you.
Sickness/Fitness certificates have a maximum duration. If
you feel ready, you can return to work before they expire.
They are permission not to work, not a certificate stating
you must not work.
If Your Employer is Insisting on a Certificate
Sometimes employers insist on a certificate to
cover absence of less than 7 days. This service
is not provided by the NHS.
We can provide a private certficate, but there is
a charge for this. Some safety conscious
employers, for example Southern Trains, ask alll
their safety critical staff to get certificates and
they reimburse them for the costs. If your
employer insists on a certificate then you should
ask if they will reimburse you.
We have a letter that you can give to your
employer to explain this.
Tel: 01903 234844 Prescription Requests: 01903 282803
Fax: 01903 231734
23 Shelley Road, Worthing, West Sussex BN11 4BS (map)
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On Probation or a DRR?
If you are on probation, community service or
have a drug rehabilitation order and are unwell
and miss your sessions then you will need to
discuss this with the probation officer or other
responsible individual supervising your
We will only issue certificates for absences of
more than 7 days and only when you have
contacted the surgery on the first working day
of your illness or injury.
We do not issue NHS certificates for illnesses of
less than 7 days. You are welcome to ask your
supervising officer to contact the doctor or
advanced nurse practitioner supervising your
Universities, Gyms, Holidays
The only certificate that is issued under the NHS
is the standard Fitness to Work certificate for
claiming stautory sickness benefit.
Any other certificate about illness, for example
for schools, universities, gym memberships,
holiday insurance is not covered by the NHS. We
can supply these, but there is a fee.
Renewal of Fitness to Work Certificates
When the certificate is about to expire, if you
feel unable to work (or seek work if you are
unempoyed) you should contact your doctor.
You should expect that they will want to see
you or speak to you to discuss the progress of
your condition. You will probably need to make a
face-to-face or telephone appointment about
Sometimes if your problem is ongoing your
employer may involve their occupational health
department and arrange a report from your
doctor to help assess how they can plan for
your return to work.
When you are returning to work, sometimes your
doctor may advise a phased return to work,
reduced hours or adjusted/light duties for a
while. They can specifiy this on your certificate.
You do not need to be "signed back to work" -
once your certificate expires or if you feel ready
to return to work you can do just that. If your
employer is asking you to see a doctor to obtain
a certificate of "Fitness to Work" we have an
Entitlement to employment and government
benefits depending on your employment status,
national insurance contributions and many other
Letters for your employer:
for online medical information.
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