On 6 April 2010 the sick note was replaced by the fit note for periods of absence over 7 days long. For absences lasting less than 7 days a self certificate should be used (Form SC2). These are available from your local Jobcentre Plus or to download here from the HMRC website.
Evidence shows that work is generally good for your health and that often going back to work can actually aid a person’s recovery. On the other hand, staying off work can lead to long-term absence and job loss with the risk of isolation, loss of confidence, mental health issues, de-skilling and social exclusion.
The new fit note can help. Doctors are able to advise people who are on sick leave for over 7 days whether, with extra support from their employer, they could return to work earlier. Please note this can include hospital doctors, who may be more likely to know whether you will be fit for work, if you are attending them more regularly than your GP.
Continuing fit notes may be able to be left by your GP after discussion with you by telephone. Please check with the reception staff whether this would be appropriate for you.