You do not require a doctor's sickness certificate for any illness lasting seven days or less. Your employer may however require you to complete a self-certification form (SC2) which is available from your employer or on the HMRC website.
The Statutory Sick Pay Regulations state that employers are required to accept self-certification notes (filled in by you) for the first 7 days of illness. All employers must comply with these regulations.
You only need a doctor's certificate during the first 7 days of illness if you wish to claim benefits other than statutory sick pay: for example, benefits under the private insurance scheme, or to take your pre-booked holiday as sick leave instead. In these circumstances we may make a charge. Please see our fees list for current prices for a private sickness certificate. Click on the link and choose Non-NHS Services tab. Our Services
NHS Certificates (Med3) are available for periods of illness greater than 7 days. To continue to claim statutory sick pay after the first week of illness you will need a doctor's certificate, which will be provided free of charge. To claim other benefits, such as those under private insurance scheme, you will need to bring the appropriate form for us to fill in.
Sick Notes or Medical Certificate Information Questions and Answers
Q. Do you need a doctor's certificate in the first 7days of an illness?
No, illness that lasts 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 you had a minor illness. In general, The Department of Health and Social Security, employers, doctors and patients do not recommend that you attend your doctor for certification alone. Your GP is required to issue a certificate only if your absence from work through sickness lasts more than 7 days.
Q. What do you need?
For the first 4 days of any illness you do not require any form for certification. (It is for you to decide if you are fit for work).
For the next 3 days (including Saturdays and Sundays) you must fill in a self-certificate form, (SC2 which is available from your employer).
After the first 7 days you will need a doctor's certificate and will have to attend the doctor to get a Department of Social Security sick note either a 'Med3' or 'Med5'.
Q. 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 may charge you a fee to provide you with a 'sick note'. Sick notes are usually not necessary for the first week of any illness.