Fit Notes

What are Fit Notes?

Fit notes (formerly known as sick notes) are issued to patients if the doctor assesses that the patient’s health affects their fitness for work. The doctor can decide the patient is ‘unfit for work’ or ‘may be fit for work subject to the following advice…’ with accompanying notes on suggested adjustments or adaptations to the job role or workplace.

Fit notes may be shown to an employer for sick pay purposes or to claim sickness related benefits from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

When are they needed?

A fit note is only needed if a period of sickness lasts longer than 7 days in a row. You should advise your employer of sick absence by whatever process they require for shorter periods, and if you have been sick for 4 or more days in a row, you can use an Employee’s Statement of Sickness form SC2 if you need to claim SSP from your employer.

How to request a Fit Note

You can request a fit note via eConsult or during a telephone, online or face-to-face consultation. Bear in mind, because of the nature of fit notes, the GP may need to see or speak to you to make a full assessment.

NHS Digital – find out more

  • Visit NHS Digital to see statistical data on fit notes issued by GP practices.