You do not need a doctor's sickness certificate for any illness that lasts 7 days or less. However, your employer may ask you to complete a self-certification form (SC2) which is available from your employer or on the Gov.uk website
EVIDENCE THAT YOU ARE SICK
If you are sick for more than seven days, your employer can ask you to give them some form of medical evidence to support payment of Statutory Sick Pay (SSR).
A medical certificate, now called a Statement of Fitness for Work from your doctor is evidence that you are sick and would normally be accepted by your employer, unless there is evidence to prove otherwise.
You could also provide evidence from someone who is not a medical practitioner e.g. a dentist. Your employer will decide whether or not this is acceptable, and if there are any doubts may still ask for a medical certificate from your GP.
STATEMENT OF FITNESS FOR WORK
This is a Medical Statement that GPs issue. It replaced the old 'sick note' and aims to focus on what an employee may be able to do at work rather than what they cannot do.
WHY HAVE THE OPTION 'FIT FOR SOME WORK'?
For many employees work means a lot more than just their salary. Studies show that work is good for health and prolonged sickness absence can produce its own set of problems, such as isolation and loss of confidence.
Many employers recognise that reducing levels of long-term ill health is about developing a partnership between the line manager, the individual, the GP, occupational health and the HR department.
WHAT'S DIFFERENT ABOUT THE FIT NOTE?
In the past GPs have either said that 'you should refrain from work' or 'you need not refrain from work'. The fit note offers an option - 'may be fit for work taking account of the following advice'. When ticking this option the GP should consider fitness for work in general, not fitness for a specific job that the employee is doing.
A GP can suggest ways of helping an employee get back to work. This might mean discussing:
a phased return to work
The GP can also provide general details of the functional effect of the individual's condition.