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sICK nOTES & sELF-CERTIFICATION

 

(INFO Source credit: https://www.gov.uk/taking-sick-leave )

 

You only need a fit note from a doctor after 7 days off work sick.

 

Fit notes and proof of sickness

Employees must give their employer a doctor’s ‘fit note’ (sometimes called a ‘sick note’) if they’re off sick for more than 7 days in a row (including non-working days).

Hospital doctors or GPs can provide a fit note. They may charge a fee if the note is asked for before the 7th day. The fit note will say the employee is either ‘not fit for work’ or ‘may be fit for work’.

If it says the employee ‘may be fit for work’, employers should discuss any changes that might help the employee return to work (e.g. different hours or tasks). The employee must be treated as ‘not fit for work’ if there’s no agreement on these changes. Employers can take a copy of the fit note. The employee should keep the original.

 

Self-Certification

Employers can also ask employees to fill in a form when they return to work to confirm they’ve been off sick for up to 7 days. This is called ‘self-certification’. Employers usually provide their own version of this form.

 

Sick Leave and Holiday

Statutory holiday entitlement is built up (accrued) while an employee is off work sick (no matter how long they’re off). Any statutory holiday entitlement that isn’t used  because of illness can be carried over into the next leave year. If an employee is ill just before or during their holiday, they can take it as sick leave instead.

An employee can ask to take their paid holiday for the time they’re off work sick. They might do this if they don’t qualify for sick pay, for example. Any rules relating to sick leave will still apply. Employers can’t force employees to take annual leave when they’re eligible for sick leave.

 

Returning to work

Employers should make changes to an employee’s working conditions if they become disabled because of their sickness.  These changes are known as ‘reasonable adjustments’ and could include working shorter hours or adapting equipment employees use at work.

 

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