Legally, a doctor is required to issue a statement of incapacity for work due to illness if the illness lasts for more than 7 days (including Sundays). This means that you do not need to get a sick note from the surgery if you are unfit for work for 7 days or less.
If you have less than 7 days off work, you can self certify your sickness absence by completing form SC2 obtained from your employer, or SC1 (for self-employed), obtained from the DSS/Tax Office. Alternatively a copy is available from reception upon request.
If you are unwell for more than 7 days and your employer requires you to provide a sick note then you will need to make an appointment to see a doctor at the surgery, except when we have written documentation from a hospital letter confirming the reason for your absence from work. If you are unable to get to the surgery for whatever reason please phone the surgery and leave a message for one of the doctors to give you a phone call at home.
A private medical note can be issued for the first week of off work. Some private sick notes will incur a fee.
Statement of Fitness for Work - ’Fit Note'
The 'fit note' was introduced on 6 April 2010. With your employer's support, the note will help you return to work sooner by providing more information about the effects of your illness or injury.
For more information see the DirectGov website (where this information was sourced).