Request a Fitness for Work Form
Employees can take time off work if they’re ill. They need to give their employer proof if they’re ill for more than 28 days.
If they started their sick leave before 10 December 2021, they must give proof if they’ve been ill for more than 7 days.
If they’re ill just before or during their holiday, they can take it as sick leave instead.
Fit notes and proof of sickness
Employees must give their employer a doctor’s ‘fit note’ (sometimes called a ‘sick note’) if they’ve been ill for more than 7 days in a row and have taken sick leave. This includes non-working days, such as weekends and bank holidays.
If they are off work with any other illness, they can get a fit note from a GP or hospital doctor. If their employer agrees, a similar document can be provided by a physiotherapist, podiatrist or occupational therapist instead. This is called an Allied Health Professional (AHP) Health and Work Report.
Fit notes are free if the employee has been ill for more than 7 days when they ask for one. The doctor might charge a fee if they ask for the fit note earlier.
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 (for example, 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.
If employees are off work less than 7 days they do not need to give their employer a fit note or other proof of sickness from a medical professional.
When they return to work, their employer can ask them to confirm they’ve been off sick. This is called ‘self-certification’. The employer and employee will agree on how the employee should do this. They might need to fill in a form or send details of their sick leave by email.
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 is not 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 do not qualify for sick pay, for example. Any rules relating to sick leave will still apply.
Employers cannot force employees to take annual leave when they’re eligible for sick leave.
When an employee changes their holiday to sick leave they’re paid Statutory Sick Pay which will count towards the amount of holiday pay they’ve received. The exceptions to this rule are:
- they do not qualify for Statutory Sick Pay
- they were off work sick and being paid ‘occupational sick pay’
Returning to work
Employers must make changes to an employee’s working conditions if they’re disabled. These changes are known as ‘reasonable adjustments’ and could include working shorter hours or adapting equipment employees use at work.
Employees can get advice from Acas on managing health conditions at work and returning to work from sick leave.
Functional Cookies are enabled by default at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings and ensure site works and delivers best experience.
3rd Party Cookies
This website uses Google Analytics to collect anonymous information such as the number of visitors to the site, and the most popular pages.
Keeping this cookie enabled helps us to improve our website.