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You do not require a doctor's sickness certificate for any illness lasting seven days or less. Your employer may however require you to complete a self-certification form (SC2) which is available from your employer or on the HMRC website.

In light of the current Coronavirus situation, it is inevitable that a number of employees may be required to quarantine themselves at home, for example due to the nature of recent travel, even in the absence of any symptoms of an illness. In these cases, your GP will NOT be able to issue a sick note as the time off work is not due to an illness, and isn’t affecting your ability to work, but rather is a precaution to avoid transmission of any illness that is yet to produce symptoms.

We therefore expect your employer to be sympathetic if you are required to self-isolate for 14 days and to understand that the reason for this is to protect the welfare of your work colleagues and the wider community. We understand that you may also be able to call NHS 111 to request an email confirmation of the suspected Coronavirus diagnosis, to show to your employer if needed.

Whilst we appreciate this may cause some difficulties between you and your employer, equally GPs have a responsibility to prioritise the assessment and management of the healthcare needs of patients who are actually unwell, rather than spending time dealing with requests for sick notes, particularly when they aren’t in a position to issue one.

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 SSP (statutory sick pay).

It is up to your employer to decide whether you are incapable of work. A medical certificate, now called a 'Statement of Fitness for Work’ (see below) from your doctor is strong evidence that you are sick and would normally be accepted, unless there is evidence to prove otherwise.

Download your isolation note here.

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