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 can be provided by them or alternatively can be downloaded from the HMRC website. Please click here to complete and download the online SC2 self-certification form.
23 June 2020: Government guidance regarding the relaxation of Coronavirus Shielding click here for the full guidance
From 1 August 2020 the government will be advising that shielding will be paused. In practice this means that from 1 August you can go to work if you cannot work from home, as long as the business is COVID-safe. A return to work letter or certificate from a GP is not necessary when the shielding advice ends on 31 July 2020.
People unable to work for more than seven days because of coronavirus (COVID-19) can obtain an isolation note through a new online service. Click HERE for news about isolation-notes
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 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.
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 evidence is acceptable. If your employer has any doubts, they may still ask for a medical certificate from your GP.
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)
Fit for Work: Free return to work advice and support: http://fitforwork.org/
SHIELDING: Definition of clinically extremely vulnerable groups
People who are defined as clinically extremely vulnerable are at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus.
Updated shielding advice that is more targeted and will only apply in some of the worst affected areas and only for a limited period of time. Currently, clinically extremely vulnerable people in Tier 4 areas are advised to follow shielding advice. No other areas are currently advised to shield.
In the future, the government will only reintroduce formal shielding advice in the very worst affected local areas and for a limited period of time. Currently, this only applies to those areas in Tier 4.
People with the following conditions are automatically deemed clinically extremely vulnerable:
- solid organ transplant recipients
- people with specific cancers:
- people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
- people with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
- people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
- people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
- people having other targeted cancer treatments that can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
- people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
- people with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- people with rare diseases that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), homozygous sickle cell disease)
- people on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection
- problems with your spleen, for example splenectomy (having your spleen removed)
- adults with Down’s syndrome
- adults on dialysis or with chronic kidney disease (stage 5)
- women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired
- other people who have also been classed as clinically extremely vulnerable, based on clinical judgement and an assessment of their needs. GPs and hospital clinicians have been provided with guidance to support these decisions.
Government guidance on shielding for the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (please click this link for detailed information)