Fit note

A fit note is also called a statement of fitness for work. You can give it to your employer as proof if you've been off sick for more than 7 days.

A doctor decides if your health or treatment has affected your ability to work. They can give you (issue) a fit note to tell your employer that you:

  • are not fit for work
  • might be fit for work if the employer follows the advice written in the fit note

GOV.UK also has information about fit notes.

When you should get a fit note

7 days or less off work

If you cannot work for 7 days or less, your employer should not ask for a fit note. You can confirm yourself that you were ill. This is called self-certification.

Your employer can give you information on self-certification.

More than 7 days off work

If you have treatment at the hospital and they think you cannot work for more than 7 days in a row, you can ask a hospital doctor for a fit note.

You can ask for a fit note if you are an inpatient (staying in hospital overnight) or an outpatient (coming to a clinic or an appointment).

If you get a fit note while you are in hospital, you do not have to make an appointment with your GP for a fit note. 

How to get a fit note

If you feel you need a fit note, tell the doctor or nurse caring for you. It's important to tell them before you leave the hospital.

The hospital doctor can give you a fit note. They assess your needs, and work with you to decide what arrangements would be best for your fit note.

If you need time off work, your hospital doctor will decide the best length of time for the fit note to cover. After this time, you might need another review of your ability to work.  

The NHS website has more information about how to get a fit note.

Follow up

The hospital doctor gives you a fit note to cover the time for your treatment and recovery.

You can visit your GP if you need another fit note to cover a longer period of time.

The hospital doctor might agree to extend your fit note if you will have more treatment under their care.

Resource number: 4367/VER3
Last reviewed: October 2023
Next review date: October 2026

Trusted Information Creator. Patient Information Forum

Contact us

If you have any questions or concerns, contact the clinical team looking after your care at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

The hospital switchboard number is phone 020 7188 7188.

Do you have any comments or concerns about your care?

Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

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