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Requests for Fit/Sick Notes relating to the Corona Virus Posted on 20 Mar 2020

March 2020

The  Government’s rules around issuing a sick note (MED3) are that a medical professional can only issue a Med3 when an individual has had more than seven continuous calendar days off sick due to an illness (including weekends).

For any period of illness less than seven days, you are able to complete a self-certification and provide this to your employer.  An SC2 can be downloaded from the internet.  In the unlikely event that your employer does not accept a self-certification then your doctor may be able to issue a private sick note for which you will get charged.

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, or because other members of the household are showing symptoms even in the absence of any symptoms of an illness in the employee.  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 is not 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 contact NHS 111 to request confirmation of the suspected Coronavirus diagnosis, to show to your employer if needed.

If your employer requires evidence that you have to self isolate as members of your household are showing symptoms of coronavirus, an isolation note can be provided from NHS 111, please find details of this on

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 acutely unwell, rather than spending time dealing with requests for sick notes, particularly when they are not in a position to issue one.

This briefing has been written for and on behalf of your GP surgery so please accept this as a reply to any request for a sick note/letter from the surgery.

Many thanks for your continued understanding.

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