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Download sick note and isolation note

If your employer is asking for a note from your GP surgery. The government’s rules around issuing a sick note are that medical professionals can only issue one 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 certificate and provide this to your employer. In the unlikely event that your employer does not accept a self-certification, your doctor may be able to issue a private sick note for which there will be a charge and quite possibly a long delay.

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.