09 July 2019
As part of your sickness policy, you can ask an employee to fill out a self-certification sickness form. Once filled in, the form will include information about your employee’s illness or injury. In this guide, we explain the purpose of the form, along with how you can make one for your business.

Self-certification and sick notes

With self-certification, how many days off sick does an employee have to take before you can use the form? Well, any employee away from work for seven days or less can fill one out. They won’t need a doctor’s note (more on those further below). But there are some important details to remember with the self-certification form. The seven-day period includes the days when employees wouldn’t normally be at work—the weekend is the most common example here. So, you should ask an employee to fill in a self-certification form for every day of sickness, whether one day or a consecutive period lasting up to seven days.

Using the online form

If your employee has missed the right amount of days (seven or less), then they can fill out a self-certification sick form. There are two forms you can use. This can cause some confusion for business owners. One of the more common sick leave questions we get is, “The self-certification form… where do I get one from?”. The good news is you can download the official HMRC one for free online: Employee’s statement of sickness (SC2). An employee will only fill out an SC2 if they use that specific HMRC form. If you use your own form (the explanation for this is below), it's a self-certification form. But you can also name it anything you like. So, the second option is to make a self-certified sick note form for your business. It’s up to you which option you choose, but the second option means you can personalise the form. So, you could add your business logo to the form, for example, which can make it more professional for your records.

After seven days of sickness

Once an employee is sick for more than seven days, you can ask them to provide a sick note. This will prove they were off sick. For clarification, on April 6th, 2010, the “sick note” received an overhaul. It’s now known as the Statement of Fitness for Work. This is a medical certificate an employee can get from their doctor—it’s proof your employee was off ill. If your employee is in hospital, they can get a note from a doctor or nurse. If they’ve been at home sick, they can get in touch with their GP. They’ll assess your employee and then decide if they can return to work. You’re also within your legal rights to provide no statutory sick pay (SSP). But only if you ask for evidence of their sickness (either with a self-certification form or a fit note, depending on how long they were sick for). If you don't ask for this, then you can't withhold SSP.

Need anything else?

Do you need more help with how to self-certify your staff? Then get in touch with us straight away on 0800 028 2420.

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