4. Notice and fit notes
The employee should tell you they’re sick within your own time limit (or 7 days if you don’t have one). You can’t insist they tell you in person or on a special form.
You don’t have to pay Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for any days the employee was late in telling you (unless there’s a good reason for the delay).
An employee is sick from Monday 6 June. They usually work from Monday to Friday.
You’ve set your time limit at 5 days’ notice, but they only tell you they’re sick after 7 days (on Monday 13 June).
You don’t have to pay them SSP for the 2 days they were late telling you.
You start paying SSP on Thursday 16 June - on the fourth ‘qualifying day’ (days an employee usually works on) after they told you they were sick.
Fit notes and asking for proof
After 7 days off sick you can ask the employee for a fit note from their doctor. This used to be called a sick note.
You can’t withhold SSP if the employee is late sending you a fit note.
If you get a ‘return to work plan’ for the employee through the Fit for Work scheme, you can accept this instead of a fit note.
If your employee is off sick frequently or for a long time, HMRC has information about getting medical advice.