Collection

Fit note

Guidance for doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, pharmacists, physiotherapists, employers, and patients using fit notes (statements of fitness for work).

Healthcare professionals issue fit notes to people to provide evidence of the advice they have given about their fitness for work. They record details of the functional effects of their patient’s condition so the patient and their employer can consider ways to help them return to work.

If you’re a patient or employee, read about taking sick leave.

More guidance about health and work issues is available for:

A new version of the fit note has been introduced that contains the name of the healthcare professional authorising the form, rather than needing it to be physically signed. While this change is being rolled out the previous version of the fit note that requires physically signing will still be legally valid.

From July 2022, fit notes can be certified and issued by nurses, occupational therapists, pharmacists and physiotherapists in addition to doctors.

Fit note guidance

Published 1 March 2013
Last updated 1 July 2022 + show all updates
  1. Fit notes can now be certified by doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, pharmacists and physiotherapists.

  2. Updated guidance to introduce a new version of the fit note.

  3. The temporary change to the rules on when you need to provide a fit note has ended. From 27 January 2022 you will need to provide a fit note after 7 days of sickness to claim benefits or claim Statutory Sick Pay from your employer.

  4. Added a message about not having to provide fit notes (sick notes) until 27 January 2022 to give GPs more time to work on the coronavirus vaccination boosters.

  5. The Fit for Work assessment service ended on 31 March 2018 in England and Wales.

  6. Changes to Fit for Work. The assessment service will be coming to an end on 31 March 2018 in England and Wales and 31 May 2018 in Scotland.

  7. From 15 December, changes are being made to Fit for Work. Currently, if an employee has been unfit for work for 4 weeks or more (or is likely to be), their GP or employer can refer them to [Fit for Work](http://fitforwork.org/) – a government occupational health service.

  8. First published.