Fit note: guidance for patients and employees

This guide explains what the fit note is and how you can use it to have a work and health discussion.



This guide explains what the fit note is and how you can use it to have a work and health discussion with your healthcare professional and employer. This may include discussing workplace adaptation or reasonable adjustments to support you to stay in, or return to, work.

Updates to this page

Published 1 March 2013
Last updated 6 October 2023 + show all updates
  1. Updated summary, details and guidance for patients and employees. Added annexes.

  2. Fit notes can now be certified by doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, pharmacists and physiotherapists.

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Removed mentions of the Fit for Work service, which has now closed. Updated the sample Statement of Fitness for Work document.

  7. Added this note to the page – A new version of the fit note is now available but old ones can still be used. The advisory notes now include information about Fit for Work and the collection of anonymous fit note data. We will revise the guidance to reflect the changes.

  8. Published updated guidance.

  9. We've removed the guidance while we update it.

  10. Updated English version to include information about the new Fit for Work service.

  11. First published.

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