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How Does Self Certification Work For Sick Leave Absences?

Feeling unwell can make it tough to go to work. Self-certification allows you to take sick leave without a doctor’s note for up to seven days. This article explains how self-certification makes this process easier and ensures you follow the rules.

Keep reading to find out more.

Understanding Self-Certification for Sick Leave Absences

A tidy desk with office supplies and a clock in a bustling atmosphere.

Self-certification lets workers tell their bosses they’re sick and can’t work for up to seven days, including weekends. They don’t need a note from the doctor. This method is good for short sicknesses.

Employees fill out a form to say why they’re off sick. This process makes things easier for employees and employers.

If someone is sick for more than seven days, they will need a fit note from a health professional, like a nurse or doctor. Until then, self-certifying helps keep everyone informed without making it too hard on the worker needing time off.

Employers must know about this process to follow rules and look after their teams well.

What is Self-Certification?

An employee filling out a self-certification form in a quiet office.

Self-certification is a way for employees to confirm they’re unfit for work. It’s based on an individual’s self-assessment of their own health condition.


Self-certification means an employee can tell their work they had to stay home sick without showing a doctor’s note for up to seven days. This rule lets people explain why they needed time off for health reasons, using just their own words.

Workers fill out a self-certificate or sometimes add it to a fit note if they’re away longer.

This system has a purpose. It helps both staff and companies by making the process simpler when someone is ill. For short illnesses, you don’t need proof from doctors like GPs or nurses.

You just write down your reasons on a self-cert form. If sickness lasts more than seven days, then the workplace might ask for medical proof from healthcare professionals. Self-certification makes things quicker and easier during those first few days of being unwell.


The purpose of self certification is to make the process of taking sick leave easier for both workers and firms. It lets staff report their own sickness without needing a doctor’s note for up to seven days.

This method supports employees in managing short-term illnesses or injuries on their own, offering them control and flexibility. Employers benefit too, as it reduces the need for medical proof for brief absences, simplifying absence management.

This approach also builds a bridge of trust between employers and their teams. By allowing self-certification, companies show they believe in their employees’ honesty about health issues.

It streamlines how sick leaves are handled, making sure businesses run smoothly even when staff need time off for health reasons. Using self-certification forms or digital platforms makes this process user-friendly and efficient, keeping everyone informed without unnecessary paperwork or delays.

Changes to self-certification as per Gov.UK

Moving from the purpose of self-certification, it’s important to look at recent updates made by Gov.UK. Now, employees can self certify for stress and other illnesses for up to seven days without needing a note from a doctor.

This change aims to make life easier for both workers and their bosses. Workers don’t have to rush to a GP or hospital when they feel unwell but need some days off. Employers get the benefit too because less paperwork is involved, and they can trust their team members more.

Gov.UK has also streamlined how you self certify. You fill out a form explaining why you’re off work sick. This form is your word that you’re too ill to work, known as a ‘self cert certificate’.

If sickness lasts more than 7 calendar days though, you’ll need proof from a health professional like a general practice nurse or physiotherapist. This ensures everyone follows the rules while keeping things as simple as possible.

How Does Self-Certification Work?

How does self-certification work for sick leave absences? Learn more about the process and its benefits. Read on to understand how employees can certify their own sickness absence without needing a medical certificate.

Eligibility and requirements

To self-certify for sick leave, employees must follow certain rules. They can only do this if they’re off work due to illness or injury for up to seven days. This period includes weekends too.

Workers don’t need a doctor’s note during these seven days. But, if they are away from work longer than this, their employer will ask for a fit note from a healthcare professional like an occupational therapist or registered nurse.

Employees use a self-certification form to explain why they were off sick. This form is key in the process of reporting sickness absence without needing initial medical evidence. Employers should make sure their staff know how to access and submit this form properly.

Next, let’s look into the procedures for self-certification.

Procedures for self-certification

Self-certification makes it easier for employees to report sick days without having to see a doctor right away. Here’s how you can self certify for stress, a cold, or any other short-term illness.

  1. Inform your employer as soon as you know you’re too unwell to work. Use email, text, or a phone call to do this.
  2. Get a self-certification form from your employer or download it from the government website if you’re in the UK.
  3. Fill out the self-certification form carefully. Include your full name, the dates of your absence, and a brief explanation of your illness or injury.
  4. Make sure to sign and date the form yourself.
  5. Submit the completed form to your employer promptly after you return to work. Some employers allow digital submission through email or an online system.
  6. Keep a copy of the submitted form for your own records in case there are any questions later on.
  7. If your illness lasts more than seven calendar days, start planning to see a healthcare professional for a fit note which can extend your sick leave.
  8. Share the fit note with your employer as soon as you obtain it to ensure continued compliance with sick pay policies.

Following these steps helps everyone involved manage sick leave fairly and keeps things running smoothly at work.

Managing self-certification during sick leave

After understanding the procedures for self-certification, it’s crucial to manage self-certification during sick leave effectively. This ensures both employees and employers follow the rules and keep the workplace running smoothly.

  1. Inform your employer as soon as you realise you won’t make it to work due to illness.
  2. Fill out a self-certification form provided by your workplace or download one from relevant websites.
  3. Include all necessary details about your illness in the form, such as symptoms and how they affect your work.
  4. If stress is the reason for absence, state this clearly on your form; you can self certify for stress without needing a doctor’s note for up to 7 days.
  5. Keep track of the days you’re off sick, remembering that you can self certify for 7 calendar days.
  6. Submit the completed form to your employer upon returning to work or according to their guidelines.
  7. If your sickness lasts more than 7 days, prepare to see a healthcare provider for a fit note.
  8. Share any relevant fit note with your employer to extend your sick leave properly if necessary.
  9. Update your employer regularly about your health status if you expect an extended absence.
  10. Work closely with your HR department or manager to understand any impact on benefits like statutory sick pay.
  11. Use available technology platforms endorsed by your workplace for efficient communication and documentation of self-certified sick leaves.

Following these steps helps maintain trust between employees and employers and keeps everyone informed during absences due to sickness.

Benefits of Self-Certification

Self-certification simplifies the sick leave process, increases trust between employer and employee, and offers flexibility for employees. It also allows the use of technology for efficient self-certification.

Simplifies sick leave process

Self-certification simplifies the process of reporting sick leave, providing flexibility to employees. It allows them to certify their absence without needing a doctor’s note for up to seven days.

This eases the administrative burden on both employees and employers by streamlining the verification process.

The use of self-certification fosters trust between employers and employees by allowing individuals to provide a personal explanation for their sick leave. Additionally, it increases efficiency and expedites the sick leave reporting procedure whilst ensuring compliance with regulations.

Employees are empowered through this simplified process, enabling them to report absences promptly without unnecessary bureaucracy or delay.

Increases trust between employer and employee

Self-certification increases trust between employer and employee by allowing employees to provide a personal note explaining their reasons for being off work sick, without immediately needing a doctor’s note.

This transparency in reporting sick leave fosters a culture of trust and understanding within the workplace, ultimately strengthening the relationship between employers and employees.

Additionally, the flexibility provided by self-certification empowers employees to report their sick leave in a timely and efficient manner, further building trust through open communication.

Moving forward to “Flexibility for Employees,” this process plays an essential role in creating a supportive working environment wherein clear communication is valued.

Flexibility for employees

Employees benefit from flexibility when reporting sick leave, providing a personal note to explain their absence without needing an immediate doctor’s note. This eases the process and empowers employees to manage their short-term absences efficiently, ensuring compliance with regulations.

Furthermore, it fosters a sense of trust between employers and employees by allowing them to self-certify for up to seven calendar days without medical intervention, enhancing workplace engagement.

The provision of such flexibility not only simplifies the sick leave procedure but also aligns with the ever-evolving realm of digitising work processes. By utilising technology for efficient self-certification, this flexibility offers employees autonomy while adhering to company policies and national regulations around self-certifying sickness absences—thus streamlining operational complexities and increasing overall employee satisfaction.

Use of technology for efficient self-certification

Technology streamlines self-certification for sick leave. Online self-certification forms and apps simplify the process. Employees can easily submit their reasons for absence and receive swift acknowledgment from employers.

This efficient method reduces administrative burden and ensures quick compliance with regulations, enhancing employee flexibility.

Moving on to the benefits of Self-Certification…


Self-certification simplifies sick leave reporting and builds trust between employers and employees. It provides flexibility for staff and utilises technology for efficient processing.

Overall, self-certification streamlines the process without needing a doctor’s note for short-term absences.


1. What does self certify mean?

Self certify means you tell your job you’re sick without needing a doctor’s note for a short time.

2. Can I self certify if I feel stressed?

Yes, you can self certify for stress, telling your work you need to stay home because of it.

3. How long is the self certification period?

The self certification period lets you stay off work sick for up to 7 days without a doctor’s note.

4. How do I go about getting a self certificate?

You get a self certificate from your job or download one from the internet, fill it in with details about your sickness, and give it to your boss.

5. Do I still get paid when I use a self cert for sickness?

Most jobs pay you when you’re off sick and use a self cert, but check your contract or ask at work to make sure.

6. After my self certificate runs out, what should I do if still sick?

If you’re still sick after the self certification period ends, see a doctor who might give you an official note saying why and how long to stay off work.