Coronavirus and fit notes

In most employment contracts an employee is not required to provide medical evidence that they are unfit for work unless they have been sick and absent for seven calendar days. At that point they will normally need to provide a ‘fit note’ from their GP certifying that they are not fit for work.

The NHS website currently states that GP surgeries should (remotely) continue to be contacted for fit notes for all cases of non-coronavirus related sickness – that does not seem especially feasible at this time but that remains the NHS advice. However, no person with coronavirus symptoms should contact their GP for a fit note, instead the NHS will issue an alternative, an isolation note, which can be obtained online here.

The guidance (as at 25 March 2020) on how can use this service is as follows:

Use this service if you have been told to stay at home because of coronavirus and you need a note for your employer.

This service is only for people who:

  • have symptoms of coronavirus and have used the 111 online coronavirus service
  • have been told by a healthcare professional they have symptoms of coronavirus
  • live with someone who has symptoms of coronavirus

If you are not sure if you need to stay at home, get the latest NHS advice on coronavirus.

If you have to stay at home but feel well enough to work, ask your employer if you can work from home. If you can work from home, you will not need an isolation note.

You can also use this service for someone else.

With the prospect that the pandemic