You do not require a doctor's statement of fitness for work for any illness lasting seven days or less. Your employer may however require you to complete a self-certification form (SC2) which is available from your employer or on the HMRC website.
Evidence that you are sick
If you are sick for more than seven days, your employer can ask you to give them some form of medical evidence to support payment of SSP (statutory sick pay).
It is up to your employer to decide whether you are incapable of work. A medical certificate, now called a 'Statement of Fitness for Work’ (see below) from your doctor is strong evidence that you are sick and would normally be accepted, unless there is evidence to prove otherwise. You can also ask hospital doctors in clinics to provide you with a sick line. You do not always need an appointment for a sick line for a problem that your GP already knows about: please phone and check first.
You can also provide evidence from someone who is not a medical practitioner, e.g. a dentist. Your employer will decide whether or not this evidence is acceptable. If your employer has any doubts, they may still ask for a medical certificate.
Statement of Fitness for Work - ’Fit Note'
The 'fit note' was introduced on 6 April 2010. With your employer's support, the note will help you return to work sooner by providing more information about the effects of your illness or injury. It is an advisory note, and does not carry any legal obligation with your employer.
For more information see the DirectGov website