In the UK, when employees face health challenges that compromise their ability to work, they are often entitled to statutory sick pay. For extended periods of leave, a healthcare professional must confirm the employee is unfit for work.

Typically, when you are absent for more than 7 calendar days, you must supply your employer with a Fit Note (formerly known as a Sick Note). This will sometimes require notarisation by a trusted notary public.

Jump to…

  1. What is a Fit Note?
  2. The Legal Sick Leave Process
  3. When Might Notarisation Be Necessary?
  4. How We Notarise a Fit Note
  5. Apostille a Fit Note
  6. Fast and Professional Fit Note Notary

What is a Fit Note?

A Fit Note, or a Statement of Fitness for Work, is a document that confirms whether a person is well enough to work. Any UK resident can request a Fit Note from a registered healthcare professional. As of July 2022, this can be:

  • A doctor or GP
  • A nurse
  • An occupational therapist
  • A pharmacist
  • A physiotherapist 

The document outlines your health condition, any reasonable adjustments your workplace can make, and an indication of whether you are ‘fit for work’ or ‘not fit for work’.

The Legal Sick Leave Process

If you need to take time off work for health reasons, we recommend initiating the following legal sick leave process.

  • Promptly notify your employers of your condition and the estimated duration of your absence.
  • For absences lasting up to 7 calendar days, you can self-certify your illness. This means offering a brief explanation rather than providing a doctor’s letter.
  • If the illness extends beyond 7 days, arrange an appointment with a healthcare professional who can assess your condition.
  • If they deem you unfit for work, they will issue a Fit Note. 
  • Employers should review the Fit Note and discuss required workplace adjustments and/or sick leave.
  • Depending on the employment contract and company policy, you may be entitled to statutory sick pay or company sick pay.

When Might Notarisation Be Necessary?

There are certain circumstances which call for additional validation. An experienced notary can reach out to the healthcare institution which issued the Fit Note to confirm its validity. They will then produce a certificate of notarisation.

You may need verification from a notary in the following circumstances:

  • International contexts: If an employee is seeking sick leave documentation for use in an international context, notarisation might be required to prove the authenticity of the Fit Note.
  • Legal proceedings: In legal cases relating to disability claims or insurance disputes, a notarised Fit Note can serve as a substantiating document.
  • Employer policy: Some employers might have specific policies regarding sick leave. They may require notarised Fit Notes for situations involving extended or critical health-related absences.

How We Notarise a Fit Note

We can notarise either:

  1. Your original fit note signed by the named doctor.
  2. A photocopy of your fit note
  3. A printout of your electronic fit note produced from the original PDF or other electronic document

If notarising the original fit note, we will contact the doctor who issued it to verify its authenticity.

If notarising a photocopy, you will need to provide us with your original Fit Note. We will make a copy and notarise the copy as a “true copy”.

To notarise a printout of your electronic fit note, we will need to verify the authenticity of the document by checking the original email from the doctor in which the original fit note was attached as a PDF.

Apostille a Fit Note

If using your Fit Note outside of the UK, you may be asked to have it apostilled. In the UK, apostilles are only issued by the Legalisation Office of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO for short).  

The FCDO can apostille your original Fit Note if it has been signed by the named doctor and shows the doctor’s GMC number. You will need to check with the doctor whether they have emailed a sample of their signature to the FCDO and if not request that they do so.

Fast and Professional Fit Note Notary

It is important to follow your workplace’s sick leave procedure when you are unwell. Fit Notes play a key role in this process. 

You should also be aware of your legal rights. If your employer or another organisation is contesting the validity of your Statement of Fitness for Work, a recognised notary public like can verify the document.

We offer a simple and efficient notary service:

  1. Get in touch with us below. Attach a scan of your Fit Note and tell us what you need doing.
  2. We’ll get back to you with a fixed quote and explain what the next steps would be.

Ensure your Fit Note is recognised with authentication from one of our leading notaries. Call us on 020 7630 1777 or get in touch now.

Get in touch

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