Can you request a medical certificate for less than 7 days absence if felt appropriate/required?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 6 July 2010
Emma-Jane Flannery
Arthur Cox

If you pay company sick pay, you are free to choose what evidence of incapacity you require. This means that you could, in theory, require a medical certificate for all absences as a pre-requisite of paying company sick pay, although this is rare.

Generally speaking, however, self certification suffices and is usual for absences of less than 7 days. This position is taken as standard for purposes of expediency and to ensure that doctors are not over-run with making certifications for each and every day of absence. Many employers also follow this as it is in line with statutory sick pay (SSP)

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 02/09/2015

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Emma-Jane Flannery
Arthur Cox

The main content of this article was provided by Emma-Jane Flannery. Contact telephone number is 028 9023 0007 or email

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