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Backdating a sick note (fit note)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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When can I backdate a Statement of Fitness for Work?

  • a Statement of Fitness for Work (Med 3) can only be issued for a backdated period when it is based on a previous assessment
    • an assessment is defined as the date you either had a face-to-face consultation, a telephone consultation or considered a report from another doctor or registered healthca re professional. You can issue a Statement on or after this date, but not before

    • there are some situations where your patient may ask for medical evidence to cover a backdated period for which there has not been a previous assessment - for example, if your patient has not been appropriately issued with a Med 3 on discharge from hospital or at a previous consultation with another GP
      • in these situations, you cannot issue a Med 3 for the back dated period
        • however, in order to be helpful to your patient you may wish to, either in the comments box of the Statement or in a separate letter, provide advice that the patient was not fit for work for an earlier period. You should ensure you have the appropriate information and evidence to justify this advice - generally this will be via a report or patient record. Employers and DWP can accept this advice as strong evidence of fitness for work for social security and Statutory Sick Pay purpose


  • 1) Department of Work and Pensions. Questions and answers about certification and medical reports - for healthcare practitioners (accessed 9/11/13).

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