Self-certification forms allow managers to record an employee’s reasons for absence in the employee’s own words.
They are the first step in absence management documentation and can be followed on by a fit note and a medical report, if necessary.
There isn’t a standard format for self-certification forms and they aren’t a legal requirement. However, they are a great way of formalising the recording of short-term absences and can prove valuable evidence if an employee’s absence rates reach unacceptable levels.
When should I ask for self-certification?
If an employee has been absent for fewer than 7 consecutive days, you should ask for self-certification. If an employee has been absent for longer than 7 consecutive days, you should ask for a fit note, or medical report (depending on circumstances).
We recommend you get an employee to complete a self-certification form for every absence, regardless of how short. It’s also a good idea for the employee to complete the self-certification form during a return-to-work interview and in the presence of a manager.
How should I use a self-certification form?
As there is no standardised format for self-certification forms, you can format them in whatever way you feel is best for you business. What you should ensure is that the forms are consistent for every employee and ask for the same information.
It will depend on your business and industry the sort of information you want to record, but we recommend the following:
• reasons for absence;
• dates they were absent;
• whether a physician was consulted.
You should keep a copy of the self-certification form on file and use it as a part of you absence management process.
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