Getting back to work

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Hello, I had a wide local excision on 25th June. I have felt fine since then and have been doing the exercises without trouble. My sick note (from the surgeon) ends on the 12th July and I would like to go back to work. The surgeon said to get a new note from the doctor for another 2 weeks, but do I have to? I work in a primary school and I would love to go to work for the last 4 days 15th to 18th. Do I need a fit for work cert for my employer. On .gov and .nhs it says that you can go back whenever you feel ready regardless of the sick note situation. My employer is demanding a fit to work note from my doctor which they will not provide. Catch 22, what can I do?

  • Hi Leona4

    My name is Linda and I am a Work Support Adviser on our National Support Line. I can advise on your Rights at Work when affected by Cancer.

    I am pleased to hear that you have recovered well from your wide local excision.

    Your Surgeon may have suggested an extension of your Fit Note but if you feel well enough to return to work you can do so without the need for a further Fit Note.

    As you have mentioned you will only be at work for 4 days before the school summer holidays. Your Fit Note covers you until 12th July and you are able to return to work after this without a further letter or note from your Doctor.

    Refusal to allow an employee to return to work following sick leave

    If an employee is ready to return to work and the employer is preventing this, it is worth asking if the employer is going to suspend the person pending a medical investigation. The medical suspension can be on full pay. The employer may then take medical advice from Occupational Health or a GP (with the employees to permission) to access medical records. If the Fit note states that someone is fit to work with adjustments and the employer does not make these the ‘May be fit to work’ note can revert to the ‘Not fit to work’ note. If the employee feels that the decision is unreasonable, a grievance could be raised, as a failure to provide reasonable adjustments to assist a disabled employee to return to work could be classed as discrimination.

    I hope this information has been helpful but please do not hesitate to get back in touch if further support is needed .

    Kind Regards



    Work Support Advisor

    Remember you can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or by email

  • This is so helpful, thank you. I am at my wits end. I am feeling like an outcast. I have been into school a couple of times to say hello and it feels like they are trying to throw me out. I feel like a naughty child x

  • p.s. the staff have been told not to reply to any of my emails or messages as I am on sick leave. Which I am not on now as from 12/07/24