Time off work?

Had an a and e admission last Sunday as was feeling very breathless and coughing blood. Perhaps was suspected but ruled out thankfully. I was sent home. I still feel breathless but not as bad but really can't face work. I've already had a week off now. How long is it reasonable to ask my dr for a sick note for? I'm a teacher so need my energy and voice neither of which are there at the moment

7 Replies

  • Hi echarles

    We're got some information on our website about taking time off work. bit.ly/2x1qaLd

    If you are off work for longer than seven days then you will need to contact your GP to get a certificate. It depends on your employer and whether this works practically as your job as a teacher, but when you are ready to return to work, your employer and GP can help you plan the best way to do it:

    Your GP can issue a ‘fit to work note’ which can suggest the employer allows an adjustment in hours or your role for a fixed length of time to allow you to get back to do some work.

    You and your employer you can decide what’s practical and do-able and create an agreed programme for your return. For example, returning on a part-time basis could be a reasonable adjustment.

    If you would like more advice and support then please feel free to give our Helpline a ring on 0300 222 5800 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm).

    Take care,


  • Thankyou Dita

    I realise I have to get a note from docs now and have an appointment later today. I just don't know how long to ask for. The way I feel I cannot forsee a week being enough but is it reasonable to ask for more?

  • Hi echarles

    Good to hear you have a GP appt so you can discuss it and work out together as recovery is individual for everyone. Our advice would be not to go back too early as this could set back your recovery. After an asthma attack, people are at higher risk so it's important to get management under control and ask what what you think you need. You can always go back earlier if you feel well.

    Hope that helps,


  • I had six weeks in all don't rush back to work your health is more impoetant

  • Hi echarles

    I would obviously echo Dita_AsthmaUK point - please don't worry about needing time off and asking for a sick note, I am asthmatic and was never afraid to take time off in my old job, ultimately you have to look after yourself as you are more important than any job. I had a colleague with asthma and she would always come into work even when ill and would end up in hospital on a steroid drip as a result. Also, try and see if you can get covered by the Equality Act 2010 as my asthma was covered by this through Occupational Health, it gives you a bit more protection as your employer should consider making "reasonable adjustments" to make returning to work or staying in work easier for you. It can be a bit of a grey area but it's designed to protect people with long term illnesses that have a substantive impact on day to day life as it's not really fair to treat asthmatics the same as people taking duvet days or stomach bugs etc. Good luck and don't be afraid to ask for support.

  • Hi your doctor will decide after consultation with you how long to give you a sick/fit note for so please don't worry about it. If you don't feel fit enough to return when that runs out then go back and discuss it again.

    I hope you are better very soon. I don't envy you your teaching job! x

  • Thankyou for replying. I feel so guilty being off. Despite having asthma for a few years now I've rarely been off work and it feels alien and as tho I'm giving in to it. I think I need convincing to put myself first.

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