On 17 December the rules regarding sickness self-certification were temporarily changed in a bid to ease the pressure on GPs whilst the vaccine booster programme is in warp speed mode. Details can be found here Taking sick leave – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
For all absences that start AFTER the 10th of December, employees can now self-certify for 28 days in a row (including non-working days) instead of the usual 7 days – they do not require a FIT note until their absence lasts longer than 28 days – employers are being advised that they cannot request a FIT note sooner and that GPs may charge for them if that request is made.
This new system will be in place for any absences that then commence on any day up to and including 26 January.
For those that like the actual source info here it is The Statutory Sick Pay (Medical Evidence) Regulations 2021 (legislation.gov.uk).
Any absences that started before 10 December are still subject to the normal 7-day rule.
Any covid related absences are still covered by an isolation note obtained from NHS 111 and do not require a FIT note – details here Get an isolation note – NHS (111.nhs.uk).
Don’t forget our recent mail that advised you that whilst SSP is still payable Statutory Sick Pay (SSP): employer guide – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) from day one of covid related absences, employers can no longer claim the SSP back Check if you can claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to coronavirus (COVID-19) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
When are employees entitled to SSP?
Employees must be paid SSP if they cannot work because they’re self-isolating under government guidance for any of the following reasons:
- they have coronavirus symptoms or have tested positive
- someone in their household has symptoms or has tested positive
- they are told to self-isolate by an NHS test and trace service
- they have been advised by their doctor to stay at home before going into hospital for surgery
To be eligible for SSP, they must be off work for at least 4 days in a row, including any of their usual non-working days.
For more guidance contact us today!