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COVID-19: Temporary changes to sickness self-certification

COVID-19: Temporary changes to sickness self-certification

Carolyn Rossiter

New temporary changes to sickness self-certification came into effect on Friday 17 December.  Under the new rules, employees who are ill can now self-certify for the first 28 days.  They do not need to give their employer a doctor’s ‘fit note’ (also sometimes called a sick note).

Employees now only need to provide a doctor’s ‘fit note’ (sick note) if they’ve been ill for more than 28 days in a row and have taken sick leave.  The 28 days includes non-working days such as weekends and bank holidays.
Previously employees were required to provide proof of illness for absences of more than 7 days.  

The changes have been backdated to include absences of more than seven days which started on or after 10 December 2021.  (If the period of sickness started before 10 December 2021, employees will need to provide a fit note after the first seven days of illness).

If employees are self-isolating and cannot work because of coronavirus they can get an ‘isolation note’ online from NHS 111.  They do not need to go to their GP or a hospital.

The change has been brought in as a temporary measure to relieve pressure on the NHS and to free up GP capacity to focus on the vaccine booster programme and emergency care.

The measures are due to end on 26 January 2022 and relate to any sickness absences which begin on or after 10 December 2021 up to an including 26 January 2022.

For further advice, please contact your local Moore adviser