With effect from Friday 17th December 2021, the UK Government has introduced a temporary change regarding the requirement on employees to provide medical evidence during periods of sickness absence.
Employees eligible to receive statutory sick pay (SSP) are not normally required to provide their employer with medical evidence to support sickness absence for the first seven days of absence.
For longer periods of absence, employees must obtain a fit note (more commonly called a ‘sick line’). from their GP and provide the fit note to their employer. For a temporary period, employees can self-certify for 28 days (instead of 7 days).
The practical consequence for employers is that, for any employee who has reported (or reports) sick on or after 10th December 2021, the employer cannot insist upon proof of sickness (a fit note) until after 28 days of sickness. The number of days will include non-working days such as weekends and bank holidays. The employer shall require to make sick pay payments (SSP) for the extended period in the same way as payments were previously made for the 7 day period.
This temporary adjustment will be in place until 26th January 2022 and has been implemented to enable GPs to focus on the current COVID-19 booster programme.
If you need any assistance in carrying out your risk assessment, in detailing your communication plan to staff, or indeed with the introduction of a Covid-19 Vaccination Policy, then please get in touch with either Graham Millar (firstname.lastname@example.org ) or Stuart Robertson (email@example.com) of our Employment Law Team.