From 17 December 2021 until 26 January 2022, an amendment has been made to Statutory Sick Pay Regulations allowing staff to now self-certify their absence for up to 28 days. This is a short-term measure that has been put in place to relieve the pressure on GPs in the coming few weeks.
Previously, for the first seven days of any staff member’s period of incapacity from work, they were able to prove their sickness by self-certifying. If the absence extended over the seven days, it was at this point that staff would be required to obtain a fit note.
As of 17 December 2021, this regulation has been temporarily adjusted and staff will now not be required to provide a fit note, or any other medical information to the school, in respect of the first 28 days of their period of absence from work. This includes non-working days, for example weekends and bank holidays. For this period, they can self-certify their sick leave.
How does this affect schools?
The temporary amendment to the regulations means that staff who are off sick after 17 December 2021 up until 26 January 2022, do not need to provide a fit note from a GP or medical profession to the school until their period of absence has reached 28 days.
For the first 28 days of absence, staff should report this in line with the school’s normal absence reporting procedure and self-certify their absence. Thereafter, schools can then request a fit note from a doctor or other medical professional.
We understand that the regulations will then revert to the previous requirements and any absences which arise after 26 January 2022 will require a fit note for absences longer than seven days.