As of 17 December 2021 through to 26 January 2022 an amendment has been made to Statutory Sick Pay Regulations allowing employees now to 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 GP’s in the coming few weeks.
Previously, for the first seven days of an employee’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 whereby the employee would be required to obtain a fit note.
As of 17 December 2021, this regulation has been temporarily adjusted and an employee will now not be required to provide a fit note or any other medical information in respect to 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 of time they are able to self-certify their sick leave.
How does this affect me, as an employer?
This means that employees who have signed themselves off sick prior to 17 December 2021, and has lasted no longer than seven days, or any day after 17 December 2021 up until 26 January 2022, do not need to provide a fit note from a GP or medical profession until their period of absence has reached 28 days.
For the first 28 days of your employee’s absence, they should report their absence from work in line with your normal absence reporting procedure, as they would usually do in the first seven days. Instead of requesting a fit note from them after they have been off work for seven days, they will able to continue reporting in as they were previously, up until they have been off sick for 28 days. At this point, you can then request a fit note from them 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.