Temporary amendment to SSP self-certification period – extended from 7 days to 28
From December 17th until January 26th 2022, employees can self-certify sickness absence for the first 28 days without a sick note from their GP.
Normally, employees can self-certify sickness absence for the first 7 days. After that, they need to give their employer proof if they are ill for more than 7 days. However, to take the pressure off the NHS and to enable GPs to focus on the COVID-19 booster programme, a temporary amendment to the rule has been made and employees can self-certify for 28 days instead of 7.
If an employee started their sick leave before the 10th of December 2021, they are required to provide proof of their sickness if they have been ill for more than 7 days. If they become ill just before or during their holiday, they are allowed to take it as sick leave instead.
The self-certification period reportedly will revert to 7 days for absences beginning on or after 27 January 2022.
The temporary change is a cause of concern for many employers as it will make managing absences more complicated. However, if the company is happy to pay for a private sick note or ask the employee to attend an Occupational Health appointment, they are allowed to do so.
Employees must continue to notify their employers of their ongoing sickness.
Fit notes and proof of sickness after 28 days
If employees have been ill for more than 28 consecutive days and have taken time off, they must give their employer a sick note. This includes weekends and bank holidays.
If employees are self-isolating due to Covid-19 and are unable to work, they can get a free ‘isolation note’ from NHS 111. They do not need to contact their GP or hospital to get this.
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