Employees can self-certify absence for up to 28 days

In a really quick change to legislation, the Government have introduced new self-certification measures with the aim of temporarily freeing up GP surgeries to prioritise the covid booster campaign.

Employees who are absent on or after the 10th of December 2021 can now self-certify sickness for up to 28 days (previously 7 days).

They only need to attend a GP for a ‘fit note’ if they have been ill for more than 28 days in a row, which includes non-working days, such as weekends and bank holidays.

Employees whose sickness began before the 10th of December are covered by the “old” rules and are required to produce a fit note following 7 continuous days of absence.

If employees are self-isolating and cannot work because of covid they can get an isolation note online from NHS 111.

Get an isolation note – NHS (111.nhs.uk) – they do not have to go to their GP.

If they are off work with any other illness for more than 28 days, they can get a fit note from a GP or hospital doctor.

Fit notes are free if an employee has been ill for more than 28 days when they ask for one.

The GP might charge a fee if they are asked for a fit note earlier!

This legislation is temporary and ends on the 26th of January 2022, subject to any agreed extensions in the new year.

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