In order to ease pressure on GPs during the roll-out of the COVID-19 booster programme there has been a temporary adjustment to self-certification rules.
Normally an employee can self-certify their sickness for up to seven consecutive days, at which point they would need a note from their GP for any additional sickness absence.
However, from 10 December 2021 to 26 January 2022 (inclusive), employees will not be required to provide medical evidence of their incapacity to work for the first 28 days of any period of sickness absence in order to quality for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).
It is important to note that where there are concerns about the length or frequency of an employee’s sickness absence, employers should seek occupational health and/or expert medical opinions as they normally would. The process of obtaining expert medical advice on an employee’s health does not have to be delayed merely due to the Regulations.
Likewise, if there are any concerns about whether an employee is genuinely unwell during a period of sickness absence, these can be investigated in the normal way whenever is appropriate.