Temporary change – Staff can now self-certify sickness for up to 28 days

Posted on: December 21st, 2021

From 17th December 2021, the government has introduced a temporary change to the sickness reporting requirements.  Members of staff are now able to self-certify sickness absence for up to 28 days whereas previously they could only self-certify absences of up to 7 days. 

The 28 days includes weekends and bank holidays and applies to anyone who first became ill from 10 December 2021.  Therefore, members of staff who were absent from work due to sickness prior to this date will still need to comply with the previous reporting requirements. 

This is a temporary change to help free up time for doctors to assist with the covid booster vaccination programme and is currently set to last until 26 January 2022.  However, there are reports that this change to reporting requirements might be extended because it is now the employer who bears the cost of statutory sick pay and not the government. 

Given that this could be a temporary change to the rules, we recommend holding off on amending sickness policies and contracts.  However, if it becomes a permanent change you may need to make amendments. 

The change in the rules doesn’t help employers who have concerns over whether sickness absences are genuine or not as it removes a step in the reporting process for 28 days.  If you have concerns regarding absences from work these can still be addressed, and we are happy to help and provide guidance on this. 

Please contact us if you would like further information as to how we can assist.