Employees can now self-certify sickness for up to 28 days (at least, until 26 January 2022!)

To assist with the rollout of the COVID-19 booster programme, temporary changes to the Statutory Sick Pay (Medial Evidence) Regulations 1985 have been made effective from 17 December 2021.

For statutory sick pay purpose, employees who go on sick leave on or after 10 December 2021 can self-certify their sickness absence for the first 28 days (including non-working days) of sickness.

Proof of sickness cannot be requested by employers in the first 28 days – self-certification must be accepted.

This is a temporary change from the usual rule which is that proof of sickness (such as a fit note) is needed after 7 days of sickness. This temporary change is set to end on 26 January 2022, when it will revert to the usual 7-day rule.

Employees and employers should be aware of this temporary change for any sickness absence over the Christmas period.