On 17 December 2021, The Statutory Sick Pay (Medical Evidence) Regulations 2021 came into force. The regulations temporarily extend the period that employees can self-certify to 28 days.
Generally employees who are absent from work due to a period of sickness absence can self-certify for the absence for any period of up to seven days. For any longer period of absence the employee must provide a fit note from their GP which provides medical evidence as to the employee’s ability to return to the workplace or not.
In order to allow GP’s to concentrate on the vaccine booster programme, the regulations amend the rules so that if an employee is off sick on or after 10 December then the employer cannot ask for proof of sickness until the employee has been absent for 28 days or more. This is a temporary change and will end for periods of absence up to and including 26 January 2022.