It has long been established that employees may self-certify their sickness absence for 7 days, after which they must provide medical evidence to confirm that they are not fit for work so as to confirm entitlement to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).
The DWP and HMRC have today introduced new rules enabling any employee to self-certify for a period of 28 days – meaning employers cannot request proof of incapacity for work, for that 28 day period.
This extended 28 day self-certification period is limited to periods of incapacity for work which started between 10th December 2021 and 26th January 2022.
The aim of these changes is to reduce the burden on GPs whilst they roll out vaccinations and boosters in the fight against Covid, however, the impact on employers could be vast.
Employees must continue to notify their employer of ongoing sickness and payment can be withheld for days you have not been notified of, but not for late presentation of medical evidence.
For advice on specific situations and the application of these new rules, please speak to your legal advisory team.