A sign of what is to come on the coronavirus and sickness absence front…..
The government has just adopted temporary emergency legislation aimed at reducing the burden on GPs whilst it rolls out the booster programme. Prior to Friday 17 December 2021, an employee could only have seven calendar days off sick, by way of self certification, before having to provide a GP’s fitness for work certificate for any ongoing absence. However, on Friday 17 December 2021, new regulations (The Statutory Sick Pay (Medical Evidence) Regulations 2021) came into force, by way of the government using its emergency powers granted to it under the Coronavirus Act 2020. An employee is now able to self certify themselves for up to 28 days before having to get a GP’s fitness for work certificate, provided they go off sick at any point from 17 December 2021 up to and including 26 January 2022. Let’s just wait and see if this timeframe gets extended.