Temporary changes to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) came into force on 17 December 2021.
These changes temporarily increase the period of sickness absence that an employee is able to self-certify for, from 7 days to 28 days.
Under the temporary regulations, an employee does not need to provide any medical evidence (such as a ‘fit to work’ note) in relation to the first 28 days of any period of sickness absence and employers should not ask them to do so.
This temporary change is intended to help GP’s successfully support the COVID-19 booster vaccination programme by reducing the need for medical appointments and documentation to be provided to individuals who are absent from work due to sickness, for a short period of time.
The temporary regulations apply to:
- Any employee who commences their period of sickness absence between 17 December 2021 and 26 January 2022; or
- Any employee who commenced their period of sickness absence on or after 10 December 2021 (on the basis that they will not have been required to provide medical evidence for their absence yet).
The temporary regulations will not apply to periods of sickness absence that commence after 26 January 2022, but will continue to apply to any ongoing periods of absence at that date, where employees have not yet reached the 28 day point for provision of medical evidence.
It’s important to remember that these changes only apply to SSP.
In circumstances where employees are eligible for enhanced sick pay (e.g. under a company sick pay policy), employers can still ask employees to follow the requirements of the relevant policy. This includes requiring employees to provide medical evidence to receive any enhanced pay over and above their SSP entitlement.
Posted on December 20, 2021