The statutory sick pay rules were temporarily amended on 17 December 2021. The amendment allows employees to self-certify for a period of 28 days, in place of the normal 7 days. This measure has been put in place to help free up capacity in the NHS and allow GPs to spend more time focusing on the coronavirus booster rollout as well as other impacts brought on by the latest Omicron fuelled coronavirus wave.
The arrangements will remain in place for all absences that begin on or before 26 January 2022. The arrangements also apply retrospectively for any continuing periods of absence which started between 10 and 17 December 2021. The self-certification period is set to return to seven days for any absences beginning on or after 27 January 2022. GPs will continue to be required to supply medical evidence known as, fit notes, for periods of absence exceeding 28 days.
The current rate of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is £96.35 per week for up to 28 weeks. To qualify for SSP, an employee must meet the necessary eligibility requirements. Employers cannot pay less than the SSP but may pay more if they have a sick pay scheme.