A new statutory instrument has been issued to help free up GP time to prioritise Covid-19 vaccine booster programme over the Christmas period.
New regulations have been issued in relation to the number of days over which employees are not required to provide medical evidence of sickness absences for statutory sick pay (SSP) purposes. The change comes into force from 17 December 2021, to increase the period that an employee is not required to provide medical information in respect of any spell of incapacity for work from 7 days without a doctor's note to 28 days.
The new regulations will last until 26 January 2022 or which commence prior to the regulations coming into force but which have not lasted more than seven days on that date as the requirement to provide medical evidence will not have arisen at that point.
Given this context, the regulations only apply for a short time to provide the necessary support to medical professionals. Given this is a strictly time limited measure with a clear end date, any impact on employers or businesses should be minimal. I hope individuals will not seek to abuse this mechanism and hope it will help to ease the winter pressures on the NHS.
For those who find themselves in a position to need SSP - it is £96.35 per week for those too ill to work. Individuals may get more if their employer has a scheme that offers more than statutory sick pay. Those having difficulty with their finances may also find themselves eligible for Universal Credit support. You claim SSP through your employer.