New rules come into force in the UK on 17 December 2021, extending the number of days for which an employee does not need to provide medical evidence of sickness absence from seven days to 28 days. The change is being made to free up GPs’ time so they can support the COVID-19 vaccine booster programme.
The change means employees will be entitled to statutory sick pay without providing medical evidence for an absence of up to 28 days.
The rules apply to all periods of incapacity that begin after the rules take effect or that have lasted for no more than seven days on 17 December 2021.
This is a temporary change to the rules and is due to end on 26 January 2022. Once they end, the rules will continue to apply to any period of incapacity that commenced prior to 26 January 2022 (other than those lasting more than seven days by 17 December 2021).
Employers should adjust their sickness absence procedures to reflect this temporary rule change.