As of today, (17 December 2021) a temporary change has been made to SSP payment arrangements so that employees will not be required to provide their employers with medical evidence of sickness for 28 days for the purposes of Statutory Sick Pay. The amendment to the Statutory Sick Pay (Medical Evidence) Regulations 1985 (S.I.1985/1604) increases the time in which an employee is required to provide medical evidence, such as a fit note, from 7 to 28 days.
This is a temporary measure designed to support the coronavirus booster programme and comes after the Prime Minister’s announcement that every eligible adult over the age of 18 will be offered a booster by the 31 December 2021. It is hoped that the increased time limit will increase General Practitioners’ capacity by decreasing the need for employees to visit their GPs for medical evidence for the purposes of SSP. This should, in turn, afford medical professionals more time to support the coronavirus vaccine booster programme.
The Regulations will apply to all periods of incapacity from today until 26 January 2022 or for periods of incapacity which started before the regulations came into force and had not exceeded a period of 7 days.
Employers should bear this in mind when operating their SSP notification and certification processes in the coming weeks.
This article was co-written by Jenna Alexander, Trainee Solicitor.