Last week the SSP regulations were quietly amended on a temporary basis, giving employees the ability to self-certify sickness absence for up to 28 days, rather than the 7 days we’ve been used to.

They now only need to attend a GP for a ‘fit note’ if they have been ill for more than 28 days and have taken sick leave. This includes non-working days, such as weekends and bank holidays.

This will initially apply to periods of sickness starting before 26 January 2022. Although it is intended as short-term measure to relieve the current burden on GPs, it’s possible that this will be extended longer term.

This may well cause further challenges for employers trying to manage staff absence and removes one disincentive to longer term absence. If you have concerns about dealing with any absence cases now or in the new year, please do get in touch.