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Self-Certification, Statutory Sick Pay and Fit Notes

What is Self-Certification

Self-Certification is a form that employers can ask employees to complete after they have been away from work due to sickness.

A self-certification form can be used when an employee has been absent from work for seven working days or less. If the absence is longer than seven working days a doctor’s statement of fitness to work form, or “fit note” as it is known, will be required.

A self-cert form is usually completed when an employee returns to work after a period of  absence, it can be completed as part of a return to work interview in line with a company absence management policy, or it can be a separate form an employee is required to complete.

The HRMC have an official sick note that employers can use if they prefer to, this can be downloaded from www.gov.uk

What is a Doctors fit note or statement of fitness for work?

A statement of fitness for work, or more often referred to as a fit note, is a form that a Doctor completes for an employee when they have an illness or condition that stops them from working. These can be provided from day one of an absence, although doctors usually encourage employees to self-cert for their first seven days, depending on the circumstances and reasons for the absence.

Statutory Sick pay and self-certification

Statutory sick pay can be paid from the fourth day of absence, to be eligible to receive statutory sick pay an employee can self-cert for the first seven days of their absence, but once the seven days have passed they will need a GP’s fit note, to cover the rest of their absence. The days an employee is off sick when they would normally be working are called ‘qualifying days’. If eligible, they should get SSP for all the qualifying days, except for the first 3. These are called ‘waiting days’

Covid-19 and Self Certification

Since the pandemic began in March 2020, there have been several questions regarding self-certification and if it applies if someone is shielding or isolating.

Government advice is for employers to use their discretion when requesting evidence off an employee being advised to stay at home due to having covid-19 symptoms or living with someone who has symptoms. Medical evidence is not required until the eighth day of absence, after this a GP fit note is required, but employers are requested to be understanding if an employee cannot obtain one straight away.

Everyone has been told they must self-isolate if they develop any symptoms of coronavirus, if they live with someone who has symptoms, or tested positive, or have been in close contact with anyone who has tested positive.

Self-isolation is for 10 days if they have had symptoms, or 14 days after testing positive or being contacted as having been in close contact with someone that has tested positive.

Self-isolation notes are available for employees to give to their employers from the NHS website.

For the latest updates regarding Sick pay and Coronavirus: https://www.gov.uk/statutory-sick-pay

If you would like assistance in creating a self-certification form or advice on absence management or other HR topics please get in touch with us on 0121 516 0299 or email at info@cloverhr.co.uk

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