Temporary Update to Sickness Absence Self Certification

07 January 2022


From 10 December 2021, a fit note is not required unless an employee is off work for more than 28 days in a row. This includes non-working days, such as weekends and bank holidays.

This is a temporary change until 26th January 2022 to the usual 7-day rule, to allow doctors to prioritise the coronavirus (COVID-19) booster campaign.

If the staff member is still absent after 28 calendar days for all absence reported from 10th December 2021, then a GP Fit Note is required. This temporary change is only applicable to absences reported from 10th December 2021 onwards, for all absence relating to 9th December 2021 and prior then previous guidelines of 7 calendar days, then a GP Fit Note is required.

Further information relating to the change can be found here

Please note that this is a temporary change to current NHS Workforce Attendance Policy.

As a reminder:

  • The return-to-work interview and form should be completed as soon as possible after returning to work. The Return-to-Work form can be found here
  • It is the Line Manager's responsibility to submit the completed form. For more information about the return-to-work discussion please see Attendance Policy : Guide for Managers
  • Return to work forms cover absences which last 28 calendar days or less.
  • As part of the Return-to-Work discussion please ensure that you review and discuss the staff members 12-month sickness absence history. You will be sent a copy of the 12-month sickness absence history by separate email from HR Business Support.

For further guidance, please refer Temporary changes to fit notes or if you have any queries please email: GPTrainingHR@nes.scot.nhs.uk