Lindsays lawyers highlight sickness self-certification rule change

Kate Wyatt, a Partner in the Employment team at Lindsays

RULES on seven-day self-certification for staff sickness absences are back in force for businesses.

Lawyers at Lindsays, the Scottish legal firm for people and businesses, are highlighting the change – one it believes will be welcomed by many firms as they look to return to as normal operational procedures as possible.

Emergency measures which allowed employees to self-certify sickness absences for 28 days had been brought into play by the Westminster Government in December 2021 as part of measures to allow GP surgery staff to focus on the Covid-19 booster roll-out.

The return to the regular seven-day rule came into play on January 27, in time for implementation of the Scottish Government’s relaxation of work from home guidance – in favour of a hybrid system of in-office and remote working – from Monday. 

Kate Wyatt, a Partner in the Employment Law team at Lindsays, said: “Employers once again have the right to request a fit note for their employees if they are off sick for more than seven calendar days.

“While the temporary change allowing 28 days’ self-certification was introduced for understandable reasons to support the NHS, the certainty that the return to the seven-day system brings is something that will be welcomed by the businesses we work with, allowing them to revert to their regular absence management arrangements.”

If an employee started sick leave before January 27, they will still only need to provide a medical certificate for their absence once it reaches 28 days.

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