Cricketfield Surgery

Cricketfield Road, Newton Abbot, TQ12 2AS

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Advice for Fit Notes for Self-isolation

Posted on March 19th, 2020

Advice for Fit Notes for Self-isolation

Government Advice on Certifying Absence from Work

By law, medical evidence is not required for the first 7 days of sickness. After 7 days, employers may use their discretion around the need for medical evidence if an employee is staying at home.

We strongly suggest that employers use their discretion around the need for medical evidence for a period of absence where an employee is advised to stay at home either as they are unwell themselves, or live with someone who is, in accordance with the public health advice issued by the government.

This means:

  1. Symptomatic so isolating for seven days

Patients can and should self-certify for the first seven days as normal if they are unfit to work. You do not need to contact your GP.

  1. Symptomatic and remaining unwell for over seven days

If you remain unwell and unfit to work after seven days, the current advice is to visit www.111.nhs.uk where there is an online self-assessment tool which should be up and running soon. You do not need to contact your GP for a certificate.

  1. Household contact symptoms so isolating for fourteen days as per government advice

GPs cannot and are not the gatekeeper of the statutory sick pay system and can only provide certificates for the purpose of illness, not in relation to government advice regarding self-isolation. Employers are responsible for putting in place arrangements for home/remote working where this is possible. Where it is not, the employee may self-certify and return to work following the relevant absence which their employer may authorise as per government advice.

  1. At risk group so following government advice

Where you do become unwell during or after this time, point 1 and 2 applies.  You do not need to contact your GP.

  1. Those in full time education who are symptomatic or requiring self-isolation.

There is no NHS requirement to issue certification to schools or colleges to confirm absence. These organisations must work with parents and students to ensure that any absence is appropriately recorded, obviating the need for a ‘doctor’s note’. You do not need to contact your GP.

If you find your employer is not working within this guidance, or is not sure then you should visit https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus they are the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. They work with millions of employers and employees every year to improve workplace relationships. They’re an independent public body that receives funding from the government. They have advice online you can share with your employer or you may be able to contact them for support.

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