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Changes to claiming sick pay

The Government has recently introduced changes that make it easier for people to get a certified sick note from their healthcare professional.

Under the new rules, which were enforced from Friday 1 July, it should also be simpler for people to back up their benefits claims, as well as claim sick pay.

The rules for self-certifying and sick day allowance vary depending on the employer, however some rules – such as statutory sick pay – can be enforced by law.

How many sick days am I allowed?

If you are unwell and unable to work for more than seven days you need to give your employer proof of sickness. If you’re ill just before or during holiday leave then you can take the time off as sick leave.

Your employer might ask you to self certify if you have been off work for less than seven days, however this is not always required. Self-certification helps your employer confirm the illness, and might involve you filling in a form or sending an email.

How to get a sick note

If you’ve been off work ill for more than seven days you will need to get an official sick note for your employer.

Recent changes in the law mean that employees can now get a sick not from a wider range of healthcare professionals.

These include:

  • GP or hospital doctor

  • registered nurse

  • occupational therapist

  • pharmacist

  • physiotherapist

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) said the new measures will ease the pressure on NHS doctors and GPs, as well as making sick pay easier to claim for those who are unwell.

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